San Diego Sweet: Girl Scout Cookie Desserts

Thin Mints and other sweet classics'll pop up in interesting dishes around mid-January.

A THIN MINT, OR A SAMOA, or a Do-si-do, makes a perfect dessert, even on its own, no adjacent ice cream or cup of cocoa required. Of course, you can add a beverage to the iconic bites, and change up the whole devouring-a-sleeve experience. Pair a classic Girl Scout Cookie with a glass of milk (especially a glass of milk that's especially frosty) and you have the sort of meal-ending treat that feels both timeless and tasty. But restaurant chefs in recent years have discovered something a lot of home cooks have known through the decades: Those Thin Mints and Samoas don't always have to be enjoyed neat, or without adornment, or other ingredients added. Quite often a Girl Scout Cookie makes a stellar, more complex dessert or even drink, with just a bit of ingenuity and creativity and gourmet gumption.

SAN DIEGO RESTAURANT WEEK... is embracing this edible-yummy fact by making the iconic cookies the sweet stars of the Sunday, Jan. 15 through Sunday, Jan. 22 event. True, you'll still find great deals on savory dishes galore, from pastas to meats, but peruse the list of dine-out participants and you'll occasionally find an official Girl Scouts logo, which means this: That particular restaurant will feature a Tagalong or Trefoil in the meal-wrapping treat. 

BALI HAI... at Shelter Island is featuring a Samoa Bar, which includes vanilla shortbread, banana caramel mousse, coconut, chocolate crunch, toasted orange zest meringue." And the Marine Room in La Jolla is all about the Trefoil, so look for the cookie to be star in a chocolate panna cotta dish, as well as a pomegranate lemon tart as well as cactus pear sorbet. Where else will the cookies pop up during San Diego Restaurant Week? Cocktails, too? There are likely more participants than even the biggest Girl Scout Cookie maven can take on over eight days, so best study up as to what you want to try now.

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