Since 1922, the Girl Scouts of America have been raising money and teaching business and life skills to girls by selling cookies. Troops originally baked their own cookies from a standard Girl Scout cookie recipe. In the 1930s, the organization began to employ commercial bakeries to produce sugar cookies in the trefoil shape. The iconic Thin Mint debuted in the 1950s. The 1960s brought cellophane and foil wrapping for freshness. In 1978, the Scouts hired legendary graphic designer Saul Bass to design a funky logo.
The Girl Scout cookie business continues to evolve. This year brings the very first gluten-free Girl Scout cookie, and the launch of the Digital Cookie platform, which teaches scouts about e-commerce and online marketing while helping them run their own online cookie businesses.
Scouts will still sell cookies the old-fashioned way, by setting up booths and going door-to-door, but they also will be able to reach customers with their own personalized Web pages. Don’t know one of these tech-savvy Girl Scouts? You can sign up for booth sales alerts in your area through the Cookie Locator app.
It’s hard to say no to a girl in green, whether she is on your doorstep, at a card table in front of the supermarket, or beckoning from your inbox. If you’ve ordered more cookies than you can eat in one sitting, you can always freeze them to enjoy throughout the year. If you’re feeling creative, use them as ingredients in simple treats:
Girl Scout cookie bark: Pour melted chocolate into a foil-lined pan, sprinkle with chopped cookies of your choice, let set, and break into pieces.
Trefoil s’mores: Sandwich a toasted marshmallow and a piece of milk chocolate between two Girl Scout cookies instead of graham crackers.
Girl Scout cookie ice cream pie: Use ground Samoas along with some butter to make a cookie crust. Press the crust into the pan and bake until crisp in a 350-degree oven, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool and then fill with softened ice cream. Top with whipped cream and chocolate and caramel sauces.
Girl Scout apple crisp: Combine Trefoil cookie crumbs, rolled oats and butter to make crumbs. Sprinkle over sweetened spiced apples and bake for a quick crisp.
Tagalong blondies: Add some peanut butter and chocolate flavor to blondies by stirring coarsely chopped Tagalongs into the batter before baking.
THIN MINT TRUFFLES
Thin Mint cookies give these candies flavor. Cream cheese adds richness. Truffles don’t get easier than this. If you don’t have Candy Melts, you can use green nonpareils or sprinkles to decorate.16 Thin Mint cookies (one sleeve)
3 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ounce green Wilton Candy Melts, melted (optional)
1. Combine the cookies and cream cheese in the workbowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl several times as necessary. Scrape mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form rounded teaspoonfuls of the Thin Mint mixture into balls, rolling them between your palms to make them perfectly round. Place on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Place the chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium, stirring every 30 seconds, until just melted. Drop the balls, one at a time, into the chocolate, turning with a fork to cover completely. Lift from bowl, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into bowl, and transfer back to the baking sheet.
4. Place the candy melts, if using, in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium, stirring every 30 seconds, until just melted. Dip a clean fork into melted candy melts and wave over coated truffles to decorate. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days. Makes about 16 truffles.