April 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM ET
Resist the urge to devour every Girl Scout cookie in sight—if you can—and save a few for these five fantastic dessert recipes. Trust us: They'll make you want to double your Girl Scout cookie order next time.
Samoa coconut-caramel pudding pops
Coconut, caramel and chocolate—the three Cs that make up a classic Samoa cookie—are swirled into these nostalgia-inducing pudding pops. You'll need wooden popsicle sticks, easy to find at your local craft store.
Yield: 6 pops
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour + 4 hours freezing time
Shake the can of coconut milk before opening, and pour the coconut milk and milk into a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then whisk in the packet of vanilla pudding.
Continue to whisk until the pudding thickens, then remove from the heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. Stir in the caramel sauce until it melts into the pudding. Let the pudding cool for at least 20 minutes.
While the pudding cools, toast the coconut in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until golden. Remove from the heat.
Scoop a scant 1/4 cup pudding into each Dixie cup, then sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon toasted coconut on top. Divide the chopped Samoa cookies between the 6 Dixie cups, then squirt 1-2 teaspoons chocolate syrup onto the cookies.
Scoop another scant 1/4 cup pudding into each cup to top the cookies and chocolate, then sprinkle a final 1/2 teaspoon toasted coconut on top of the pudding layer. To finish, gently press a whole Samoa cookie into each cup and thread the craft stick through the cookie hole so the stick stands upright.
Place the pops on a small rimmed baking sheet and freeze for at least 4 hours, until completely frozen. Peel the Dixie cup off each pop before serving.
The pops will keep for at least 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the freezer.
Peanut butter-chocolate ice cream bombe with Tagalong cookies
This wow-worthy presentation isn't as difficult to pull together as it looks—a bowl and plastic wrap are the secret tools to making a gorgeous ice cream bombe. This one hides an extra-special surprise: a layer of Tagalong cookies.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, including chill time
Line a 2 1/2-quart freezer-safe bowl with two long pieces of plastic wrap, criss-crossing the pieces over each other to cover the inside of the bowl completely with a few inches of overhang on each side.
Spread the vanilla-peanut butter ice cream evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the plastic wrap-lined bowl with a silicone spatula. Gently press the Tagalong cookies into the ice cream to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in an even pattern.
Freeze the ice cream in the bowl for an hour; while the ice cream bowl freezes, place the chocolate-peanut butter ice cream in the refrigerator to soften slightly.
Fill in the center of the bombe with the chocolate-peanut butter ice cream, spreading it to the edges of the bowl.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Stir the butter and crushed cookies together, then spread evenly across the ice cream to make a cookie crust.
Fold the overhanging edges of the plastic wrap over the cookie crust and press gently to adhere.
Freeze for 1 more hour, then unmold the bombe by removing the plastic wrap from the cookie crust and carefully turning the bowl upside-down on a serving plate. Remove the bowl and peel off the plastic wrap completely.
Slice and serve immediately.
The bombe will keep for at least 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the freezer.
Do-Si-Do peanut butter tart
Crushed Do-Si-Do cookies become a crunchy crust for this surprisingly sophisticated peanut butter tart.
Yield: 1 9-inch tart
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes + 4 hours chill time
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Break the cookies into large chunks with your hands and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Grind the cookies into crumbs in the food processor.
Pour the cookie crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter until well combined.
Press the buttered cookie crumbs into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, making sure they are spread evenly enough to reach up the sides of the pan.
Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes, until the crust is fragrant and turns deeper golden brown. Let the crust cool on a rack while you make the filling.
With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on medium speed for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until combined. Add the vanilla, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.
Gently mix the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, then spread the filling evenly into the cooled crust.
Top with the reserved half cookie for decoration, if desired.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until completely chilled. Remove the outer tart ring before serving, and serve the tart cold.
The tart will keep for at least 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Thin Mints pound cake
Chunks of delicate Thin Mints turn into pockets of flavor when baked inside a moist chocolate pound cake. Slice and serve with your favorite pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream for a double dose of this tasty pairing.
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a standard loaf pan or spritz it with nonstick baking spray.
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well until each is incorporated before adding the next egg.
Add the vanilla extract and beat for 15 seconds more. Scrape down the bowl again.
Add a third of the flour-cocoa mixture, stirring until just incorporated, then stir in half the buttermilk. Add a third more flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk, then finally the remaining flour.
Stir in the chopped cookies, then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is slightly domed and cracking on top, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice and serve with mint chocolate chip ice cream, if desired.
The pound cake will keep for at least three days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, the pound cake can be wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw before serving.
Trefoil shortbread sandwiches
The famous dessert bars known as "millionaire's shortbread" are time-consuming to make; by using buttery shortbread Trefoils, the indulgent treat is transformed into a quick, ultra-rich bite.
Yield: about 20 sandwich cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Line a large baking sheet or cutting board with waxed paper.
Scoop about 1 teaspoon dulce de spread on the flat underside of half the Trefoil cookies, then top each with another Trefoil to form a sandwich cookie, making sure the pattern on each cookie lines up properly. Set aside.
Fill a small, straight-sided saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel or heatproof glass bowl set over the simmering water. Stir the chocolate constantly until it's melted and smooth. Stir in the coconut oil until melted into the chocolate.
Dip the sandwich cookies into the chocolate until halfway submerged. Lift the cookie out and allow any excess chocolate to drip off before placing on the waxed paper-lined sheet.
Let the cookies sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to let the chocolate harden before serving.
The cookies will keep overnight when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (But since the chocolate is untempered, it may develop safe-to-eat but not-so-pretty white spots as the cocoa butter separates from the cocoa solids.)