Girl Scout cookies have arrived. The Do-Si-Dohs, Trefoils and Thin Mints are irresistible. Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle celebrates the locally-made cookie by showing us how to make her fabulous fakes. She has her own version of a thin mint. And she's showing a grown up dessert featuring the flavors of Girl Scout cookies including a refrigerator cake that uses cookie dough as its base.
Have you thought about the skills a Girl Scout gains from selling cookies? Most of us haven't. We buy the cookies and simply think that our money is funding the organization. Selling is important but the skills each girl attains will go with them for the rest of their lives. Five primary skills are focused upon for cookies sales: Goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Cookie sales is a key aspect of scouting going back to the early 1900's. Scouts used to bake cookies and sell them door to door. This changed when the organization enlisted the help of commercial bakeries.
There are now two commercial bakeries that bake all of the Girl Scout cookies sold across the U. S. One is in Virginia. The other is right here in Louisville, Kentucky. Whether you were in scouts or not, you have probably tasted the iconic flavors of Trefoils (shortbread is the oldest dating back to the early 30s), Thin Mints (dating back to late 40's), Coconut Macaroons now Samoas (late 50's), Tagalongs (peanut butter flavored cookies started appearing early 60's), and Do-si-dos (first noted as a Peanut butter Oatmeal in 1973). These plus several other flavors like lemony Savannah Smiles, caramel Dulce-de-leche, and fruity Thank You Berry Munch help generate a hefty income for the Girl Scouts organization.
In 2013 according to Business Insider, Girl Scout cookies generated $800 million in sales which means 200 million boxes of cookies were sold. The top seller last year with 25% of sales was Thin Mints, followed by Samoas (19%), Tagalongs (13%), Do-si-dos (11%), and Trefoils (9%). But what do you do once you've eaten all you've bought? If you are pining away for the flavors of Girl Scout cookies, you can make copycat cookies. From a health standpoint, many gluten intolerant people, even vegans can't enjoy most Girl Scout cookies. When presented with a recipe, substitutions can be made and everyone can taste the flavors that have made these cookies an institution on the American culinary timeline.
Girl Scout cookies are not fussy. They are fun, traditional flavors that have universal appeal. This makes Girl Scout cookies perfect for get togethers like a book club gathering. In fact, a fantasy Girl Scout cookie party is a fun way to enjoy cookies and drinks while socializing. Have each guest make a cookie that they would like to see as a Girl Scout cookie flavor. Parameters are nothing fussy, too delicate, using easily available ingredients. You may even require that the cookies are given a name, and boxed in fantasy packaging that reflects the flavor profile of the cookies. Guests can then vote on the best representation, taste, and name. Of course, the cookies will serve as the party food along with drinks. An even more grown-up approach is to steer away from cookies and flavor a dessert with tastes reminiscent of Girl Scout cookies.
For example, mint and chocolate utilizing a crisp cookie and chocolate glaze can be taken to the next level by creating a cookie cake much like the refrigerator cakes from the 50's and 60's. Shortbread cookies can be crumbled, frosting added, and rolled into cookie balls. Coconut macaroons are perfect for drizzling with caramel and chocolate to evoke memories of Samoas. An oatmeal pie crust with peanut butter filling will make you swear you are eating a Do-si-do. Once you start brainstorming, the ideas will come together for you. To get you started, the following recipe is my copycat for Thank You Berry Munch cookies.
Cranberry Crispies (the flavor profile of Thank You Berry Munch)
Makes: 3-1/2 - 4 dozen
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup shortening, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups crispy rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
¾ cup chopped dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape bowl.
Add egg, and vanilla; mix. Scrape bowl.
Stir together flour and baking soda in a small bowl add in one addition and mix until smooth.
Finally, add cereal, cranberries, and chips. Stir in until incorporated.
Scoop by teaspoonfuls, roll between palms, place on prepared sheet, and lightly press down on tops. Leave 1" between cookies.
Bake 9 minutes or until just beginning to color. Cool 2 minutes on sheet then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store covered at room temperature.
FREE "FABULOUS FAKES" COOKIE RECIPES!
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Fabulous Fakes "Girl Scout" Cookie Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
About Janine Washle:
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.