by Brandon Fox
It’s difficult to imagine, but there is a way to make Girl Scout cookies even more amazing than they already are. Chef Tammy Brawley of the Green Kitchen took some of these hotly anticipated annual treats and transformed them for an area Girl Scout troop’s big bake sale. Ponder these enticing names: Caramel DeLite milkshakes, Thin Mint truffles and Thanks-A-Lot mini chocolate tarts.
Now, if you have any spare boxes lying about, you’ll be in business with Brawley’s recipes. (Of course, I’m kidding. You’ll have to go out and buy some because who can keep a box of Girl Scout cookies around for any length of time?)
Caramel DeLite Milkshake
Combine cookies and coconut milk in a blender. Whirl the ingredients for about 10 seconds. Add the ice cream and blend until smooth.
Swirl the chocolate sauce around inside of glass. Add the milkshake from the blender and strew with toasted coconut. Enjoy. Makes one 16-ounce milkshake or two 8-ounce milkshakes.
Place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate is melted. Once cooled, add to a squirt bottle for drizzling.
Thin Mint Truffles
Place the Thin Mints into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are created.. Pour them into a small and bowl and set aside.
Next, place the chocolate in a heat-proof stainless or mixing bowl. Set aside.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until it boils. Remove the pan from heat and allow it to sit for 30 seconds. Then pour the cream through a fine-mesh sieve over the chocolate and stir the mixture until smooth. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts, and whisk until smooth. Set the mixture aside at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours — or longer — to ensure a firm texture is achieved. It should be firm, yet still pliable enough to roll into truffles.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Roll 2 teaspoons of the chocolate mixture into a ball and place it on the paper. Be consistent about size — a small portion scoop works best in this situation. Toss each truffle in the bowl of Thin Mint crumbs until they’re well-coated. Place them in small muffin liners and serve at room temperature. Makes 20 (the recipe can be doubled).
Thanks-A-Lot Mini Chocolate Tarts
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Place the Thanks-A-Lot cookies into a food processor with the sugar and salt. Pulse until fine crumbs are created. Add the melted butter and process just until well-combined. Using approximately 2 tablespoons, place the crumbs into mini pie pans and press the mixture up the sides. Then use an empty pan to help mold the crumbs into place. Place the tarts onto a small sheet tray and bake for about 12 minutes. Do not let the tarts brown. Remove the tray from oven and increase the temperature to 325 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, stir together the cream and milk. Bring the mixture just to a simmer. You’ll see bubbles forming around the edge. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and whisk thoroughly.
In another small bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk and flour until smooth. Whisk it into the chocolate mixture until it’s completely blended.
Pour the mixture into the pie pans and slide the tray into oven for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are set. Remove the tarts and allow them to cool. Top with the chocolate whipped cream and grate a chocolate chip over top. (A Microplane grater works best here.)
Chocolate Whipped Cream
Place the cream and confectioner’s sugar in a mixing bowl and whip them together until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the chocolate extract or liqueur and continue to whip until medium peaks form. Place the whipped cream into a piping bag for a more elegant look or simply dollop a spoonful on top of each tart.