Thursday, March 21, 2013

Foodie Fare "Excess Girl Scout Cookies" by Brian Rounds 3/22/13

If you’re like me, come early March you have people delivering boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to you. My typical order, per Girl Scout, is a box of each of the following: Thin Mints, Caramel Delights and Peanut Butter Patties. The problem here is that I typically get hit up by three or four people – this is an, at least to me, an inordinate amount of cookies. Some people may argue with me about that, though.

A few years ago, I decided to take my excess cookies and re-write a recipe using them. My Great-Aunt Mary, my grandmother’s sister, is another culinary inspiration of mine. She lived in an apartment downstairs from my grandmother. I remember smelling her apple pies baking from upstairs. She made her own pie crust, peeled every apple, cored them, and then sliced them up all by hand. This, in addition to the smell of popcorn popping is another fond scent-memory from my childhood. My Great-Uncle Tooti, her husband, was a pro at roasting a chicken with potatoes and carrots all around it. Between my great-aunt, great-uncle and my grandmother that house always smelled amazing.

My Great-Aunt Mary, whom I called Aunt Mary, used to make these little cherry tarts. They started with a Nilla Wafer, a layer of cheesecake filling, and then a dollop of cherry pie filling all in a cupcake tin. My brother, Keith, and I would devour these bites whenever we had the chance. Two were enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, three were just indulgent and sinful.

As I got older and started understanding the addiction that comes with Girl Scout Cookie season, I started buying my own cookies since my parents were just as addicted to them as I was, and I didn’t want to share. When I got my first apartment, I was trying to come up with a new dessert idea and looked at my cookie supply. I had a box of Thin Mints and a box of Peanut Butter Patties left. I decided to go for it and marry the cherry tarts and these really great, perfectly sized cookies. 

I never got her exact recipe for the tarts. I never asked, but figured any cheesecake recipe would do. I went with a Paula Deen cheesecake recipe omitting the crust instructions and adding a few things for flavor. After measuring and mixing, baking and drizzling, I had some pretty amazing tarts in front of me. The best part of this use of the cookies is that they are the perfect size for this and add a little surprise at the bottom of the tart. 

Pre-heat oven at 350*F
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
The scrapings of 1 vanilla bean

Line two cupcake pans with paper cupcake cups. Drop one cookie into each cup – one pan with Thin Mints, one pan with Peanut Butter Patties. Fill each cup with cheesecake filling 2/3 full. 

Bake each pan off individually for 20 minutes, then let them cool thoroughly before removing each cup from the pan. 

For the topping of the tarts, drizzle melted Andes Mints over the Thin Mint tarts. Drizzle, separately, melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and warmed peanut butter over the Peanut Butter Pattie tarts and let the drizzles cool completely. 

Other things you can do with this recipe:
Girl Scout Cookies:
Shortbread Cookies, with cherry pie filling on top
Lemonades, with lemon curd over the top
Non-Girl Scout Cookies:
Nilla Wafers, with cherry, apple or blueberry pie filling on top
Oreo Cookie, with chocolate chips on top

No comments:

Post a Comment