Metatalktail Hour: 🍪 February 25, 2023 2:19 AM   Subscribe

Hello, everyone, and happy weekend! Today I'm going to need you to tell me about the cookies. Not the tracking ones, the girl scouts / girl guides ones. It's that season, and in the US, a new flavor will be released this week. It's called Raspberry Rally, it will only be available online (why?), and apparently it was inspired by Thin Mints. I'm so curious! Early tasters must report back!

So, really, though, which GS/GG cookies are the best? Sadly, I haven't had any in decades, so tell me, which ones are tops these days? Do Thin Mints still rule supreme? What other retail cookies are delicious? What are your faves? Or do you prefer to make your own? Tell us about it! Cookies!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 2:19 AM (94 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I remember selling (and eating!) Kookaburras in my Girl Scout days, and I feel like every cookie since then has been a letdown.
posted by champers at 2:49 AM on February 25

Remember that there are two different baking corporations that supply the girl scouts in the USA, and each has their own formulation for each cookie. So your longtime favorite might suddenly become substandard after you move to a new area.
posted by rikschell at 3:08 AM on February 25 [8 favorites]

Apparently I can't order them for a few days still?.....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:23 AM on February 25

It's cookie tiiiime (YouTube link to the best song about cookie sales from the classic Troop Beverly Hills)

Thin mints are my favorite, and I like raspberry things, so I am kind of bummed the new ones are online only. I'm holding out for the return of a cookie booth to my farmer's market or grocery store. Or at least some neighborhood parent posting their kiddo's sales link to Nextdoor.

The lemonades and the toast-yay cinnamon toast ones are both new to me though, so maybe I can try those.

My mom spent a couple years doing "cookie mom" duty for our local council when my sister and I were of an age, and I remember our living room being stacked with cases of cookies above my head. Cookie logistics was no joke.

I have always hated sales. We lived on an Army base, and I did the door to door thing and despised it. And that was sales on easy mode! Cute kid, selling cookies, Army base neighbors. Cookie booths were fine though, you just goofed off with your friends and people came to you.
posted by the primroses were over at 5:21 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]

I've just had a quick search of my album of foods encountered in the USA and found a few pictures of cookies. A vague memory that the ones at the Madison farmers market were pretty good.

A few hours this morning were spent in a videogame and computer museum in Derby, a small city in the East Midlands of England. If you have heard of the videogame character "Lara Croft", then this city is where 'she' was 'created' (one of the roads here is named 'Lara Croft Way').

It's a pretty good museum, and I've put a few pictures up on Flickr in this album. Much time was spent playing games - especially Chuckie Egg, Jet Set Willy, Goldeneye, Chu Chu Rocket and Elite.

But one notable thing, seen in similar museums these last few years, is that the sound of dial-up Internet access is now a historical artifact. It's something mainly (to quote one display at a previous museum) "elderly people may remember"(!) And here there were a few explanatory signs about modems and dial-up, and you could lift a phone handset and hear the noise. Which is what one child, accompanied by parents, tentatively did:

{child holds handset to ear}
{sounds of screeching modem noises}
Child: Daddy I don't like this.
Dad: Why not?
Child: It sounds like ghosts.
posted by Wordshore at 5:55 AM on February 25 [23 favorites]

I participated in cub scouts and boy scouts in my youth and I recall complaining to my pack-leader/scout-master, "How are we supposed to raise money and compete with the girls when we're selling "fancy" popcorn in tinned cans, maybe that's changed but back then that is what we had to sell, caramelized popcorn in a tin can?!!? THEY'RE OUT THERE WITH COOKIES!!!" We already lost the war before it even began.
posted by Fizz at 6:23 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]

Thin Mints hold up perfectly in the freezer. I'm just sayin'...
posted by COD at 6:30 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]

Meanwhile, over on the ice cream desk, we have reports coming out of Ohio that local cows are visibly anxious about a Ted Lasso inspired ice cream that is expected to be released shortly. Biscuits with the Boss has been widely anticipated in the frozen confection arena, and the shortbread/Richmond tie-in is presumed to be a game-changing synergy. This has the entire dairy industry asking, can we produce enough? The alternative is unthinkable.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:24 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]

the sound of dial-up Internet access is now a historical artifact. It's something mainly (to quote one display at a previous museum) "elderly people may remember"(!)

