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There are many ways to eat cookies

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By Kirsten Laskey

There may be nothing better than sitting down with a plate of Thin Mints or Tagalongs and a glass of milk.  But what if there was another way to enjoy these sweet treat?

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The Girls Scouts of New Mexico Trails, local chefs and artists are biting deeper into these treats and the results of their culinary explorations will be showcased during the 14th Annual Cookie Caper.

The event, which is a fundraiser for the Girls Scouts of New Mexico Trails, will be held at     6:30 p.m. April 9 at Bishops Lodge in Santa Fe.

Eleven chefs from businesses in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and other areas will unveil their one-of-a-kind desserts that all share a primary ingredient: Girl Scout Cookies.

Some of the desserts will be up for bid, while others will be available for taste tests.

In addition to desserts, 19 different artists donated original cookie jars and  plates, which will be auctioned off.

Judges will also be on hand to award first, second and third places to the desserts and table presentation. They will also hand out awards to the top three ceramic pieces. A people’s choice award will also be given out.

Hors d’oeuvres and entertainment will complete the evening.

The event may be in Santa Fe, but Los Alamos has multiple ties to the fundraiser.

Los Alamos National Bank, Zia Credit Union, CB Fox, Hill Diner, Sizzy Books, Silpada Representative Agnes Finn, Kathy’s Natural Designs and Monica’s Hair Salon are supporting the event.

Artists Thelma Hahn and Barbara Yarnell created cookie jars for the event as did   Marc Hudson from Española.

Hudson joked that he donated his work to the Caper because he does enjoy Girl Scout cookies. On a more serious note, he said, “I think the Girl Scouts is a worthy cause and I do enjoy contributing to worthy causes. I know my work will be appreciated.”

Hahn has participated in the scouts by opening the doors to her studio to them. The scouts come in and learn about pottery, which gives them an opportunity to earn badges.

It is also her second time donating a piece of pottery to the Caper. “I always enjoy a bit of whimsy,” Hahn said.

Carol Oldenborg, a Caper committee member, said the Caper is being held after some changes have occurred in the Girl Scouts. In 2007, she said the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc., was created from a merger between the Girl Scouts’ Sangre de Cristo Council and Girl Scouts of Chapparral Council. As a result, more than 5,000 girls and 2,000 adults in 23 counties are included in the New Mexico organization.

Antoinette Sheffield, another Caper committee member, said any support the organization receives is worthwhile.

The girls are “learning to be good citizens,” she said. “We promote the girls to learn leadership.”

She added scouts also do a lot of environmental stewardship.

Oldenborg said some scouts feel impacted by the organization long after they leave it.

She explained while asking an artist at an arts and crafts show in Albuquerque if she would like to donate to the Caper, the artist replied, “I would be most happy to because Girl Scouts basically saved my life.” Oldenborg said the woman remarked that while she was growing up, her father was an alcoholic and scouting helped her cope. “We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think it wasn’t making a difference in girls’ lives,’ Oldenborg said.

“We hope our enthusiasm for scouting is contagious and people want to jump in and help.”

The money from the Caper will benefit Girl Scout programs such as the two camps, which include Camp Elliott Barker near Angel Fire and Rancho del Chaparral located in the Jemez Mountains. In the past, the event has raised about $30,000. Tickets to this year’s event are $50 in advance or $60 at the door.

To make a reservation, call 505-983-6339. The final day to purchase Girl Scout cookies in Los Alamos will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today at Smith’s Food and Drug in Los Alamos.

For more information about Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc., call 505-343-1040 or 800-658-6768.