Misery Loves Cookery,
Can you have too many Girl Scout cookies? I know everyone will say, “No!” but I have to disagree.
I am an elementary school teacher (and a former Girl Scout), and every year I promise my students I will buy one box from every Girl Scout who asks. This year, I have ELEVEN brownies in my class, and FOUR brownies in the after school activity I lead.
Before the boxes take over my house, can you share a recipe or two that calls for cookies?
Wow, did you ever ask the right person this question. My daughter is a Girl Scout—scouting is her very favorite activity, actually, and there is nothing she likes better as a scout than selling cookies—so as I type, I have a several cases of Girl Scout cookies lining my living room.
Just this weekend, we made several pies for my parents’ Super Bowl party, all of which featured Girl Scout cookies. The best one, by far, was the thin mint (no-bake) cheesecake we whipped together with my favorite Girl Scout cookie.
A good food writer would have scads of beautiful pictures of the finished cheesecake to share with you—they would have set a schedule, made a few versions of the cheesecake, taken pictures throughout the process, and lit everything beautifully. The thing is, our days now are filled entirely with cookie selling and school clubs and play rehearsals and…well, let me be honest, making these pies for a Super Bowl party was a kid-inspired, last-minute, fly-by-night procedure. I vowed I’d take a good photo of the thin mint cheesecake once we got to the party, but it got eaten so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to do so.
But hey, here are two pictures of the final piece, straight out of our fridge; it won’t be here for long!
The great news is that if we can make THREE of these cheesecake/pies in less than an hour, and have them chilled and ready half a day later, think of all the no-bake cheesecakes you can make with your cookie stash!
I’m going to go ahead and admit that, in the interest of time, I purchased a cheater crust, a pre-made chocolate sandwich cookie crust. Making your own crust isn’t hard (or time-consuming), though, so if you have the time, a simple recipe like this will be your friend.
The recipe is included below, but the basics are simple: mix two softened bricks of cream cheese with one can of sweetened condensed milk, add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, and one sleeve’s worth of crushed thin mints, reserving a handful to sprinkle over the top. Pour that into a chocolate cookie shell. Bam, that’s it. If you are my kid, you will then top the cheesecake with some whole cookies in addition to the sprinkled crushed cookies, just to make it pretty. Chill it for at least four hours, then serve.
The greatest part about this recipe is that you can modify it to work with any or all of your favorite cookies. In each, you can make a basic cream cheese/condensed milk/sweetener filling. For each, you can crush up some cookies and fold them in and/or sprinkle them on top. For each, you can festoon them with extras. For example:
- With Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties, add 3 tbsp peanut butter to the cream cheese mixture, omit the peppermint extract and add vanilla, and top with crushed cookies and chocolate sauce.
- With Do-si-dos or Peanut Butter Sandwiches, use the cookies to make the crust, add vanilla instead of peppermint extract, and top with drizzled caramel, crushed cookies, and crushed, salted peanuts.
- With Samoas or Caramel DeLites, swap the sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk, then add 1/4 cup honey, omit the peppermint extract for vanilla, mix in crushed cookies, then top with caramel and chocolate drizzle and toasted coconut.
- With Savannah Smiles or Lemonades, use a graham cracker or vanilla cookie crust in lieu of a chocolate sandwich cookie crust. Add the finely grated zest and juice of one lemon to the cream cheese filling. Don’t mix in crushed cookies, but rather, sprinkle them finely over the top. Just before serving, top the cheesecake with sweetened whipped cream, and more crushed cookies (should you desire.)
I hope these cheesecakes are fun for you to make, and fun for your friends and family to enjoy. I think you’ll be a very popular person in the teacher’s lounge this winter!
And of course, thank you for supporting your local Girl Scouts.
(For those who need some cookies who aren’t lucky enough to be surrounded by a classroom of Brownies, you can order them online from my daughter here. Her troop is working very hard to save for a trip to Savannah, Georgia, to visit the original Girl Scouts headquarters. Thank you!)
- 1 chocolate sandwich cookie crust
- 2 boxes cream cheese
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 box thin mints
- In a large ziplock bag, place one sleeve of thin mints.
- Using a rolling pin or large spoon, crush the cookies roughly, then set aside.
- Place softened cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and peppermint extract in a mixer, then mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add ⅔rds of the crushed cookies to the cream cheese mixture, and fold in.
- Pour cream cheese mixture into the chocolate cookie shell.
- Sprinkle remaining cookie crumbs over the top. Decorate with additional whole cookies, should you desire.
- Chill for at least four hours, or overnight.