Tag Archives: cookies

Homemade girl scout cookie_cover

The Dish: Homemade Girl Scout Cookies

Did you miss your chance to buy cookies this year? Did you already devour every tasty crumb of the ones you bought? No adorable little girls selling in your neighborhood? Worry not, you can easily make your own cookies to hold you over until next year.

The internet is full of recipes for and using Girl Scout cookies. My personal favorite is Thin Mints, but you can also find dozens of recipes for Tagalongs and Samoas. Visit the Girl Scout website for recipes galore on how to make your own cookies or what to do with the 40 boxes you did buy!

Thin Mints
Makes 3-4 dozen

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.

Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Slice dough into rounds no more than 1/4 inch thick (if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Coating:

10-oz dark or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt on high power in the microwave, stirring every 45-60 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Chocolate should have a consistency somewhere between chocolate syrup and fudge.

Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.

Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it smooth and easy to dip into.

Store cookies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Click below for a printable version of the recipe
Homemade girl scout cookies_outlined

girl.scouts

The Business of Girl Scouts

This will be a great year for women – and in part, you have the Girls Scouts to thank for that.

Right now we have two things to celebrate: The Girl Scouts’ wrapping up another successful year of cookie sales – last day of booth sales are March 30 – and a record number of women in the U.S. Senate. How do these relate?

Fourteen of the 20 female Senators sworn into Congress recently are former Girl Scouts. If you include those in the House of Representatives, 60 percent of females currently in Congress are Girl Scout alumnae. This number is especially impressive when you consider that only eight percent of women in the U.S. participate in Girl Scouts during adolescence.

I can go on with statistics – 80 percent of female business owners and 64 percent of females CEOs were Girl Scouts – but what is really important is how the Girl Scouts creates leaders.  Leaders who are sales executives, financial planners, economists or the managers of their household budget.

The answer:  It’s in the Cookies.

Probably the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when thinking about the Girl Scouts is the Cookies, most likely Thin Mints (one of my favorites). Many consider the Girl Scout Cookie Program a fundraiser, and, yes, with revenue of $715 million each year – 20 times that of membership dues – it is a major fundraiser. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the largest girl-run business in the world. It is also the largest financial literacy and entrepreneurial training program for girls in America.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls the basics of running a business by emphasizing “The 5 Skills.” These are skills that I use every day as the CEO of the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council and are skills taught in every business school in the country. Businessmen and women making millions of dollars each year have based their success on these skills. And I, too, learned the “The 5 Skills” when I was a Girl Scout:

Goal setting: Setting concrete goals help develop strategies and measure success. Girl Scouts set individual goals as well as goals to reach as a Troop, much like a business leader sets personal and professional goals.

Decision making: Perhaps one of the biggest differences between a leader and a follower is the ability to make a smart decision quickly. During the Cookie Program, Girl Scouts make their own decisions as to how they approach each potential customer, the amount of effort they want to put into their cookie sales as well as what the aforementioned goals should be.

Money management: You can’t make money if you can’t manage it. The Cookie Program teaches something to every age group: Daisies and Brownies (our youngest members) add and subtract, Cadettes and Juniors practice multiplication, and Seniors and Ambassadors estimate how many boxes need to be purchased to be sufficient for their initial orders and booth sales.

People skills: The fact is, more confident individuals rise to the top. This confidence is gained through stepping out of your comfort zone – something each Girl Scout has to do in order to make a sale.

Business ethics: Sadly, not all business leaders are ethical – but the most successful are. Girl Scouts are taught the value of a promise and delivering on that promise. No business can last 101 years without a strong, ethical approach.

More than three million Girl Scouts are involved in the Cookie Program each year. That’s three million more girls who will grow up with skills to become business leaders. And while the statistics of women in business and politics are not equal to the opposite sex yet, you can bet on these three million to help close the gap.

So when you go to pick up your last batch of cookies for the year from that Girl Scout cookie booth set up outside a local business, don’t forget to ask her about her goals when she sells you those boxes of cookies!

Tamara Woodbury is currently CEO of Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Inc., one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 24,000 girls throughout central and northern Arizona. Her leadership and the success of the Girl Scouts in Arizona has been recognized nationally and locally for innovative programs and business practices. She can be reached at twoodbury@girlscoutsaz.org.

