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Girl Scout cookies make great foundation for dessert

SANTA FE – I should probably not be confessing this during Girl Scout cookie season, but I was nearly kicked out of Brownies. There was a ceremony – a big deal, supposedly, where you cross a fake bridge into Girl Scout-land – and I had to sit in the corner while the other 9-year-olds practiced the bridge walk. I think I got in trouble for talking.

I wanted to be a Girl Scout. I sold tons of cookies – the most in my troop – as a Brownie (OK, my dad bought most of them). I loved the idea of collecting the most badges and of wearing them across my chest like a prize ribbon at the fair.

But as I sat in the auditorium at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School that afternoon and listened to the Girl Scout leader discuss the merits of trading in my brown dress for a green one, I just couldn’t do it. That bridge had not only not been crossed, it had been burned.

Cookie season always reminds me of this. Sure, it still stings a little, but over the past 30, 40 years or so, I’ve developed a reliable coping strategy: a few boxes of Peanut Butter Patties (aka “Tagalongs”), stashed in my freezer, eaten in twos and threes, until the next six-week selling season rolls around again.

I might as well tell you, these cookies that remind me of Reese’s peanut butter cups are my favorites. They are not just fine on their own – they are fabulous! As are many of the other varieties.

But this year, I challenged myself to come up with recipes using Girl Scout cookies. And I love a challenge, especially one that involves cookies.

There’s no sew-on badge for my efforts, but these peanut butter blondies are reward enough.

Peanut Butter Blondies with Peanut Butter Patties

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup flour

1 stick butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, such as Skippy

1 egg

8 Peanut Butter Patties, crushed

Line an 8-inch-by-8-inch pan with parchment or foil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sea salt and flour. Set aside.

Put the melted butter, brown sugar and peanut butter in the mixer bowl and combine. Add the egg and beat until the color changes to light yellow – a few minutes on high will do it.

Add the flour mixture and gently mix. Fold in the crushed cookies.

Pour into the pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the edges brown. Be sure not to overcook; err on the side of under- rather than overcooking. (Gooey is gooooood.) Serve right away.

Yield: 16

Nutritional analysis per serving: 198 calories, 12 grams fat, 20 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 29 milligrams cholesterol, 188 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 53 percent of calories from fat.

Ellise Pierce is the Cowgirl Chef and author of “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking With a French Accent” (Running Press, $25). www.cowgirlchef.com; @cowgirlchef.


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