Photo by Erin Malcolm Photography.

L. to R., Mary Buszuwski, GSNENY CEO presents Rachel Mabb, The Ruck Executive Chef with the Most Creative Use of a Cookie certificate. (photo by: Erin Malcolm Photography)

Daley on Yates' award-winning Samoa ice cream with candied bacon.


Cookies and Cocktails Raises $63,000

Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York (GSNENY) celebrated the 3rd annual Cookies and Cocktails at Franklin Plaza in Troy and raised more than $63,000 in support of the Young Women’s Leadership Initiative (YWLI), an innovative GSNENY program that educates young women about career and leadership development opportunities.

CEO Mary Buszuwski explained how the YWLI helps "girls with dreams become young women in vision." She introduced Alexia Hoden, a graduate of the YWLI, who shared her personal experience. “Advocacy, professionalism, leadership, networking, how to navigate social situations as not only a leader, but as a woman - are all things the initiative first taught be about,” she said. “This knowledge gave me a leg up in the professional world, hands down.”

Cookies and Cocktails challenges local chefs and bartenders from 13 Capital Region restaurants to create innovative cuisine and cocktails using Girl Scout cookies as ingredients and to compete in the categories of Best Overall Dish, Best Cocktail, and Most Creative Use of a Cookie.

The 2018 winners are:

Best Cocktail

  • Judge's Choice: Samoa Martini, The Ruck: Smirnoff Caramel Kiss Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and coconut water garnished with caramel sauce, toasted coconut, cocoa powder, and the signature cookie.
  • People's Choice: Southern Style Citrus Cooler, Albany Country Club: Southern-style Bourbon Whiskey, fresh lemon and citrus juices, ginger beer, Savannah Smiles and secret ingredients.

Best Dish

  • Judge's choice: (TIE) Samoa ice cream with cherry wood smoked bacon and chocolate ganache AND Fried chicken and shortbread (Trefoils) waffle, Daley on Yates, a brand new restaurant by Old Daley Custom Catering opening later this spring in Schenectady.
  • People’s choice: Elvis Sliders, Burger 21: Certified Angus beef sliders, Do-Si-Do peanut butter sauce, banana and bacon served on a Hawaiian sweet roll.

Most Creative Use of Cookie

  • Upside Downstate, The Ruck: Deep fried Toffee-tastic and black pepper mozzarella with slow-braised chicken and a spicy raspberry ale and tomato jam.

Participants included: Albany Country Club, Brown’s Brewing Company, Burger 21, Daley’s on Yates, dp An American Brasserie, Druthers, Franklin Plaza Ballroom, Longfellows, Normanside Country Club, Table 41 Brewing, The Ruck, and Tara’s Kitchen.

Special guest judges included Brian & Chrissy in the Morning from 107.7 WGNA, Chef Tyler DeGroff, Executive Chef/Owner, Hen and the Hound, Middleburgh, NY, and Matt Mazzone, Chief Operating Officer of Mazzone Hospitality.

Event sponsors included title sponsor Godfrey Financial Associates, NBT Bank, Franklin Hospitality Group, Cumberland Farms, Hoosick Valley Contractors Inc., Key Bank, Little Brownie Bakers, McNamee Lochner P.C., MVP Health Care, and O’Connell and Aronowitz PC. In-kind sponsors include Erin Malcolm Photography and Fleurtacious.