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Cookies From Home Launches New Corporate Program

Cookies From Home, famous for their delicious homemade baked cookies and customizable gifts, is offering businesses across the state the opportunity to serve their clients and employees fresh-baked cookies and brownies throughout the day at their own offices. The cookie and brownie dough comes pre-portioned, and ready-to-bake with consistent quality and taste every time.

“We see this as an opportunity to advance our already successful corporate sales program,” says Corey Meiteen, owner of Cookies From Home. “The opportunity this presents is immense.”

Business customers will receive a free loan of a compact oven with the minimum purchase of four cases per month, shipped on a bi-weekly basis to bake fresh on site for customers and employees. Cookie dough flavors offered include Chewy Chunk, Oatmeal Raisin, Triple Treat, Fudge Wheels, and Sugar Mama. Customers can also order gluten free varieties in Chewy Chip and Fudge Wheels. Frozen brownie dough is available in Fudge and Walnut Fudge varieties. New varieties are planned to be added on an ongoing basis.

“Offering your customers fresh baked cookies is one way to increase customer and employee loyalty,” says Meiteeen. “This is a great opportunity for car dealerships, financial institutions, retail stores, and much more!”

pep scone

Review: Gluten Free Creations

For those of us who have been ostracized from the underappreciated world of bagels, pizza, cookies and toast, the thought of a gluten-free treat that doesn’t taste like particleboard makes us as giddy as kids. The ever-growing numbers of people suffering with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity are often deprived of comfort foods, party snacks, wedding cake and appetizers. There are more and more gluten free items appearing on shelves, like Betty Crocker brownie mix and Udi’s bagels, but most are expensive and feel stale right out of the package, some crumble due to a total lack of moisture and others are thick and heavy in the stomach. The rare wheatless treat that has a fluffy texture like ‘real’ bread is cause for joy.

I recently stopped into Gluten Free Creations on Thomas, and I felt like a kid in a candy store. I was immediately offered samples of everything bagel, poppyseed muffin and cranberry-orange muffin that were perfectly moist and flavorful. Loaves of bread lined the shelves, and I was pleased to see that they were of the size and softness of wheat bread loaves, unlike the tiny, dense bricks of gluten free bread I find at the grocery store. I was greeted by a pleasant, engaging employee who empathized with my plight and pointed me toward some goodies.

The chewy chocolate chip cookies are best-sellers, and for good reason. I spotted a breakfast sandwich, consisting of an English muffin, sausage patty and egg, wrapped and ready. The woman helping me told me that she could warm it for me to take to go, which I couldn’t resist. But what I really stared at was the peppermint scones. When she saw me ogling, she laughed and explained that they are her favorite things in the store. Since gluten free foods can spoil much faster than those with wheat, most items must be frozen to stay fresh. As I picked up the hard scones, she assured me that when defrosted, they would be plush and moist. When I later let one warm, I found that she was very correct. I think that scone may have been the single most delicious gluten free treat I’ve ever tasted. The light drizzle of peppermint glaze, and the red specks scattered throughout, were just the right amount of sweet to offset the doughy, thick center. While this is a holiday treat, they are transitioning to luscious Maple Walnut Scones, and also have peppermint cookies so I can still have my peppermint fix.

Some of the other items available are cheesecakes, jalapeno cheese bagels, pizza crusts and doughnuts. Dry mixes like buckwheat pancakes, pizza crust and bread mix lined another wall, as well as order forms for custom cakes and cupcakes.

My lovely helper informed me of the Gluten Free Creations Cafétte on McDowell, which serves hot sandwiches and individual cupcakes. I made a trip there a few days later. Located in a strip mall, the Cafétte is easy to miss, just like the Bakery on Thomas, which is hidden behind a barbershop. Inside, there are several tables with classic red-and-white checked tablecloths. At the order counter, I couldn’t decide between a savory sandwich and a sweet indulgence, so I went with the Monte Cristo. I was pleased to find that the bread was not overly sweet, and the well-portioned meats as well as the jam served on the side were delicious. I also took a Cinnamon Roll Scone for later. While the filling was delicious, I felt there could have been a little more of it to level out the rich glaze on top.

Both bakeries carry some products that are also free of eggs, corn and soy, for those who are more sensitive or choose to eat vegan.

