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A&E >  Food

Girl Scout cookies more than a snack

Pin merit badges on your salads, entrees

Kathy Van Mullekom Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

Before you assume Girl Scout cookies are just for snacks, take a look at some grown-up recipes using the cookies. Some are healthy, some are not – but all are fun and chock-full of cookie magic.

Discover where and how you can buy Girl Scout cookies nationwide at Cookie sales run through March 14.

“I am a huge fan of the Peanut Thai Chicken because it’s a great party food for any time of year,” says Elizabeth Farry, community relations manager with the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast in southeastern Virginia.

“I usually skip the noodles and serve them as appetizers or finger food and make my own homemade peanut sauce with some peanut butter, soy sauce and a few spices thrown in there instead of buying pre-made sauce.

“I buy extra Do-Si-Dos during the sale and freeze so that I can use this recipe at summer barbecues as well.

“I also love to pull out the Lemon Sorbet Cups at dinner parties or anytime during the summer because the Lemon Chalet Creme is my favorite Girl Scout cookie. I’ve actually used the lemon shells as serving ‘bowls’ and let me tell you, the ‘wow’ on your guests’ faces makes the time and effort absolutely worth it – but think about wearing some plastic gloves, because the acidity of the lemons can get intense if you’re doing a lot at once.”

Here are some cookie recipes you can try at home; more can be found at 2010CookieSeason. Click on “Cookies” heading.

Peanut Thai Chicken

8 crushed Do-Si-Dos Girl Scout cookies

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins

Wood skewers

Teriyaki glaze

Thai peanut sauce

Grill chicken tenderloins on wood skewers, brushing occasionally with teriyaki glaze. Prepare Pad Thai noodles according to directions on box. Serve chicken tenderloins with four crushed Do-Si-Dos cookies sprinkled on top. Mix remaining Do-Si-Dos cookie crumbs with peanut sauce.

Serve peanut sauce poured over chicken and noodles, or as side dipping sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

Fried Samoas Shrimp

5 extra-large shrimp, peeled and veins removed

5 Samoas Girl Scout cookies, finely chopped

2 cups seasoned bread crumbs

2 cups flour

1 cup coconut flakes

4 egg whites

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 lime for garnish

Vegetable or peanut oil for frying

Toss coconut flakes with bread crumbs, cayenne pepper and chopped Samoas Girl Scout cookies.

Dredge shrimp through flour, followed by egg whites and Samoas Girl Scout cookies mixture.

Fry shrimp in vegetable oil at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Garnish with coconut flakes and lime wedges.

Serve warm.

Arrange in a star pattern on a salad plate, or on a bamboo skewer with tropical fruits.

Serve as an appetizer, in a salad or as an entree.

If serving as an entree, accompany with fried plantains and wild rice.

Yield: 5 shrimp

Berry Munch Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

For salad:

1 package mixed salad greens

1 package (6 ounces) fully cooked chicken breast strips

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup dried mandarin oranges

1/2 cup Berry Munch salad topping (see recipe below)

Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

For salad topping:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1  1/2 cups pecans

10 Thank U Berry Munch cookies, broken into 1/2 -inch pieces

Place salad greens in a serving bowl, scatter toppings on salad and serve with salad dressing.

To make salad topping: In a four-cup bowl, stir together honey, oil and orange rind. Add pecans and stir to coat. Add cookie pieces and stir to coat. Spread mixture evenly in greased jelly roll pan or on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Cool.

Serve with Ciabatta bread. The salad topping is tasty on any salad, and is also a great addition to any trail mix.

Yield: 4 servings

Lemon Sorbet Cups

Lemon cups:

1 box Lemon Chalet Cremes Girl Scout cookies

8 large lemons

Lemon sorbet:

1/3 cup lemon zest (4 additional lemons)

1  1/2 cups sugar

1  1/2 cups water

Cut off the top 1/3 of each lemon (not the stem end).

Hollow out each lemon by using a grapefruit knife (being careful not to puncture the lemon). Remove juice and flesh and put it in your juicer or blender.

Make a slight shallow cut on the bottom of each lemon shell (being careful not to cut through to the inside of the lemon). This makes them sit straight and not fall over when placed on a plate.

Freeze the shells at least one hour. The frozen shell prevents the sorbet from melting too quickly when you serve it.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Add lemon zest. Stir until mixture comes to a boil, and then boil two minutes. Add lemon juice, and stir well.

Remove from heat, cool and strain. Pour cooled mixture into a shallow container, cover and place mixture in the freezer.

When mixture is semi-solid, place in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Cover and refreeze until serving time.

When ready to serve, layer each frozen lemon shell with cookie crumbles, then sorbet and repeat. Garnish with one Lemon Chalet Cremes cookie.

Can be prepared three days in advance.

Yield: 8 servings

Berry Munch Bread Pudding

1 box Thank U Berry Munch Girl Scout cookies

1/3 cup cranberries (can be fresh/sliced or dried or Craisins)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup milk

Vanilla sauce:

1 small box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding

2  1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Break cookies into 1/2 -inch pieces.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 1 quart casserole dish.

Place the Thank U Berry Munch cookie pieces in the bottom of the casserole dish

Sprinkle the cranberries over the cookie pieces.

In a mixing bowl beat the eggs with a fork, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, orange peel, and cinnamon.

Stir in 1 cup milk.

Pour the mixture over the cookie and cranberry pieces. Bake for 30 minutes, until set.

Vanilla sauce: Prepare one box of cook-and-serve vanilla pudding as directed on box. Thin with 1/2 cup milk to make into a sauce.

Serving suggestion:

Serve warm bread pudding with warm vanilla sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

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