My dear friend, Jen, sent me a link to a contest. The message said “you should do this”. Yes, yes I should. So here we are. Girl Scout Cookie time. Jen’s daughter is a Girl Scout, so I knew I would be getting my hands on all the cookies I could handle (and then some), but this contest was right up my alley.
Think outside the box. Think about how you can take a Girl Scout cookie and turn it into something more. The Girl Scouts have so many different kinds of cookies these days, so deciding which cookie to transform into something more delicious wasn’t an easy decision. I couldn’t decide which to work with when ordering, so I ended up with four different kinds and a TON of ideas going crazy in my head. After taste testing them all (such a “hard” task) it was clear which one I wanted to work with. Since we just came from Georgia, birth place of the Girl Scouts, and the fact that Meyer Lemons were in season, I had no choice but to go with the Savannah Smiles. Lemon, sweet, cookie, goodness.
So here I have these delicious Meyer Lemons, buttery lemon cookies, oh and whipped cream.
I thought parfaits, cupcakes, lemon curd, but what I really wanted was something that was going to highlight all these flavors and textures. The sweet and tart of the lemon needed to be brought out by the Savannah Smiles. So…..I present to you, my submission for the Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest…..Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding Tarts!
Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding Tarts
Makes 4 – 4 inch Tarts
1 box Girl Scout Savannah Smiles
1 tbsp Meyer Lemon Zest
2 tbsp Melted Butter
Preheat oven to 350 deg.
Put Savannah Smiles cookies in a food processor. Pulse until cookies become crumbs. Add crumbs to a medium size bowl, then add the Meyer Lemon Zest. Pour melted butter into the cookie crumbs and using a fork blend together. You will notice that the cookie crumbs will start to come together. Divide the cookie crumb mixture into four and press the mixture into four buttered mini tart pans.
Put the mini tart pans on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 8 minutes. Let tart crusts cool completely before filling with the Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1/2 a Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped out
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.
- Add the milk, egg yolks, zest, vanilla bean and salt and whisk until smooth.
- Over medium heat cook mixture, stirring frequently and then constantly toward the end as it thickens.
- Remove from the heat and stir in Meyer Lemon juice and butter.
- Place a sieve over a bowl and pour the mixture through the strainer.
- Let the pudding cool to room temperature, cover with saran wrap – pressing to the top of the pudding to prevent condensation or that dreaded “pudding skin”.
- Chill pudding in the fridge for at least three hours.
- When pudding is chilled and ready to serve the tarts, fill the cookie tart crusts with the Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding. (you will have leftover pudding – feel free to grab a spoon and indulge!)
- Top the pudding with freshly whipped cream….trust me. You will want this.
I also decided to pull some Marionberries from the freezer and made a sauce to drizzle over the tarts…..it was awesome – but not necessary….the tarts are spectacular on their own.
If you don’t have a daughter or neighborhood Girl Scout to purchase these delicious cookies to make these tarts, here is the link to find out where you can stock your pantry! There is even an app for that! Public Cookie sales are from March 2nd – 18th. Go out and support these great girls.
Here’s to hoping that they chose my recipe as a finalist….and then the eventual winner!