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Girl Scout Cookie Benefit Bake-off on April 23

Tuesday, April 15, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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 LANSING – Small bites will make a big impact at this year’s Girl Scout Cookie Benefit Bake-off on April 23 at the Okemos Conference Center.

The event starts at 6 p.m. with one-of-a-kind desserts created by area chefs taking center stage.  Guests will be able to sample the chefs creations and vote for their favorite dessert in addition to bidding on some amazing prizes during a basket raffle and silent auction.

All proceeds from the Bake-Off will be used to fund Outreach programming offered by Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan in the Lansing area.  More than 300 girls have participated in Outreach services offered in Lansing as a result of funds raised through the annual event.

Last year’s Bake-off raised about $28,000 for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan’s Outreach programs.

Tom McNeil, owner of Country House Catering in Mason, is among chefs from 11 restaurants in the Lansing area who will be using Girl Scout Cookies as the main ingredient to create one-of-a-kind dessert.

McNeil said he’s not sure what he’s making for this year’s Bake-off or what cookies he’ll be using.

“I get the cookies and figure out which one is going to be my base and look at different flavors,” he said.  “I like to use chocolate because everybody likes chocolate.”

Beth Smith,  who is married to the owner of Main Street Café in St. Johns, said she will be making a cheesecake most likely using Thin Mints.

“I bake cheesecakes.  That’s my only job here,” Smith said of the restaurant.  “I got the recipe handed down to me from my mother and just took off with it from there.  I have one base recipe and I change the crust and whatever I put on top of it.”

 Like McNeil, Smith is a returning Bake-off chef.  She said the event makes for a fun evening for a good cause.

Jan Barker, Chief Executive Officer with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, said the Bake-off is an enjoyable way to make sure that any girl in the Lansing area who wants a Girl Scout experience will have one.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the chefs to showcase their talents while supporting a great cause,” Barker said.  “Our Outreach programming gives girls in challenging circumstances the opportunity to have a Girl Scout experience regardless of the challenges they face.  We want to give as many girls as possible the ability to gain courage, confidence and character which will build them into leaders in all areas of their lives.”

Katie Chapman, head pastry chef at the University Club at Michigan State University, said she thinks it’s good for the community to get out and support the girls.

“It’s a good thing to raise money for,” Chapman said.

Tickets for the Bake-off are $45 each or $325 for a table of eight.  The ticket price includes unlimited dessert samplings as well as hors d’oeuvre and beverages.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit the GSHOM website at or call 800-497-2688.

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