Girl Scouts Copycats: Ritz Thin Mints and Tagalong “Cookies”

copycat girl scout cookies

Apparently today, February 8th, is National Girl Scout Cookie Day.  I guess that’s a thing.

I was a terrible girl scout.  I was one of those kids who never liked to go outside and get dirty and just wanted to read my Babysitter’s Club books.  I liked the patches you could earn in a quiet room.

I remember one time, we drove a long way to this obstacle course.  This is in my horribly unreliable memory of childhood, so we probably drove down the street to a playground.  Anyways, we had to climb a rope thing and I remember just looking up at it and sighing, wondering when we get to the cookie part of the whole deal.

I know that may come as a shock that I was such a nerdy kid since I’m so badass as an adult. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  Sorry.  I entertain myself with my sarcastic quips. OK, back to cookies.  We all love cookies.  Am I right? That was a rhetorical question.  Of course I’m right.

So, I missed my chance to order boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year.  I flat out turned them down.  I was on my healthy kick.  I still sort of am.  But, you need a healthy balance of cookies and salads.  You just do.

These “cookies” are so very simple to make.  And you can make as little or as many as you want.  They are probably healthier and cheaper that Girl Scout cookies.  Maybe.  I did no research to support that claim.

copycat thin mints tagalongs

The secret ingredient is Ritz crackers.

Let’s go.

Copycat Thin Mints

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Sweets For Your Sweet: Tiny Turtles

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These candies are pretty, delicious, and best of all: simple. Chewy caramel is layered over toasted pecans, then topped with chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt. These candies need to stay refrigerated (since the chocolate is not tempered it will ‘bloom‘ if left at room temperature. It will be safe to eat, but not very pretty). The caramel will also be easier to unmold from the paper wrappers if it is chilled.

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Tiny Turtles

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Some Fizz in Your Dessert: Root Beer Cupcakes

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These root beer cupcakes are not any ordinary cupcakes. They’re sprinkled with Poprocks on the top, giving a fizzy, carbonated sensation with each bite. The cupcake itself is a basic vanilla cupcake, topped with root beer frosting. The Poprocks shouldn’t be added until just before serving. The root beer syrup I used to flavor the frosting is from Sonoma Co., and the unflavored Poprocks are from here. I’ve also included a foolproof quick tutorial on how to frost cupcakes without tips or a piping bag so you can avoid replicating BS’ amazing cupcake turds.

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Root Beer Cupcakes

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What’s Better Than Ice Cream or Doughnuts? Ice Cream AND Doughnuts!

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I hadn’t planned on pulling out the ice cream maker for at least two more months, but all the prime citrus is to be had RIGHT NOW. Powerless against the allure of citrus, I found myself churning a batch of Orange-Cardamom Ice Cream from Bi-Rite Creamery’s Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones last week. A giant scoop on the top of a freshly baked, irresistibly dark and chocolatey doughnut makes an incredible dessert you won’t forget.

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Dark Chocolate Doughnuts topped with Orange-Cardamom Ice Cream (Gluten-free)

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Super Snacks: Banh Mi Waffle Fry Nachos

Banh Mi Waffle Fry Nachos

So, there’s like some sort of sporting event coming up soon.  I did some Googling and it turns out it is called the “Super Bowl.”  Huh.  Sounds like an excuse to make some fancy nachos to me.

I’m kidding. I know what the Super Bowl is.  And I know that nachos must be present.  Sometimes sandwiches are invited to the party, as well. These nachos are a reinterpretation of a banh mi, which is a Vietnamese sandwich of grilled meats and pickled vegetables.  But, since I have no bread in the house besides 45-calorie sliced bread (Thanks a lot, Sarah Lee, nobody does it like you, you know) and my pantry looks like a mystery basket from Chopped, I decided to do this thing.  I pickled vegetables.  That’s a phrase I’ve never uttered.  I also used my crockpot to make an Asian marinated pork loin.  Surely these things belong on waffle fries, sprinkled with cheese.

Yes, it was meant to be.

Banh Mi Nachos

Banh Mi Waffle Fry Nachos

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Key Lime Coconut Sugar Cookies

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While these cookies might not be able to compete with the over-the-top showiness of the Twinkie Key Lime  Pie, they are a slightly more subtle (and just as delicious) alternative. Key lime zest and juice are combined with a chewy coconut sugar cookie and rolled in sparkling sugar to give them a nice crunch on the outside. Fiori di Sicilia gives these another level of complexity. You can substitute regular vanilla extract, but the splurge on this flavor is completely justified but the amazing flavor it gives. Regular granulated sugar can be substituted for the white  sanding sugar as well. This dough is best baked right after making. Chilling the dough yields an uneven cookie.

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Key Lime Coconut Sugar Cookies

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Bacon Lattice Pulled Pork Potato Pie

bacon pie

Advance apologies to anyone who has made any kind of New Year’s resolution, because this almost certainly breaks all of them. But it simply has to be shared. Attention must be paid.

My girlfriend recently proposed making Cowgirl’s Country Life’s bacon-topped pulled pork pie and I, well, just about proposed to her…Check out the link for the full recipe, but here’s the play-by-play:

1. Potatoes

potatoes

Sliced thinly and spread across a cast iron; topped with some mysteriously awesome pork spices we picked up in Denmark this summer

2. Pork

pork

This is a great way to use up the leftovers from slow cooker pulled pork. We also added some extra BBQ sauce.

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