Girls Scouts partnership with Barnett’s Public House creates special dinner

Local Girl Scouts pose with their cookies in anticipation of their dinner at Barnett's Public House tonight. MJ Routh | Multimedia Journalist

By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer

The Girl Scouts of Central Texas and Barnett’s Public House partnered up to bring a Girl Scout Cookie Specialty Dinner to Waco.

The event is set to take place from 7 to 9 p.m. today at Barnett’s Public House, located at 420 Franklin Ave.

“The moment we announce it [the dinner], it almost sells out,” Marketing Director of Barnett’s Public House John Hodges said. “Everybody loves this event because everybody loves Girl Scout cookies.”

The dinner costs $25 for a four-course meal that includes dishes made with Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich and Caramel deLites. The Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies will be used to make Korean Glazed Pork Tenderloins and the Lemonades will be used to make Lemon Crab Crostini.

“It’s really difficult to work such a sweet item into a savory meal. However, lots of really good flavors come out of the Girl Scout cookies,” Elizabeth Pannabecker said.

Pannabecker said she has been in the cooking business since she was 15 years old and has had a lot of experience writing menus and creating new dishes. In order to make the menu for the specialty dinner, she draws on her experience and relies on the feedback she gets from people she works with.

Program and Teen Mentor Specialist for Girl Scouts of Central Texas Melissa Green said she was blown away at last year’s Girl Scout Cookie Specialty Dinner.

“My least favorite cookie is the Lemonades,” Green said. “But she —the chef at Barnett’s— had created this dish where she basically crushes the cookies and wraps goat cheese in the cookies, then puts it with a light salad and it’s so delicious because you have this crunch that you like in the salad, but then it just has this fresh lemon taste. It just makes the salad so fresh and really made me enjoy the cookies a lot more.”

While this is the second annual Girl Scout Cookie Specialty Dinner, this is the third year Barnett’s Public House has partnered with Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Green said.

“This whole partnership started with a friend asking a friend, ‘Hey, do you want to try to do something to help out our girls?’ and they said, ‘Absolutely’ and it’s just grown and blossomed from there and it just keeps getting bigger and better every year,” Green said.

The first year, the two partners hosted Cookies on Tap, which offers Girl Scout Cookies and beer pairings. Since then, Barnett’s had hosted the Girl Scout Specialty Dinner and a Girl Scout Cookie brunch buffet.

“The entire weekend is to raise awareness and money for the Girl Scouts of Central Texas,” Hodges said. “A portion of all proceeds from the dinner and Cookies on Tap and the brunch buffet will go toward Girl Scouts of Central Texas.”

Green said the events with Barnett’s Public House help the Girl Scouts of Central Texas reach a different audience.

“A box of cookies is more than just a fundraising item—It really helps these girls,” Green said. “It helps our girls go to camp, travel the world —It gives them opportunities that they may not be able to afford otherwise.”

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