Column: Girl Scout Cookies are an Adventure(ful)

By Candace Nelson - 7:48 PM


Here's my latest column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail:

There are few certainties in life: taxes, death – and Girl Scout Cookies.

From third grade when I would knock on neighbors’ doors peddling cookies to college when I would purchase way too many cookies from a coworker’s daughter, Girl Scout Cookie Season has been a constant in my life every spring. And while the season remains, the individual cookies may change.

During my 33 years on this planet, there have been 30 Girl Scout Cookies introduced by Little Brownie Bakers, which is the baker that supplies cookies to the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond. Fun fact: Did you know that there are actually two different bakeries that supply Girl Scout Cookies? That’s why some councils may sell “Caramel Delites” while others sell “Samoas,” though they’re pretty much the same cookie. Our region is Team Samoa. Some cookies may stand the test of time and become regulars - like Thin Mints, Trefoils and Samoas, while others become one-season wonders.

Let’s touch on some of the cookies of yesteryear of which I wouldn’t mind seeing a repeat performance:

Van’Chos (1974-1983) - One sleeve each of chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies. Each cookie contains a creamy vanilla center.

Medallions (1983-1984) - One sleeve each of fudge bottom-coated or pecan praline bottom-coated shortbread cookies. The cookies were shaped as medallions and commemorated over 50 years of Girl Scouting.

Echo (1987-1989) - Two rich, dark chocolate cookies with a creamy vanilla filling.

Golden Nut Clusters (1991-1993) - A cluster of chewy caramel and pecans on a tender cookie covered with a light maple flavored coating.

Juliettes (1993-1996) - A delightfully crunchy combination of caramel and pecan covered with a fudgy chocolaty coating.

Aloha Chips (2000-2004) - The distinctive and exotic taste that only crunchy macadamia nuts and creamy white fudge chips can deliver.

Cafe Cookie (2005-2007) - Caramelized with brown sugar, this charmingly crisp cookie will delight even cookie connoisseurs. With a hint of cinnamon spice, it’s perfect with your favorite warm beverage.

Dulce De Leche (2008-2009) - As fun to say, as they are to eat! Inspired by the classic confections of Latin America, these sweet, indulgent cookies are rich with milk caramel chips and stripes.

Thank U Berry Munch (2009–2014) - Real, premium cranberries provide a delightful tartness in these hearty cookies sweetened with creamy, white fudge chips. Crispy rice delivers a satisfying crunch.

Rah-Rah Raisins (2014–2016) - A team of raisins and Greek yogurt-flavored chunks score big points in this irresistible, crispy oatmeal cookie.

That brings me to this year’s newest cookie: Adventurefuls - Indulgent, brownie-inspired cookies with caramel flavored crème and a hint of sea salt. Inspired by all the amazing things girls learn and the adventure-packed experiences gained from participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Now, think of the Adventureful brownie base as a “corner of the pan” brownie - one that is nice and crunchy around the outside. The caramel isn’t ribbon-y, but rather a caramel creme so it’s just slightly softer than the base. And chocolate, of course. There’s always chocolate. While I’m typically a Tagalong gal, the Adventureful is giving my longtime favorite a run for its money.

I like the crunch, the sweet and salty balance and the fact that every box goes to supporting young girls’ goals to be the next generation of leaders. For my money, Adventurefuls are taking the cake - or parfait. In full disclosure, I am employed by the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council, and opinions expressed here do not reflect those of the Council. They are solely my own. I’ve always loved Girl Scout Cookies, so I am excited to share my devotion – no matter where I am.

RECIPE: Ice Cream Parfait with Girl Scout Adventurefuls Cookies
When you have a cookie as good as the Adventureful, it doesn’t require a whole lot to make a delicious dessert. The crunchy cookie makes a perfect base for any indulgent ice cream, whipped cream or mousse concoction you can come up with. For this parfait, I purchased a few of my favorite sweet treats and layered them to make the ultimate dessert.

5-6 Adventurefuls Girl Scout Cookies
1 cup salted caramel ice cream Handful of mini caramel cups
1 cup vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons of whipped cream

 Directions: Crush up the Adventurefuls Girl Scout Cookies and layer half of them them in a parfait cup. Then, add a thick layer of salted caramel ice cream, pressing down to fill in any gaps from the crushed cookie. Then, add a light layer of whipped cream on top of the ice cream being careful not to mix the two together so that straight layer lines can be seen along the edges. Sprinkle in some mini caramel cups (or peanut butter if you so choose) atop the whipped cream. Begin the process again by layering the remaining crushed cookies, then the remainder of the salted caramel ice cream and whipped cream. Garnish with a whole Adventureful cookie and dig in.

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