Monmouth County, NJ: It's that exciting time of year again! Last month Girl Scout Cookie season began and thousands have been selling daily! In 2019 almost 10,000 Girl Scouts in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, sold more than one million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies! All of that money earned stayed local! The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world! Who can resist that?

This new year brings in more deliciousness, creativity, and fun than ever, and all is enjoyed in the spirit of giving back!  In celebration of their famous Cookies, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore began with a press conference last month announcing the February cookie competition. The press event was also held to celebrate 8 year-old Girl Scout Brenna McCormick of Middletown, NJ. Brenna was chosen to be featured on the boxes of Thanks-A-Lot cookies. Brenna is a 3rd grade student at Bayview Elementary School in Middletown. 

The Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore's next cookie celebration is this week. On Thursday evening a cookie dessert competition will be held among chefs in Monmouth and Ocean counties. The funds raised will provide girls in need better access to Girl Scout leadership experiences. It's the perfect learning experience of combining entrepreneurship with charitable giving- learning experiences that last a lifetime.

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The event; “TopCookie - A Girl Scout Cookie Competition, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, 6-9 p.m., at Asbury Lanes, a vintage bowling alley and entertainment venue in Asbury Park. 

The delicious fundraising event will feature desserts created by local chefs using Girl Scout iconic cookies, including Do-Si-Dos, Tagalongs, Samoas, S’mores, Trefoils, Thin Mints, and the new Lemon-ups. The new Lemon-ups cookie boasts a zesty lemon flavor, and is conversational as each cookie has a motivational message like "I am a Go-Getter, " or "Squeeze the Day!" 

“Girl Scouts get their first taste of entrepreneurship from the Girl Scout Cookie Program,” said Eileen M. Higgins, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. “We are pleased to introduce a fun way to highlight this signature program, which has become the largest girl-led business in the world and make it possible to raise funds so more local girls can benefit from Girl Scout activities.”

At the February 6th event, guests and celebrity judges will sample the tasty desserts and cast their vote for their favorite concoction, while the community will also be invited to weigh-in on their favorite participating restaurant by purchasing votes.

Restaurants vying for the People’s Choice Award and TopCookie title include:

  • McLoone’s Restaurants, multiple locations in Monmouth County and beyond
  • Nicholas Creamery, Atlantic Highlands and Fair Haven
  • Ocean County Center for Culinary Arts Training, Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis, Little Egg Harbor
  • Ohana Grille, Lavallette
  • Talula’s, Asbury Park

Popular restauranteurs and philanthropists Steve Bidgood, owner of Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, and Tim McLoone of McLoone’s Restaurants, will be emcees at the cookie competition.  Celebrity judges include: world-renowned Chef David Burke of DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke in Sea Bright; Patty Caneda, owner of the Cuban- fusion restaurant Caneda’s White Rooster in Toms River; Jeremy Grunin, of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation; Tom Hayes, director of Consumer and Community Relations at New Jersey Natural Gas; and Carol Stillwell, chief executive officer of Stillwell-Hansen, Inc.

Tickets for the benefit are $75 and include tastings of dessert entries, light dinner fare, cash bar and bowling.

For event information, sponsorship opportunities and tickets, click HERE, or call (800) 785-2090 or e-mail: topcookie@gsfun.org.  

With her photo on the cookie boxes, Brenna McCormick was quickly introduced to what it was like to be famous... locally famous anyway! At last month's press conference Brenna, on the step and repeat had hundreds of pictures taken with special guests and of course her mom!  Brenna enjoyed it so much that she wanted to share some celebrity mingling with her friends! So...recently Brownie Troop 60173 from Middletown was treated to a tasty tour of the DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke in Sea Bright by none other than the chef himself. Celebrity Chef Burke invited the Brownie Troop to sample and give him feedback on a new dessert he is creating for the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s TopCookie dessert competition.

The girls gave him a thumbs up for the tasty treat made with the newest Girl Scout cookie flavor, Lemon-Ups. 

Burke’s dessert isn’t part of the competition, as he is one of the judges. However Burke's dessert  will be the welcome dessert as guests arrive to the fundraiser on Feb 6th--sounds yummy! All proceeds from the benefit will support local Girl Scouts - a win/win!

Guests at the cookie competition will get to savor Burke’s lemon creation AND five other competing desserts that local restaurants are whipping up with iconic Girl Scout cookies. Burke will be one of the judges at the event selecting the top dessert out of the competitive five, which will earn the TopCookie Award.

Burke comments, " I enjoy supporting the event because I believe in entrepreneurship and the opportunities that the Girl Scout cookie sales provide girls."

About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves more than 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For over 107 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner, or donate, visit gsfun.org or call (800) 785-2090