I can top that - the latest addition to American Girl's historical doll line is a girl from 1999.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]

My wish for all of you that love Thin Mints is that someday you will get to have a Mint Slice. Or preferably a whole packet of them. Plus, you can get them at pretty much any supermarket or milk bar, you don't have to wait for the Girl Scouts. You do have to come to Australia though.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:56 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]

Always and forever and unambiguously Samoas. Thin mints are great but man Somoas are the closest thing there is to something I could just eat until I'm sick if I didn't have some adult-like restraint about it.
posted by cortex (retired) at 8:18 AM on February 25 [10 favorites]

Tagalongs are the best Girl Scout cookies by a long shot. Why do you all not realize that?

But the cookies I'm obsessed with these days are the NY Times Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, which really are pretty much perfect. They're best fresh from the oven, of course, but they're nearly as good the next day. They don't harden up after they cool. I have some waiting in the fridge right now for me to bake today. I have experimented with baking them after just an hour or few hours in the refrigerator and they're still good, but you really do need to refrigerate overnight to reach the highest level of perfection. I'm not sure how they would turn out if you used regular sugar instead of superfine. I use caster sugar I bought online.

Here is the recipe for those who can't access the NY Times:

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies


½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/140 grams unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks), softened
Scant 3/4 cup/140 grams dark brown sugar
⅔ cup/110 grams superfine sugar
1 large egg
1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons/250 grams all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon Maldon sea salt (or any flaky salt or kosher salt)
6 ounces/170 grams dark (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped into large chunks


Put the butter and both sugars in a stand mixer or mixing bowl. Cream together using a paddle attachment on medium speed, a handheld electric whisk or a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes until paler but not fluffy. (Do not mix for too long; if you beat the mixture until super light and fluffy, that will cause the cookie to deflate later when cooking.)

Add the egg and beat over medium speed until evenly combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (all the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt), then fold into the butter mixture using a rubber spatula until combined.

Add the chopped chocolate and fold into the dough until evenly distributed.

Immediately scoop out heaping 1/4-cup portions (about 60 grams), roll into balls and place on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours. (If space is tight, you can condense them on one sheet before refrigerating then redistribute among two sheets before baking.)

The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the dough balls are evenly spaced out among two baking sheets, as they will spread. Bake the cookies for 13 minutes (or 15 minutes if baking from frozen), until the cookies are puffed and golden at the edges. You want the middle to be ever so slightly not-quite set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet; they will continue firming up as they cool. Once cooled, eat! (These cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The balls of dough will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge or 2 weeks in the freezer.)
posted by Redstart at 8:50 AM on February 25 [9 favorites]

Until I started reading this, I had forgotten that there's cookie dough in the fridge. The temps are now in double digits, so I may celebrate.

Woke up at 2 am, no power and 2F outside. So I added wood to the coals in the wood stove, brought the quilt and blanket down, and slept in front of the fire. With no extraneous light, the firelight played on the ceiling prettily and it was cozy. The power came on in about an hour, no trouble with pipes, so a successful outcome. We've had some teasing days that got to 50F and some severe cold, and I am so ready for warm weather, but the forecast is for seasonal temps in the 30s all week.

Athanassiel, I would love to visit, but seems unlikely.
posted by theora55 at 8:50 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]

Tagalongs are the best Girl Scout cookies by a long shot. Why do you all not realize that?

I generally agree, but I also think that the reason they're the best is that they're really really close to being a candy bar, and that makes me suspicious of their cookie status. Like, what's the actual difference between them and a peanut butter Twix aside from shape?
posted by LionIndex at 9:16 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]

posted by clavdivs at 9:18 AM on February 25

Cheater's Thin Mints

Add a dash of peppermint oil or extract to melted chocolate chips.
Cover Ritz cracker is chocolate.
Chill to harden chocolate.
posted by QuakerMel at 9:49 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]

Reminder for those in NA that you can turn table suger into caster suger by giving it a spin in a food processor. May want to stop before you get to powdered though ....
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:10 AM on February 25

For those of you singing the praises of Tagalongs (and I sing with you my friends), yesterday I just discovered the existence of Fudge Covered Nutter Butters. Chocolatey peanut buttery goodness now available year-round! Only available in single-serving packages of 12 cookies to a box.
posted by platinum at 10:36 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]

Seconding Samoas (or Caramel deLites as they're now called).
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:45 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]

Do Thin Mints still rule supreme?