As a Celiac, I’m relieved to have found Gluten Free Creations. The food is excellent and the employees are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The breads don’t feel thick and heavy like store-bought brands, and are easily the same price or less for much higher-quality food. Even if you are not gluten-free, try it out. Taking wheat out of your diet can be a great change.

WHERE TO GO
Gluten Free Creations Bakery (retail and wholesale)
2940-b E. Thomas Rd.  (behind Mid-city Barber Shop)
602-522-0659
Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat.: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sun.: closed

Gluten Free Creations Bakery and Good Food Cafétte
7607 E. McDowell Rd., #108
480-990-2253
Hours: Fri.: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sat., Mon.: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Sun.: closed

pep scone

Review: Gluten Free Creations

For those of us who have been ostracized from the underappreciated world of bagels, pizza, cookies and toast, the thought of a gluten-free treat that doesn’t taste like particleboard makes us as giddy as kids. The ever-growing numbers of people suffering with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity are often deprived of comfort foods, party snacks, wedding cake and appetizers. There are more and more gluten free items appearing on shelves, like Betty Crocker brownie mix and Udi’s bagels, but most are expensive and feel stale right out of the package, some crumble due to a total lack of moisture and others are thick and heavy in the stomach. The rare wheatless treat that has a fluffy texture like ‘real’ bread is cause for joy.

I recently stopped into Gluten Free Creations on Thomas, and I felt like a kid in a candy store. I was immediately offered samples of everything bagel, poppyseed muffin and cranberry-orange muffin that were perfectly moist and flavorful. Loaves of bread lined the shelves, and I was pleased to see that they were of the size and softness of wheat bread loaves, unlike the tiny, dense bricks of gluten free bread I find at the grocery store. I was greeted by a pleasant, engaging employee who empathized with my plight and pointed me toward some goodies.

The chewy chocolate chip cookies are best-sellers, and for good reason. I spotted a breakfast sandwich, consisting of an English muffin, sausage patty and egg, wrapped and ready. The woman helping me told me that she could warm it for me to take to go, which I couldn’t resist. But what I really stared at was the peppermint scones. When she saw me ogling, she laughed and explained that they are her favorite things in the store. Since gluten free foods can spoil much faster than those with wheat, most items must be frozen to stay fresh. As I picked up the hard scones, she assured me that when defrosted, they would be plush and moist. When I later let one warm, I found that she was very correct. I think that scone may have been the single most delicious gluten free treat I’ve ever tasted. The light drizzle of peppermint glaze, and the red specks scattered throughout, were just the right amount of sweet to offset the doughy, thick center. While this is a holiday treat, they are transitioning to luscious Maple Walnut Scones, and also have peppermint cookies so I can still have my peppermint fix.

Some of the other items available are cheesecakes, jalapeno cheese bagels, pizza crusts and doughnuts. Dry mixes like buckwheat pancakes, pizza crust and bread mix lined another wall, as well as order forms for custom cakes and cupcakes.

My lovely helper informed me of the Gluten Free Creations Cafétte on McDowell, which serves hot sandwiches and individual cupcakes. I made a trip there a few days later. Located in a strip mall, the Cafétte is easy to miss, just like the Bakery on Thomas, which is hidden behind a barbershop. Inside, there are several tables with classic red-and-white checked tablecloths. At the order counter, I couldn’t decide between a savory sandwich and a sweet indulgence, so I went with the Monte Cristo. I was pleased to find that the bread was not overly sweet, and the well-portioned meats as well as the jam served on the side were delicious. I also took a Cinnamon Roll Scone for later. While the filling was delicious, I felt there could have been a little more of it to level out the rich glaze on top.

Both bakeries carry some products that are also free of eggs, corn and soy, for those who are more sensitive or choose to eat vegan.

As a Celiac, I’m relieved to have found Gluten Free Creations. The food is excellent and the employees are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The breads don’t feel thick and heavy like store-bought brands, and are easily the same price or less for much higher-quality food. Even if you are not gluten-free, try it out. Taking wheat out of your diet can be a great change.

WHERE TO GO
Gluten Free Creations Bakery (retail and wholesale)
2940-b E. Thomas Rd.  (behind Mid-city Barber Shop)
602-522-0659
Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat.: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sun.: closed

Gluten Free Creations Bakery and Good Food Cafétte
7607 E. McDowell Rd., #108
480-990-2253
Hours: Fri.: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sat., Mon.: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Sun.: closed