As one of her final acts as New Times' food critic, Michele Laudig weighed in with her choice in our Trefoil Cookie Showdown.
We tried to one-up ourselves at Chow Bella when Girl Scout Cookie season kicked in this year.
A year ago, we experimented with Thin Mints and came up with some crazy-delicious dishes. This time around, we wondered what could be done with Trefoils, those classic shortbread cookies that have been in the Scouts' lineup for as long as we can remember.
Let me just say that this was a great choice for a challenge, because the delicate flavor made the humble Trefoil a very versatile ingredient. Our contributors created all kinds of interesting bites, and deciding on just one winner has been giving me fits.
Who gets the badge of honor this time around?
Is it newcomer Jennifer Woods, who showed up with a simple, elegant pear frangipane tart? (Nice job!) Or perhaps power eater Zach Fowle, who turned cookies into sweet potato pancakes?
Ever-clever Carol Blonder, a trained chef who routinely blows us away and has pretty much attained honorary perma-champion status for Chow Bella's showdowns, brought savory-sweet blue cheesecake bites (yep, blue cheese really works as cheesecake), while Erica O'Neil dubbed her cheeky dish "Girl Scout Shit-On-a-Shingle," and combined cookies with melted chocolate.
Another naughty entry was Kathleen Vanesian's Girl Scouts Gone Wild trifle creation, layered in a beautiful glass bowl and drenched with liqueur. As a former Girl Scout myself, I loved the subversive pairing of innocent cookies with booze.
Cyndi Coon's was the most visually expressive dish in the bunch, as she turned her cookies into an edible terrarium that tasted as sweet and light as a piece of birthday cake. So fun!
In the end, Shannon Armour's fearless savory dish was what really rocked my world, proving that Girl Scouts, er, cookies don't always have to be sweet. Her plump coconut shortbread shrimp were so delightful dipped in spicy sriracha mayo that I really wanted seconds! But like a good scout, I decided to share.