Friday, August 19, 2022


Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Apr 01, 2022

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Name TopCookie Champion

By Lori Draz

2022 People’s Choice Award Winner Chef Kendall Szpakowski, of Homesick, with Heather Coburn, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore interim CEO

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s third annual TopCookie Dessert Competition was held on March 9 at Asbury Lanes. The weather may have been a bit soggy, but inside it was a sweet success as an eager crowd sampled desserts and raised more than $30,000 to support the mission and programs of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.

This unique competition pitted seven of the area’s most expressive chefs against one another to create a unique dessert, using one the iconic Girl Scout cookies. The competitors were: 

• Amelia Caverly, Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Company – Lemon-Ups

• Chef Lauren Covas, Chef Covas Catering – Trefoils

• Shannon Phillips, E. Holland Sundries – Thin Mints

• Chef Kendall Szpakowski, Homesick – Tagalongs 

• Chef Raechel Lebron, Sickles Market – Do-si-dos 

• James Callano, Strollo’s Lighthouse Italian Ice – Samoas

• Chef Becca Dolce, Talula’s – Girl Scout S’mores

Chef Stuart Marx of David Burke’s Red Horse Inn also brought along his bonus dessert, a Salted Caramel Truffle Brownie S’more, which he prepared using Adventurfuls, the newest Girl Scout Cookie.

Amelia Caverly, owner of Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co., and her baking team were named 2022 TopCookie champions.

Girl Scouts Interim CEO Heather Coburn reflected, “For the past 110 years, these delicious cookies have been the driving force behind the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world.” 

Board Chair Teri O’Connor thanked the crowd for their support, saying, “It is so terrific to be able to come together in person to taste and talk about these delectable desserts as we mark the 110th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.” 

From left: Girl Scout top seller, Chef David Burke, Chef James Costello, Lori Draz, Nick Lepore and Marilyn Schlossbach

Then a panel of celebrity judges took to the stage for the tough task of tasting the treats. The judges included world-renowned Chef Burke; James Costello, chef and co-owner of Ohana Grill and 2020 TopCookie Champion; Nick Lepore, known as the “Burger Buff” for his sold-out New Jersey and beyond cheeseburger pop-ups; and Marilyn Schlossbach, executive chef and owner of The Marilyn Schlossbach Group. Oh yes and one more delighted judge, me! Yes, I was there tasting it all for the readers of The Journal. Top-selling Girl Scout, Heather W. of Troop #61010 in Manalapan, also joined the panel. Heather sold 5,000 boxes of cookies in 2021, making her the highest seller in Monmouth and Ocean County. Each judge was served plated version of the dessert as the chefs described their vision and recipes.  

Booskerdoo TopCookie winning dessert

Before you could brush away the cookie crumbs, the winners were announced. The 2022 People’s Choice Award Winner, determined by live and online voting, was Chef Kendall Szpakowski of Homesick for her beignets using Tagalogs.

The overall 2022 TopCookie Champion went to Amelia Caverly and the talented team from Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co. for their whimsical teacup treat using Lemon-Ups. 

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves nearly 9,000 girls ages 5 to 18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner or donate, visit GSFun.org or call 800-785-2090.

Photos courtesy of Stormin’ Arts Productions