Healthy-ish Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Donuts

Keep reading! You’ll get 4 ways I adapted donut recipes to mimic our 4 favorite Girl Scout cookies!

Have you finished all your Girl Scout Cookies yet? Have you even had your Cookie Season?

In NJ, cookie season begins in January (with sales) and continues through delivery in March and cookie booth sales into April. With this year’s Covid-19 quarantine, we just barely got our cookies delivered before we had to start our social distancing. And they cancelled all the events in our town. And there was no way to sell or get any more Girl Scout cookies. And we hadn’t really had our fill.

How could I get more of the Girl Scout cookie flavors if I couldn’t get the cookies? I went scrolling around on Pinterest and was inspired to make donuts. But I had to give them my own twist, both in shape and to make them a bit more healthy. Which flavors? Our favorites: Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Samoas and Lemon Ups.

If you’re going to cook with me, you should know that I do not follow a recipe exactly, ever. Even the first time.  I try to stick closer when baking, but somehow, my brain always says, “Hey, why don’t you sub out this flour for that and you don’t need all of this and why don’t you use a little more of that?” Most of the time, the recipes are successful. Sometimes they are not as successful. Every once in a while,  I need to throw the final product away. 

So you could say that I still haven’t learned my lesson and still experiment. But, I try to keep to the basic formulas. Because baking is a science. And it is much less forgiving than cooking a soup in the Instapot! I made the mistakes for you, so now you can benefit from all of my flops! Here are the successful donut hole adaptations of our 4 favorite Girl Scout Cookies.

Tagalong Munchkins – Inside Out

Here’s how I adapted Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe: to become my Tagalong Munchkins. 

Instead of using the donut pan I usually do, I decided on using my cake pop pan to make “munchkins” and to stuff the insides using a piping bag and tip instead of coating the outside. I doubled the recipe and it was plenty. OF COURSE, I didn’t follow the recipe, exactly. 

I used ½ cup almond flour to replace some of the white flour. And I heated the peanut butter to make it easier to whisk with the rest of the wet ingredients. And after 8 minutes, they weren’t fully cooked, so I kept resetting a 3 minute timer and checking until the toothpick came out clean. It was a total of about 15 minutes.

While they were cooking, I went to work on the filling. I wanted it to be more of a “frosting” consistency than a glaze, but didn’t want to make a buttercream (especially because I wasn’t going to be using a lot AND didn’t want to use up all my vegan butter – vegan products are SO DIFFICULT to get delivered during this quarantine). 

I went with peanut butter for the base and chocolate chips, heated in the microwave for about 20 seconds. It stirred to a good consistency, but when I tasted it, it was too peanut buttery. I added about a teaspoon of cocoa powder and PERFECT! I put in a piping bag and squeezed into the center of each munchkin. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can make a hole in the center with a small knife or straw and then use that small knife or straw or ziplock bag with the corner snipped to fill.

Extra filling has been saved for other purposes. Maybe I’ll make vegan peanut butter cups. Or just squeeze it directly into my mouth. Only time can tell!

For the filling, here are the approximate measurements: ¼ cup peanut butter plus 2-3 Tbsp of chocolate chips. Put both in a glass measuring cup and heat for about 20 seconds in the microwave on high. Stir until chips are melted and add cocoa powder 1 tsp at a time until it tastes “just right” to you. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then put inside of munchkins using the method described above.

They look pretty good, right?

Thin Mint Munchkins

These donuts were born from Lexi’s recipe: with added peppermint extract and then a dip into melted chocolate. Remember, if you double the recipe, you need to double my substitutions too!

I was nervous (while in quarantine) to use up too many eggs, so I used one regular and 2 flax (2 Tbsp ground flax seeds plus 2-3 Tbsp water). I didn’t need these donuts to be paleo, so I replaced ¼ of the almond flour with whole wheat flour. I also added 2 heaping Tbsp of cocoa powder, instead of the 1 ½ that was called for, because I wanted to make sure they were extra chocolatey. 

I added about 1 tsp of peppermint extract, and eliminated the chocolate chips (since I would be dipping them in chocolate afterwards). I also used maple syrup instead of honey, because my kids prefer the flavor. Oh, and did I mention that I doubled the recipe? So go back and double everything I just said.

I used my cake pop pan (20) and it made a few extra mini muffins too. When cooked, I popped them out and let them cool sideways in the pan while I made the glaze. For the glaze/dip, I melted chocolate chips with coconut oil and a drop of peppermint extract. I dipped halfway and then put on a plate. When all were dipped, I put the plate into the fridge so the glaze could harden. It only took only 5-10 minutes.

Chocolate Mint Glaze: Melt ¼ cup chocolate chips with 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Add the slightest drop of peppermint extract. Mix well and dip halfway.

