Delicious Inspiration: 2019 Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge


Click a photo to learn more about participating restaurants and their creative desserts.

For the sixth year in a row, chefs from some of the state’s most popular restaurants will use their culinary prowess to re-imagine one of the beloved flavors of Girl Scout Cookies — Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Trefoils — into a custom dessert menu item during the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge.

Each restaurant will feature its dessert on their menu Feb. 1–28, with a portion of the proceeds from each dessert sold directly supporting Girl Scouting in Arizona.

Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) is thrilled that both Rusconi’s American Kitchen and The Thumb are taking part again. They’ve been with us for all six years and are major supporters as a result,” says Susan de Queljoe, senior associate of marketing and communications. “It’s also so inspiring to see Original Gravity, PNPK, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, The Herb Box and Lovecraft taking part since they are all either proud woman-owned businesses or have female chefs in the kitchen.”

First-time challengers this year include Babbo Italian Eatery, Jake’s Unlimited and The Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen.

In year’s past, the Dessert Challenge Champion was decided by dessert sales. This year, the Council is hosting a poll at

But beyond conceptualizing, creating and offering the desserts on their menus, this year the chefs are also partnering with the Girl Scouts on several enhanced elements of the challenge.

“Last year, we got the idea to have a few girls join us in the kitchen to see all the moving parts that goes into both running a restaurant and delivering food to the table,” says chef Lance Whipple of Proof at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North. “It was such a hit that we are hosting ‘Girl Scout Field Trips’ with some local troops this year to really get them excited about the art, math and science behind what we do. Maybe there are even a few future chefs in our mix!”

Similarly, Aioli Gourmet Burgers, ZuZu, PNPK and others will bring girls behind the scenes this cookie season. And several partners are helping troops to set up formal boothing stations outside their venues, allowing our girls to sell cookies in what is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world: Girl Scout Cookie Season.

All the chefs hope not only to raise funds to support local Girl Scouting, but also to inspire home cooks across Arizona to buy an extra box or two this season to create their own desserts. Girl Scout Cookie season runs through March 3 this year. Locations of cookie booths can be found online at


It’s Time To Rise And Dine In The Valley

Breakfast Weekend is coming!

Photo by Grace Stufkosky

Photo by Grace Stufkosky

Valley chefs and restaurateurs are uniting this summer for Arizona Breakfast Weekend, July 30 – August 2. Diners will enjoy special dishes at breakfast and brunch spots offered at $7, $15 and $25 price points.

Confirmed restaurants so far include 5th and Wine32 Shea, Barrio Urbano, Blasted Barley, Bootlegger’s Modern American SmokehouseChase’s Diner, Distrito, Kale & Clover: Mindful Kitchen, Morning Squeeze, NcounterOriginal Breakfast House, Paul Martin’s, Perk Eatery, Proof at The Four Seasons, Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Soul CafeTicoz Latin Kitchen, Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market, Tryst CafeVirtu and all Valley locations of First Watch, The Good Egg and Wildflower Bread Company.

The brainchild of and produced by Arizona Restaurant Association, Arizona Breakfast Weekend will offer lovers of all things egg, bacon, toast the chance to dine on special breakfast dishes and brunch experiences at restaurants, diners, and hotels around the Valley of the Sun. Chefs will have the chance to curate new recipes and to wow breakfast lovers by elevating and celebrating the morning meal.

Breakfast Weekend will feature three dining price points and each restaurant that participates will select what they are offering from one of these options:

  • The Breakfast Bundle will include an over-the-top bundle of breakfast favorites for $7.
  • The Brunch Lite will include a mini-brunch style dish and Bloody Mary or Mimosa at most locations for $15
  • Brunch will be a traditional resort-style brunch offering with all the bells and culinary whistles for $25.

Some restaurants may choose to offer a “breakfast for dinner” option on July 30 and 31, check and Facebook/azbreakfastweekend for full details.

This story originally ran in the July issue of CITYSunTimes. It has been updated to include additional participating restaurants.
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