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Scout's Honor will turn you into Cookie Monster.

If you've had an unfulfilled hankering for Girl Scout cookies, awardwinning pastry chef Miko Aspiras has a surprise for you.

He and partners Kristine Lotilla, Dwight Co and Charlie Paw have put up Scout's Honor Craft Cookie Shop.

Scout's Honor is one of 11 exciting new food concepts in Hole in the Wall at Century City Mall, Dwight and Charlie's food hall that reminds us of New York's Chelsea Market.

Comfort dessert

Cookies may seem like an unusual choice for a chef known for his creative flair and complex plated pastries (he's won awards at international competitions and is the man behind those delicious desserts at Magnum Manila and, soon, Magnum Kuala Lumpur)but, he said, "I love cookies. It's my comfort dessert. I may do plated desserts, French pastries, buffet setups, but at the end of the day, when it's my turn to eat, I want simple desserts."

And when he says simple, he means Chips Ahoy! and Oreo. "My boyfriend JV flies in and out of the country, and when there's a new Oreo flavor, the Ice Cream Chips Ahoy! I get it first. I'd post about them and people would say, 'Miko, you can do better, ano ka ba!' Pero I love it, eh."

With Scout's Honor, he proves those people right. Taking a bit of inspiration from classic Girl Scout cookies and giving them a dose of his creativity, Miko has prepared a menu of 10 cookies, seven of which will be available when Scout's Honor opens tomorrow.

Their Matcha Sesame cookies (green tea + milkchocolate chip cookie sandwich with roasted black sesame + whitechocolate filling) was a big hit at their soft opening.

We're big fans, too, of the Thin Mints, which he makes using Valrhona chocolate (doublechocolate fudge cookie sandwich with mint buttercream); and his homage of sorts to his beloved Oreothe addictive Cookie Inception, which Miko calls "a cookie within a cookie within a cookie" (Oreo + doublechocolate fudge + chocolate chip).

COOKIE masters Miko Aspiras and Kristine Lotilla

COOKIE masters Miko Aspiras and Kristine Lotilla

The other four cookies you can enjoy tomorrow are the Samoas Dreams (coconut + caramel + salt on Sable Breton cookie striped with dark chocolate); Citrus Sunshine (lemonandlime Sable cookie sandwich with lemon buttercream); S'moresTagAlong (double shortbread cookie + milkchocolate layers, topped with campfire marshmallows and sprinkled with graham crumble); and the Cereal Cookie Bar (molassesoatmeal cookie topped with American buttercream and cereal).

Cookie fans can also expect his versions of Double Trefoils, PBJ and Red Velvet soon.

Create your own cookie

Miko, who left his job as a hotel pastry chef to focus on Scout's Honor, also wants customers to use their creativity. "I wanted a cookie place where you can create your own cookies."

When he first told his partners about his idea, they asked: Is it a franchise? A concept he has seen abroad?

MATCHA Sesame and Cookie Inception

MATCHA Sesame and Cookie Inception

Miko said, "No, it's just in my head. And for the sake of checking, I Googled 'craft cookie shop,' 'make your own cookie shop.' I even typed 'best cookie.' Pero wala anywhere in the world that's close to this."

The process of making your own cookie is simple. First, you choose your Mother Dough: basic chewy, doublechocolate fudge, molassesoatmeal, vegan, peanut butter (no sugar added), herbed shortbread.

"They're classic flavors but with a gourmet touch," Miko said.

Then choose three toppings from a long list that includes: milk, dark or whitechocolate chunks and chips; raisins, cranberries; Oreo, salty pretzel; trail mix (salted nuts, oats, dried fruits); roasted macadamia, roasted hazelnut; marshmallows, Kit Kat, Reese's peanutbutter cups; candied bacon/ham; cheese (cheddar, GruyAA"re, Gouda mix), cream cheese; Philippine dried mango, pastillas; peanut brittle, vegan chocolate, dates.

CORN and Matcha milk

CORN and Matcha milk

Then decide if you want a peanut butter or Nutella swirl.

Miko said, "I love cookies that are freshly baked. When you make your own, we bake it here, and in 10 minutes you will get it."

We asked Miko what he'd recommend firsttimers to try. He said, "I encourage them to try something really outrageous right away. Play with the toppings. I think there are 27,000 possible combinations."

Cookies are P95 each; the makeyourown cookie is P75.

Foie gras cookie

Scout's Honor will also offer luxury cookies, the first being the Foie Gras Cookie. "It's made with chewy dough that's flavored and colored with bamboo charcoal, with bits of

SCOUT'S Honor's cookies are great for giveaways, too.

SCOUT'S Honor's cookies are great for giveaways, too.

darkchocolate Valrhona and Italian buttercream folded with seared foie gras."

Only 24 pieces of this cookie will be served every day at P230 each.

And because cookies are great when paired with milk, you can also create your own milk by choosing between whole and nonfat, then adding any of the following flavors: Horlicks, almondginseng, Nutella, matcha, Oreo, Fruit Loops, salted caramel, cherrychocolate, bamboo charcoal, corn, black sesame and strawberry.

They also serve coffee from YKW Roasters.

Ice cream from Fog City is available, too, at P80 per scoop, if you want to enjoy your cookie AA la mode.

"COOKIES are my comfort dessert," says awardwinning pastry chef Miko Aspiras.

"COOKIES are my comfort dessert," says awardwinning pastry chef Miko Aspiras.

Scout's Honor hasn't even opened and someone has already ordered 90 boxes of cookies for Christmas. At the soft opening, 100 cookies disappeared in less than 30 minutes.

Miko said, "We have more exciting ideas coming. I'm pushing the boundaries of cookies."

Scout's Honor opens tomorrow at Hole in the Wall on the fourth floor of Century City Mall. Operating hours are 11 a.m.10 p.m. daily.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 7, 2014
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