Well, the holidays are behind us, but never fear…a season that is almost as good is here to help us out. I’m talking Thin Mints. I’m talking Peanut Butter Patties. I’m talking Caramel deLites, people! Yes, Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us, and while I am perfectly, perfectly happy cuddling up with a box and eating them just as they are, I was tickled pink when the Girls Scouts asked me if I would be interesting in writing about a recipe that used their cookies as a main ingredient.
Would I? They were talking to a girl who made her own version of Thin Mints during non-cookie season. They were talking to a girl who has an app on her phone that lets her locate the Girl Scout cookies nearest to her house (yep, there’s an app for everything – click here!) My head started whirling with the possibilities, and one day a box of these appeared in my mailbox, courtesy of the Girl Scouts (thanks, girls!!).
Caramel deLites (I think in parts of the country these are known as Samoas)…a mouthwatering combination of vanilla and caramel and chocolate and coconut cookie bliss. I had already decided that the cookies would play the part of a sweet and crunchy crust, but now that I knew I was dealing with Caramel deLites, I knew that vanilla and chocolate and caramel needed to be an important part of the rest of it.
I whirled the cookies (yes, the whole box of them!) in my food processor with some butter and pressed the crumbs into a foil-lined square baking pan. Next, I mixed cream cheese with a little milk and sugar and Cool Whip and spread this over the cookies. Next came a layer of vanilla pudding, and then I popped the whole thing into the freezer. A few hours later I took it out, spread a little more Cool Whip on top, drizzled the whole thing with caramel sauce and tiny chocolate chips, cut them into squares and stood back.
The result was delightfully caramel-vanilla-chocolate creamy squares with a crunchy, slightly coconuty crust. I happened to have a houseful of hungry college kids at the time thank goodness, otherwise I think the Southern husband might have eaten the entire pan of them on his own. I did catch him sneaking a few of them into the recesses of the freezer for later. This is always a good sign.
So if you are also a huge Girl Scout cookie fan, and you have the strength of character to hold back a whole box for this recipe, I’m here to tell you that it’s as much of a crowd pleaser as the cookies themselves. Which proves once again that there is nothing out there as completely satisfying as a box of Girl Scout cookies.
Well, maybe bacon. If they ever come out with a bacon-flavored Girl Scout cookie, I am in deep, deep trouble.
Recipe inspired by ABC Bakers
- 1 box Caramel deLite Girl Scout Cookies
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 eight ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 four-serving package instant vanilla pudding
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (usually found near the ice cream cones)
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- Line a 9 inch square baking pan with foil, letting the edges of the foil extend past the sides. Spray with cooking spray
- Put the whole package of cookies (yes, the whole thing!) in a food processor and process until the cookies are fine crumbs. Mix with melted butter and press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and two tablespoons of milk until fully combined. Stir in 3/4 cups Cool Whip and carefully spread over the cookie crumbs.
- Whip the instant pudding mix with 1 1/4 cups milk for two minutes, and carefully pour over cream cheese layer, spreading to edges as needed. Freeze for several hours.
- Remove from freezer and carefully remove from the pan by lifting up with the edges of the foil. Peel the foil away and place the uncut dessert on a cutting surface.
- Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top of the dessert. Drizzle the caramel sauce on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Carefully cut into squares.
- You can either serve right away or let it come to room temperature (squares will be a little softer this way). Store any leftovers (ha!) in either the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how firm you like them.