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I am not a Girl Scout, but I have eaten plenty of Girl Scout cookies. When I got a chance to participate in the Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest, I jumped right in. I picked up 5 boxes of cookies, a combination of Samoas, Thin Mints, and Trefoils and headed back to my kitchen. I won't lie, I opened up a box of Thin Mints and ate a few right away, just to get the creative juices flowing. Creating a recipe with the cookies was going to be a challenge. I wanted the cookie to stand out and be an integral part of the recipe. At the end, I chose Samoas - "Tender vanilla cookies, covered with caramel, rolled in toasted coconut, and striped with a rich, chocolatey coating."
Instead of creating a dessert recipe, I chose to go in a savory direction. I crushed the cookies in a food processor and used them in combination with Panko crumbs, almonds, and Szechuan and Cayenne peppers as a coating for chicken tenders. And because you can never have enough cookies, I added extra Samoas to the rice noodle salad.
Girl Scout Samoas Chicken Tenders and Noodle Salad
For the Chicken
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
1 pound chicken tenderloins
For the Dressing
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Salad
8 ounces rice stick noodles
1 cup red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup jicama, julienned
1 orange, cut into segments
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
2 Samoas, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet.
2. Pulse Samoas and almonds in a food processor (separately), until coarsely ground. Combine Samoas, almonds, bread crumbs, pepper and salt in a bowl. This is the coating for the chicken tenders.
3. Brush chicken tenders with spicy brown mustard. Press the tenders into the Samoas coating and place on top of a cooling rack.
4. Bake the chicken tenders for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
5. While the chicken tenders are baking, cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.
6. In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Once cooked, rinsed, and drained, add the noodles to the dressing and toss to combine.
7. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the noodles.
When it comes to developing a recipe, you can never know exactly how it will turn out until you eat it. I can't tell you how many people warned me that chicken and Samoas would be a weird combination. Eat your words! :) This salad came together like a happy troop of Girls Scouts. Spicy and sweet at the same time, this is a healthy and fun way to enjoy Samoas for lunch. And go ahead, have a few extra for dessert!
What is your favorite Girls Scout cookie?
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