No, not since trying Keebler's Grasshoppers, the thin mint cookies available year-round, at the supermarket. Even better were the Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate Mint Cookie Squares they were selling at the outlet (not cookies, but squares of mint chocolate infused with cookie bits) but that seems to have been a holiday promotion, they're gone now.
posted by Rash at 10:51 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]

Cover Ritz cracker in chocolate

An Englishman's reaction to Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent in "Mary Poppins" is equally valid here:
    "I could have vomited for a thousand years."
Instead, may I suggest using Maria cookies?
posted by Rash at 10:57 AM on February 25

A cup of tea, a book, and half a sleeve of Trefoils, the shortcake cookies. A friend of my parents used to bring us home-made shortbread at the holidays. My sister and I made off with a great deal of it.
The peanut butter sammiches pair well with a Boston Lager.
Thin Mints and coffee and the web. I have 2 of the 3, can't wait for cookies.

I look forward to trying the new raspberry ones; the lemon ones are nice but not essential. A crunchy ginger snap with lemon glaze would not go amiss. I love cookies.

I loved being a Girl Scout until Cadets, when Miss S. was obsessed with hygiene, not camping or service. Girl Scouts are nearly polar opposites to Boy Scouts, which is a shame, boys need something other than toxic masculinity and sexual abuse. All kids benefit from being outdoors, learning, being of service. Did the Girl Scouts make me a socialist? I should thank them. Buy More Cookies!
posted by theora55 at 11:14 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]

I serendipitously came across Girl Scouts selling cookies at the grocery store yesterday! I bought two boxes of Thin Mints (I’m one sleeve down as of last night) and a box of Lemon-ups but chances are I’ll end up getting some Samoas and Tagalongs before the season is over, if I get a chance. I’m very happy to be back in a Little Brownie Bakers territory after living in the other bakery’s area for 9 years.

I was a Girl Scout and we took cookie selling pretty seriously- we earned enough one year to get a charter bus for our whole troop to go on a five hour trip to another city to visit a butterfly garden (which must have been at a science or nature museum but I only remember butterflies) and make a quick stop at the beach. Pretty thrilling for a bunch of 8 year olds!

My dad was always and forever my best customer- I’m going to say upwards of 30% of my sales were kept in the family, where it’s understood that the only practical and correct serving size for Thin Mints is an entire sleeve.
posted by MadamM at 11:17 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you all this but my daughter is a Girl Scout and we got to try the raspberry cookies earlier this year before sales started and they suck. Imagine if a lurid pink Nilla Wafer got sprayed with gas station raspberry air freshener.
posted by saladin at 11:26 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]

Tell me more
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:33 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]

I bought GS cookies today - Thin Mints, Tagalogs and Adventurefuls - and plan on jumping online to get the raspberry ones. The girl I bought from said they go live at 12 Midnight Central Time and will most likely sell out quickly. So now I'm debating staying up late.
posted by jazon at 11:42 AM on February 25

I live about a mile away from where the Peak Frean factory was. Peak Frean were at the cutting edge of modern biscuits, possibly the first to mass-produce biscuits as an industrial foodstuff - inventors of the Garibaldi, the Bourbon, the Marie, the Custard Cream, the Twiglet, and many others. Their tinned biscuit assortment, Family Circle, was a staple of middle-class life. Sadly, the Trotsky Assortment didn't exist outside the fevered imagination of Alexei Sayle. Their application of industrial processes to create attractive, tasty snacks of a reliable form and quality at a huge scale prefigured modern food production. I'm not suggesting this has turned out for the best in the long run, but it's certainly impressive.

(When I was a child I used to eat a Bourbon biscuit in the following manner: Prize open the biscuit; Scrape off the filling with my lower front teeth; then eat the biscuit part. Then I realised I was saving the less enjoyable bit for last, so I looked for strategies for separating the filling from the biscuit altogether, so I could eat the biscuit first and savour the filling. Finally I realised I could just eat the sodding biscuit. I feel this was me coming into a certain amount of maturity. The same sorts of strategy didn't have appeal when addressing a Custard Cream. I don't know why.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:24 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

Also, I actually remember encountering a Hobnob for the first time in 1985. As life-changing a moment as a new biscuit can engender.

It's possible we think about biscuits to an abnormal degree in this country.
posted by Grangousier at 12:28 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]

Metafilter:Thinks about bisquits to an abnormal degree.
posted by Oyéah at 12:31 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]

A complete and inarguable ranking of Girl Scout cookies, worst to best:

13. Toast-Yay! A French-toast-flavored cookie is the answer to a question nobody asked. Minus one point for the exclamation mark.

12. Trefoil: A legendary visual design is wasted on a dry, not especially flavorful cookie.

11. Toffee-tastic: While it's nice that gluten-free options are available, toffee and butter cookie just doesn't land right.

