I should probably not be confessing this during Girl Scout cookie season, but I was nearly kicked out of Brownies. There was a ceremony — a big deal, supposedly, where you cross a fake bridge into Girl Scout-land — and I had to sit in the corner while the other 9-year-olds practiced the bridge walk. I think I got in trouble for talking.
I wanted to be a Girl Scout. I sold tons of cookies — the most in my troop — as a Brownie (OK, my dad bought most of them). I loved the idea of collecting the most badges and of wearing them across my chest like a prize ribbon at the fair. But as I sat in the auditorium at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School that afternoon and listened to the Girl Scout leader discuss the merits of trading in my brown dress for a green one, I just couldn’t do it. That bridge had not only not been crossed, it had been burned.
Cookie season always reminds me of this. Sure, it still stings a little, but over the past 30, 40 years or so, I’ve developed a reliable coping strategy: a few boxes of Peanut Butter Patties (aka “Tagalongs”), stashed in my freezer, eaten in twos and threes, until the next six-week selling season rolls around again.
I might as well tell you, these cookies that remind me of Reese’s peanut butter cups are my favorites. They are not just fine on their own — they are fabulous! As are many of the other varieties.
But this year, I challenged myself to come up with recipes using Girl Scout cookies. And I love a challenge, especially one that involves cookies. There’s no sew-on badge for my efforts, but these resulting sweet treats — a raspberry tart, peanut butter blondies, mint ice cream and apple-cranberry crisp — are reward enough.