The splendor of the ballroom at the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village was the setting for the 2013 Destin Desserts chefsí competition to benefit Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle on March 1. More than 100 guests voted for their favorite dessert from among the entries by local chefs who prepared the most amazing confections using Girl Scout cookies as the central ingredient.

Chef Jim Shirah, from Dewey Destin Harborside Restaurant, walked away with the 2013 Destin Desserts trophy from among the 10 chefs representing seven businesses competing. His award winning recipe, Girl Scout Cookie Pudding, incorporated three types of Girl Scout cookies -- the original Trefoils, Samoas and Dulce de Leches.

The entry from Chefs Vanessa Poch, Cristi Jones and Emily Pizzello, from A Cupcakery by the Sea, received second place, and Chef Jack McGuckin from Bistro Bijoux came in third place.

Girl Scout Cookie Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

4-6 Boxes Trefoils

2-3 Boxes Samoas

2-3 Boxes Dulce de Leches

1 dozen eggs

6 cups sugar or your choice of sweetener

1/4 cup cinnamon

1/2 cup pure vanilla

1 qt. heavy cream

2 qt. half and half

4 cans evaporated milk

4 cans sweetened condensed milk

1 lb. whole butter


Sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare a 13 x 9 baking pan (doesnít matter if itís shallow or deep).

Break or cut the Trefoils into a variety of sizes, spread evenly onto the baking pan and toast in oven until the cookie starts to crisp. The idea is to use stale bread, baking it just makes it a little tastier.

While the Trefoils are crisping in the oven, cut the other cookies, Samoas and Dulce de Leches, into halves and pieces. We are not going to pre toast these cookies, they will melt.

After the cookies are done, take the dish you are going to use to make the pudding and grease well bottom corners and sides all the way up. Mix the cookie pieces gently together, I add some Rolos and toasted almond slices, just for fun. You can use anything you like to add that little touch. This is also a great dish to make for others.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, then the sweet condensed milk, heavy cream and canned milk, until all is smooth.

Gently pour the goo over the pan of cookies, until all the cookies are completely covered.

Cover and store in fridge for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut the butter and place on top of the pudding mix, grease the side of the foil that is going to be touching the food.

Bake and keep covered until the center firms up, about an hour or so.

Whiskey Sauce

1/2 cup whole butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 gal. whole milk

Lemon juice


Cornstarch slurry

1 bottle favorite whiskey or rum

Bring the milk, butter and sugar to a boil in a stock pot. Add some of the whiskey and bring back to boil. Turn fire down and slowly add the slurry. Continue to whisk until thickened, maybe add more. Just be sure to cook the cornstarch so there is no taste of it. Add the rest of the whiskey and lemon and vanilla. Cook the alcohol out and enjoy! Yields approximately 20 servings.