10. Raspberry Rally: A Thin Mints brand extension that tastes like it's never even seen a raspberry. Good idea, bad execution.

9. Lemonades: The lemon cookies offer the advantage of tasting like lemon, but that doesn't bring them higher than the middle of the pack.

8. Caramel Chocolate Chip: Of the GF options, this one is clearly superior.

7. Lemon-Ups: I didn't know I needed cookies with inspiring messages on them, but I kinda do.

6. Adventurefuls: When a Girl Scout cookie has a hint of sea salt (see also Caramel Chocolate Chip), we're talking about borderline-homeopathic levels. That said, these are a good brownie-esque cookie and a worthy new addition to the lineup.

5. Tagalongs: As an adult they're a little sweet, but as a kid these were my favorites. If the Girl Scouts ever did a grimdark Tagalong reboot, with like dark chocolate and crunchy almond butter, I'd buy a case.

4. Girl Scout S'mores: Very on-brand, easy on the eyes, and a decent approximation of the real thing. Probably taste great around an LED campfire.

3. Do-si-dos: If I knew what makes these so much better than something like a Nutter Butter, I would quit my job and open a bakery.

2. Samoas: Forget Trefoils, Samoas are the real iconic GS cookie. The only bad thing about these is that a box has like six cookies in it.

1. Thin Mints: The bestseller. Been around since the '50s. Vegan before it was cool. Not flashy, just perfect.
posted by box at 12:44 PM on February 25 [7 favorites]

The shortbread trefoils are still my favorites, with the lemonades a close second.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:09 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]

I love Trefoils as well. They absolutely do have a flavor, and that flavor is “butter!”

[Homer Simpson noises]
posted by armeowda at 1:26 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]

I was not aware that there were differences in Girl Scout cookies by region. This map breaks it down. Apparently moving from Ohio to Illinois 20-some years ago was within the same region so if I still ate Girl Scout cookies, they'd be familiar.

I adore Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos, but I have absolutely zero restraint so I haven't bought any in years. I have to admit that the raspberry one doesn't sound very good, but I'm sure that wouldn't keep me from eating a sleeve of them given the chance.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:39 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]

Athanassiel, you made me go look up milk bar, and now I am delighted to know a new thing. (It sounded to me like some kind of ice cream shop that also offered milk drinks, like chocolate milk and strawberry milk? But I was wrong!)

Trader Joe's used to have these little crunchy oatmeal cookies about the size of a silver dollar, and they were so good with a couple of chocolate chips plunked on top. They haven't had them for ... a few years, at this point, although the last few times I asked, they SAID they were still planning to get them back in, they just had no idea when. ... So, since I don't have my favorite cookies anymore, I've been trying lots of other cookies instead. I've taken a liking to the dark chocolate leibniz, but they're about twice as big as what I actually need when I feel like just a little bite of something.

Which reminds me that Trader Joe's also used to have some Jo-Jo's with a chocolate filling that tasted JUST like classic Oreos only a bit better, but those have been truly discontinued. I miss those too.

It's awfully nice to be able to get speculoos easily and reliably now. Love those things.

There's a semi-healthy Thin Mints knock-off I've tried recently that was pretty good, but alas, I can't remember the name.

I like cookies.

Yay for this thread - thank you taz!
posted by kristi at 2:02 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

I also got to try the Raspberry Rally in previews, and it’s…pretty chemical.

NYC goes live on March 1st! My daughters troop has a free shipping week on March 20-26, hit me up in memail for her online sale site!
posted by Liesl at 3:04 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

We don’t buy many cookies. It’s funny to think about because I grew up in a household full of Oreos and Chips Ahoy and whatever those Keebler things are and these funny little chewy chocolate chip cookies from the grocery store bakery. In my house now our vices tend more toward straight chocolate and ice cream. Too much ice cream. A freezer full of custard, currently.

Girl Scout Cookies I find much less attractive than other treats. In a way, that’s kind of nice because we won’t go through a box all that fast, if we pass a stand on the street and decide to buy. I love Samoas and don’t much care for Caramel Delites, somehow. I have tended not to like the flavors that have come around since my own childhood, which probably makes me some kind of junk food reactionary.
posted by eirias at 3:45 PM on February 25

Girl Scout cookies are delicious.

I didn't join the girl scouts because all the local group did was sell cookies they didn't even get to make. I wasn't allowed to join the boy scouts because they wouldn't take a girl.

