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C is for Cookie
Girl Scouts selling tasty treats
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Brownie scout Sarah Perry is a hardcore cookie salesman, meeting prospective customers, presenting her product and skillfully taking their money. She and other scouts have sold cookies across the county, but sales are now winding down for another year.

Some of us have a favorite Girl Scout cookie we crave all year, and anxiously await their arrival. Locally, 53 girls have participated in the sale this year, and have sold almost 9,000 boxes of cookies.
The process serves several purposes, all beneficial to the girls. They learn about the business of selling a product, set goals and tackle a marketing strategy, learn to handle money and even learn a lesson or two about customer service.
Six-year Girl Scout veteran Hannah Bailey and third-year scout Sarah Perry set up at Dairy Queen to meet and greet customers in hopes to interest them in cookies. The idea to partner with Dairy Queen was customers would purchase their favorite flavor of cookie and have it made into a Blizzard.
Varieties available this year included Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Rah-Rah Raisins and Savannah Smiles.
Dairy Queen owner/manager Sam Momim was happy to help out the local scouts by letting them sell their cookies there, and some customers did customize their Blizzard.
“I try to help out when I can,” said Momim. “We are always open to the community and offer our support.”
Local leader Deborah Hutchins says the funds from the cookie sale go toward service projects, patches and awards, materials for crafts and other projects, and fun excursions like camping or going to Nashville to learn how our government works.
For nearly 100 years, girls, their parents and leaders have worked tirelessly to provide cookies to the public. The early beginnings were in the kitchens of members and their moms made cookies and sold them to finance troop activities. They made a simple sugar cookie and sold them door-to-door for 25 to 30 cents per dozen. 
It can be fun to cook with Girl Scout cookies, and some favorites follow:
Girl Scout Bridging Bars            
1-1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup canola oil
14 ounces milk chocolate, melted
1 package (8 ounces) Girl Scout Do-si-dos Peanut Butter Sandwiches cookies, coarsely crushed
2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
Line a 13x9-in. pan with parchment paper, letting ends extend up sides.
In a large bowl, beat peanut butter and oil until blended. Add melted milk chocolate and crushed Do-si-dos cookies. Spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Whisk a third of the whipped cream into melted semisweet chocolate until smooth and shiny; fold mixture into remaining whipped cream. Spread over cookie layer. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, dust with baking cocoa. Lifting with parchment paper, remove from pan. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Peppermint Chip Cheesecake
1 package (10 ounces) Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies, crushed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
FILLING:
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
3–4 drops green food coloring, optional
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Add eggs and egg yolk; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the cream, extracts, and food coloring if desired. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for 50–60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.
Delightful Caramel Bars
Delightful Caramel Bars is the grand prize winner and the Cookies/Brownies/Bars category winner of the 2015 National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest Sponsored by Taste of Home. 
1 package (9 ounces) Girl Scout Shortbread/Trefoils, divided
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
8 Girl Scout Caramel deLites/Samoas cookies, coarsely chopped
25 caramels
1/4 cup evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 12 Shortbread/Trefoils in a food processor; pulse until crushed. Reserve for topping.
Place remaining Shortbread/Trefoils cookies in food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter; pulse until blended. Press onto bottom of an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Layer with chocolate chips and chopped Caramel deLites/Samoas cookies.
In a large saucepan, combine caramels and milk. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until caramels are melted. Pour over Caramel deLites/Samoas cookies; sprinkle with reserved crushed cookies. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 2 dozen.