Final results: Amazing! The only thing missing, my tween informed me, was the crisp crunch when you bite into a thin mint cookie. But I’m willing to forgo that for these amazingly soft bites!

Almost Samoas Munchkins

Samoas cookies have a complicated history with me. My mother always loved coconut, so they were one of her favorites. We always had a box when cookie season came around. I decided, sometime around high school, that I didn’t like coconut. I didn’t like the texture or chew of it, so I wouldn’t eat anything with coconut in it or coconut-flavored.

It took almost 20 years for me to give it another chance. I think that it was during one of my Reset Diets, when I was off white/added sugar, that I decided to buy the unsweetened coconut flakes and sprinkle it on my oatmeal. Not bad. I could snack on it. I decided that I would buy it again. 

The next GS cookie season that rolled around, I decided to give samoas another chance. Wow! I loved the caramel, plus chocolate, plus the extra chew of the coconut. I started liking coconut milk and coconut whipped cream. I now liked coconut. Then, a few years ago, I gave up all dairy (belly issues), and with that, samoa cookies.

I haven’t attempted to try a dairy free version of the cookie yet, (though there are plenty out there on Pinterest) but thought that a donut version would be easy to do. Vanilla donut, chocolate dip on the bottom, dairy free caramel dip and coconut on the top.

I found a really good basic vanilla donut recipe from The Busy Baker: to use as my samoas donut base. Hers are dipped in cinnamon and sugar, but I just took the donut recipe itself and made a few adaptations (Would you expect any less?).

I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the white flour and only used ½ cup of sugar (the toppings will add to the sweetness). I left out the cinnamon and nutmeg. I used almond milk plus 1 tsp vinegar for the buttermilk. I also added 1 tsp vanilla extract.

The toppings are a chocolate dip on the bottom (chocolate chips plus coconut oil), a date caramel and coconut on top. I made a date caramel using softened dates, coconut creamer and coconut oil blended in a mini blender/food processor. I toasted about ½ cup of shredded coconut in a pan on the stove until slightly browned.

I dipped the finished munchkins about halfway in the chocolate dip and put on parchment paper on a pan. I needed it to pool a little on the bottom to make a “stand”. 

When the chocolate had hardened in the fridge (5-10 minutes), I dipped the tops into the caramel dip and then the toasted coconut.

I then put back in the fridge to harden a bit again. A little chocolate drizzle on top and they’re perfect! Don’t you think?

Only comment from my teens is that it could use a little more date caramel, maybe filling the center before dipping it and coating it with coconut.

Date Caramel: 10-12 large dates soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes, then drained, about ¼ cup coconut creamer (or coconut milk), 1-2 Tbsp melted coconut oil. Blend until smooth in a mini food processor or blender.

Chocolate Glaze: Melt ¼ cup chocolate chips with 1 Tbsp coconut oil.

Lemon Polka Dot Munchkins

(These are NOT dairy free)

The Lemon Ups cookies were DEFINITELY the easiest ones to replicate. I have a lemon chia seed muffin recipe from Hidden Ponies: that I make at least once a month for my kids. When you get the chance, try it in muffin form!

I make it “for my kids” because I don’t like lemon for dessert. Or in any sweet things except sorbet. Not lemon meringue pie or lemon scones or lemon custard. Nope. And that goes for you too, lime.

So back to the recipe. I decided to learn to make these for the kids after they devoured lemon poppy seed muffins at a brunch we went to. All of them liked the same flavor! It was like lightning striking!

Because it was for breakfast, I needed it a bit more nutritious than all the sugar laden ones. When I saw “chia seeds” in my Pinterest recipe search, I knew I needed to read further. Butter and Greek yogurt (dairy) were fine, since I wasn’t going to eat them anyway. I used whatever flavor Greek yogurt I currently had in the fridge (vanilla or plain). It became a family favorite immediately!

I replaced all of the flour with whole wheat flour, and reduced the sugar from 1 cup to ¾ cup (because I’m going to use the glaze). And if I don’t have a fresh lemon, I use lemon juice (and put a few tsp in the mix in place of the zest). I decided to leave in the chia seeds, even though the cookies don’t have them because I don’t want to mess with a good thing. I think you can leave them out if you want, though I haven’t tried.

I love using a cookie scoop to portion out batter – for muffins, cupcakes, cake pops and cookies. I didn’t think I was OCD about size and shape, but there’s something oddly satisfying about seeing all of the muffins/cookies/cupcakes all lined up evenly.

Here they are after they baked! Aren’t they cute?

Let’s dip them in the glaze (lemon juice and confectioners sugar) and put in the fridge 5-10 minutes to set. 

WOW! That was a long post. Hopefully, you made it to the end! Thanks for your interest and hope you enjoy this fun twist on old Girl Scout favorites! Let me know if you make them or if you have any GS cookie inspired recipes too!

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