Girl Scout Cookies: The Complete Lineup And History
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When HuffPost Food posted news about the new Girl Scout cookie, y'all went kind of crazy, in a good way. People are SERIOUS about Girl Scout cookies. With cookie season gearing up in many parts of the country, we figured it was time for a once-and-for all vote: which is the best Girl Scout cookie out there?
But first, a little bit on the history of these (mostly) beloved cookies. The Girl Scouts employ two different officially licensed companies -- Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers -- to bake the cookies. Several of the current Girl Scout cookies on offer have two different names, these names vary based on which company baked the cookie. In other words, while Tagalongs and Peanut Butter Patties are in fact the same cookie, but the names vary by region. Each council may choose its baker independently each year. Each company must bake Thin Mints, Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Sandwich) and Trefoils (Shortbread); a total of eight varieties can be baked by each company. At one point there were up to 29 different baking companies making Girl Scout cookies, but starting in the late 1970s the number went down to four, in order to streamline the process.
Girl Scout cookie sales started as early as 1917, five years after the Girl Scouts were founded. In the 1920s and 1930s, Scouts would bake their own sugar cookies and sell them door to door. In 1936, the Girl Scouts licensed the first commercial baker to start making Girl Scout cookies. While the cookie varieties changed over time, it wasn't until the 1990s when low-fat and sugar-free varieties became available. All cookies are now kosher as well.
Throughout the years, cookie flavors have come and gone. Many cookies have found themselves in the Girl Scout cookie graveyard, ranging from Snaps, an iced oatmeal raisin cookie to Double Dutch, a double chocolate cookie.
Recently, there have been several controversies surrounding the Girl Scouts and their beloved cookies. Last year, two Girl Scouts made national press when they tried to convince the national organization to stop using palm oil. The organization responded, pledging to reduce the amount of palm oil used, but not getting rid of it completely. In recent years, there have been cookie boycotts for a range of issues including the acceptance of transgendered children, to claiming the Scouts lied about the inclusion of trans-fats. Controversies behind the scenes aside, one thing remains clear: Girl Scout cookie tastes and preferences can be highly polarizing.
Voice your opinions in the slideshow below. Rank each cookie using the starred spectrum (from "yuck" to "yum") on the right of the slideshow. The cookies included are based on the current offerings found on GirlScoutCookies.org.
Samoas Or Caramel deLites
Samoas have been offered since the mid-1970s. They are the second most-popular Girl Scout cookie, no doubt thanks to the caramel-coconut-chocolate triple threat.
Do-Si-Dos Or Peanut Butter Sandwich
Do-Si-Dos have an oatmeal cookie outside with a peanut butter inside. At Little Brownie Bakers, peanut butter cream is deposited on the Do-Si-Dos at the rate of 2,800 per minute.
Tagalongs Or Peanut Butter Patties
Tagalongs are the third most popular cookie, and another one that has been around for many decades. They are among the top 10 best selling cookies in America. Tagalongs have a chocolate outside with a layer of peanut butter on the inside.
Thank U Berry Munch
Thank U Berry Munch was a new cookie in 2010. Cranberries provide some tartness while white fudge chips add sweetness.
Lemonades were introduced in 2006; they are a shortbread cookie with lemon icing.
Dulce De Leche
The Dulce De Leche cookie has milk caramel chips. Dulce de leche, a popular Latin American dessert, is made by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulce_de_leche" target="_hplink">heating sweetened milk</a>.
These lemony half-moons are dusted with a healthy helping of powdered sugar. Savannah Smiles are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/savannah-smiles-girl-scout-cookies_n_1194158.html" target="_hplink">new for 2012</a>, but are very similar to Lemon Coolers, a retired cookie.
The Thanks-A-Lot cookies "speak" five different languages: English, French, Chinese, Swahili or Spanish. There is a layer of fudge at the bottom of this shortbread cookie; the cookies were introduced in 2006.
Trefoils Or Shortbread
This shortbread cookie is shaped like the Girl Scouts' trefoil. Fancy that.
Nothing like biting down on a Belgian-style caramelized cookie with encouraging words. These cookies were introduced last year and bear the words: Lead, Believe, Create, Build, Learn, Act, Change or Inspire.
Thin Mints are the top selling Girl Scout cookie. During peak baking times, Little Brownie Bakers bakes over 4.5 million Thin Mints per day.