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Cookie Heaven

March 20, 2017

Not to give away any secrets, but when recently asked in an interview if I prefered cake, pie, or cookies, I chose cookies. That was a hard question, and one I struggled with for longer than I should have. And I was only able to provide a qualified answer.

We’ll save those details for later.

This past weekend I ended up at the mall. Oddly, it was Young Master Fussy that suggested the trip. After a filling lunch at Hong Kong Bakery & Bistro, we agreed to walk it off indoors and maybe grab a little dessert. He also wanted to check out a few things at the Apple Store.

Dessert for the boy took the form of a Cinnabon minibon, which is really all the Cinnabon anyone ever needs. It’s unconscionable that the chain sells a full size bun that’s at least three times the size for only a dollar more. But that’s beside the point. Because at the mall, there were Girl Scouts selling boxes and boxes and boxes of cookies.

Yes, it’s Girl Scout Cookie season. And drafting off of this annual rite, the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York are hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday for adults where chefs and bartenders from around the Capital Region will present some incredible dishes and drinks built around these classic cookies.

What does that even mean? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Let’s first make sure everyone is on board with the basics. I’m not even going to tell you about Thin Mints and Samoas. If you don’t know these two cookies, you’re beyond my reach. I’d suggest just closing this window now and coming back tomorrow.

But even those who enjoy the occasional Girl Scout Cookie might need a little refresher on some of the other cookie names and flavors.

Tagalong – Peanut butter patties
Trefoils – Traditional shortbread cookies
Do-si-dos – Peanut butter sandwich cookies
Savannah Smiles – Zesty lemon cookies
Toffee-tastics – Gluten-free toffee cookies

The Savannah Smiles and Toffee-tastics are new to me. The Shout-outs are gone, which is a bummer, but that’s the way these things go.

So, what does it mean to work Girl Scout Cookies into a cocktail? Well, let me share a few of the drinks that I hear are on the menu for Tuesday night.

Ama Cocina’s “Nhot Buttered Rhum”: Anejo tequila, spiced ghee, coconut Trefoil infused whipped cream, toffee drizzle and Trefoil crumbles.

Albany Country Club’s “Pina-Samoa”: A frozen pina-colada made with Malibu, fresh coconut and pineapple; topped with toasted coconut and dark chocolate shavings and paired with the Samoa cookie.

The Ruck’s “For the Love of Mint”: Van Gogh chocolate vodka, crème de cacao, and mint whipped cream.

Brown’s Brewing Company’s “Caramel Whiskey Kiss”: Jameson Irish whiskey, caramel vodka, and ginger beer paired with Samoa crumble mini cakes.

Did I mention I’m going to be judging these on Tuesday as well? Well, it’s true. Generally judging responsibilities come with a rubric already in place. And the judge’s role is to respect those criteria and deliver a verdict accordingly. I can’t wait to see how these drinks will turn out in practice.

But I am even more eager to try the savory foods that use cookies as an ingredient. This isn’t a complete list of what will be served at Tuesday’s fundraiser, and there will be desserts made with cookies too, but it does paint a picture of how chefs have conceived of the challenge. It’s interesting to see a few themes among these dishes.

Brown’s Brewing Company is presenting two savory dishes. A Moroccan Do-si-dos potato latke with apricot relish, in addition to a Trefoil tempura chicken with soy ginger sauce.

Druthers’s has a similar idea with its Samoa curried sweet potato latke, topped with a yogurt, goat-cheese Raita, Samoa & Thin Mint crumbles, and micro mint/lavender.

Old Daley Custom Catering is preparing Toffee-tastics Belgian waffles, with a rum raisin pork belly, and a granny smith apple slaw

The Ginger Man will attempt Savannah Smiles chicken over Trefoil waffles with Samoa syrup.

Normanside Country Club’s “Sicilian chicken Samoas agrodulce” consists of cipollini onions, capers, raisin, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, samoas cookies, and carrot puree.

The Ruck is making lemon shrimp arancini using Savannah Smiles.

Longfellow’s echoing the lemon theme is doina a lemon chicken meatball served over coconut rice, featuring Savannah Smiles and Samoas cookies.

And then, we have the good folks at Burger21 who are putting up a classic milkshake and french fries. There’s something to be said for keeping it simple, because this sounds remarkably good. Specifically, they will make a Do-si-do milkshake and pair it alongside sweet potato fries with Nutty Buddy dipping sauce.

Will this be the hardest thing I’ve had to judge? It’s unlikely. However, it will definitely be the sweetest. This is why we diet. Not like the diet is going all that well, but that’s a different story.

One reason I’m sharing this with you today, is that for some of you, this will sound like cookie heaven. And I know if you cookie lovers find out about this after the fact, I’ll get notes wishing I had told you earlier.

Technically, the deadline for buying tickets to this event is past, but there is a phone number and email on the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York event page that you might want to check with before you give up all hope.

It would be great to see you there and have some more friendly faces around to make sure I don’t go into sugar shock. There will be a few of my favorite Yelp Elites in attendance, a few of whom won tickets from Yelp, since Yelp is one of the event sponsors.

Which isn’t to say anyone asked me to post this, or that this is sponsored content. I saw the dishes, and I thought they were too interesting not to share. Later this week, I’ll give you some insight into the judging process, and let you know who won.

And tomorrow I’ll share the corned beef thing I was supposed to share today.

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