Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Announces Winners of TopCookie Dessert Competition and Benefit
The cookies have been crumbled, the votes have been tallied, and Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is pleased to announce the champions of its 2021 TopCookie dessert competition and fundraiser.
The live competition took place March 16 at the Council’s Program Activity Center in Farmingdale and results were revealed March 21 at the premiere viewing of the dessert showdown on the Girl Scout YouTube channel and on Facebook.
Charlie’s of Bay Head was selected TopCookie winner by a jury of judges, led by celebrity chef David Burke, and Cardinal Provisions located in Asbury Park captured the People’s Choice Award.
Proceeds from the two-part event will fund leadership programs and experiences for local Girl Scouts “designed to keep them connected and engaged during this challenging time,” said Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore CEO Eileen Higgins.
Chefs from four Jersey Shore restaurants took on the challenge of transforming beloved Girl Scout Cookies into delectable desserts that were judged on appearance, flavor, texture, and creativity. Judges sampled each dessert as the presenting chef shared how the Girl Scout Cookie was incorporated into the tasty concoctions.
"Judging this year’s competition was very difficult. The desserts were fantastic and very creative,” said Burke, a James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook editor, who was a familiar guest on TV’s Top Chef.
The judges’ choice was a beautifully plated lemon-layered dessert topped with an edible message that read “I am a leader,” a nod to one of the inscriptions stamped on the Lemon-up Girl Scout Cookie used in the dessert. It was developed by Charlie’s of Bay Head’s pastry chef Angela Goblesky of Toms River and assistant pastry chef Taylor Moyer of Forked River.
Thousands of votes were cast for the People’s Choice Award, which went to Cardinal Provisions for their Samoa-inspired dessert. The trio of female chefs created a croissant-like pastry called “xuixos” filled with bits of the Samoa Cookie topped with a coconut brittle. Votes were $1 each with a few triple vote days to boost participation from Girl Scout supporters and the community.
Also competing in the dessert contest were Marina Grille, a Belmar restaurant that created a butter cake with the Trefoil Cookie served with a coconut crème and bacon brittle, and White Chapel Projects, a Long Branch restaurant, which created an Ocean-themed dessert with Tagalongs.
Joining Burke in tasting and evaluating the desserts were: Amelia Caverly, baker and co-owner of Booskerdoo; James Costello, owner of Ohana Grill in Lavallette and the 2020 TopCookie champion; Jacki Sharpe, owner of Purple Glaze Donuts, Asbury Park; and Kacie Duesterdick and Matthew Simonik, SeastheDish, food and restaurant influencers.
The cookie competition was emceed by Emmy Award-winning journalist Kimberly Kravitz and can be viewed on the Girls Scouts of the Jersey Shore YouTube channel.
Higgins said the event raised more than $30,000 to support Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore and helped promote the hard-working restaurant community. “It’s been a difficult year for everyone. This was a fun way to come together and support each other,” Higgins added.
The top event sponsor was the Citta Foundation, Inc., while the Grunin Foundation sponsored the luncheon and live event.
Burke congratulated Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore for pulling off the virtual event. “Like our restaurants, Girl Scouts have had to pivot very quickly to stay in the game. Kudos and thank you for everything you do to help girls become leaders,” he said.
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore provides leadership opportunities to nearly 10,000 girls in Monmouth and Ocean counties. The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls lifelong lessons such as how to manage money, set goals, meet deadlines, work well with others, and to think like an entrepreneur.
Girl Scout Cookies will be available at drive-thru booths and community locations in Monmouth and Ocean counties through April. To locate a cookie booth or order cookies online, click here. or click here to learn more about Girl Scouts.