I never buy the cookies.
posted by aniola at 6:02 PM on February 25

i generally don't eat sweet stuff (not judging, I shovel down salty snack foods by the bagful), but Samoas are a rather notable weak spot in that regard.
posted by mollweide at 6:16 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

My immune system gave up on gluten 13 years ago (good grief, it's been a minute), so I don't get to eat many Girl Scout cookies these days (though the GF butter toffee are AMAZING), but the wife says the French toast and lemon are amazing. In general, the only cookie she's ever met that she wouldn't eat are oatmeal raisin.

It's funny this comes up, because the wife and I are making efforts to do things together instead of just coexisting in the same place, and so we made cookies together tonight. :) Y'all, these Dirty Chai Earthquake Cookies were ridiculously good. They're buttery flaky explosions of chai flavor and they're SO GOOD.

(GF subs: king author GF all purpose, maca powder for the malted milk powder)
posted by joycehealy at 7:24 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]

My link is broken, but this should work:
posted by joycehealy at 7:31 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]

I'm a Girl Scout leader and got to try the raspberry ones a few months ago. May I recommend Thin Mints?

Please, if you're buying them from a cookie booth -- buy them from the older youths, the ones in the tan vests! It is so much harder to sell cookies once you're not a cute lil' Daisy or Brownie, but this is when their activities cost a lot more. For example: when they were Brownies, we had a $10 / meeting budget. Not per kid and per meeting, but straight up per meeting. Now the youth in my troop are in high school and college, and they want to do things like self-defense workshops that cost $300.

Every year for the past few years there's been a cookie shortage. You didn't hear it from me, but this year it's Toffee-tastics and Samoas.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:59 PM on February 25 [6 favorites]

My sister and I were in the Bluebirds (Camp Fire's version of Brownies) and we sold peanut brittle. I say "sold," because our parents bought it all because it was easier for them than taking us places where we could sell it. It's a good thing peanut brittle doesn't really go bad.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:20 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

I promise I'm not always this grumpy, but this is such a USA-centered topic... it may be that season for all y'all, but in the rest of the world it's not.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:34 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]

I'm sorry, Too-Ticky! I'm in Greece, so we don't have any either! But I just love the idea of a "cookie season" that isn't other-holiday related. And I did ask about other favorites, and hoped people wouldn't be shy about offering non-GS/GG favorites.

Mine is this Snickerdoodles for Two recipe, which makes two large cookies. Easy, no special ingredients to buy, no pile of cookies sitting there daring me to have another one, and they are delicious! Plus we eat them still warm from the oven, which is basically cookie nirvana.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:54 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]

Also, I forgot to say people can just talk about whatever is up with them, which is always true in Metatalktail threads! I was going too fast, and failed to include that!
posted by taz (staff) at 2:58 AM on February 26

On British biscuits, I enjoyed Caroline Taggart's A Slice of Britain: Around the country by cake - includes biscuits as well as cake. My favourites are the gingery ones, like parkin. Now I may have to make some this afternoon - I'm niece-sitting so not got a lot to do (apart from the many things I took to do, but biscuit-making trumps them).
posted by paduasoy at 3:38 AM on February 26

If anyone knows of a way to get Girl Scout cookies in the UK, let me know?

I remember during the 2020 lockdown, finding an untouched box of Samoas at the back of the cabinet. Felt like I'd discovered gold.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:03 AM on February 26 [4 favorites]

Too-Ticky, I would love to hear about your favorite cookies/biscuits where you live, either manufactured or home made, or anything you want to talk about!

On Girl Scout cookies,I'm still loyal to Thin Mints, though the lemon ones are ok too. A lot of our U.S. cookies are just too sweet for me.

I'm happy British digestive biscuits are now more widely available in the U.S., because they are generally at my sweetness level. I also like their shortbread as well, though we do have one local shortbread company that does a really good job.

A while back, I was trading teas with someone in Finland (despite the shipping costs), and once sent her some Marshmallows so she could make s'mores at Midsummer. She subbed digestive biscuits for graham crackers and used local chocolate and said they all had a fun time.

My nostalgia food though is my mother's brownies. You know how some kids have lemonade stands, well I always had brownie stands selling those brownies. I have the recipe, which is nothing particularly exotic, but somehow mine just are not quite the same, if you know what I mean. Sigh.
posted by gudrun at 9:10 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]

if anyone knows of a way to get Girl Scout cookies in the UK, let me know?

Alternatively, if you know where to get Marks&Spencer Extremely Chocolatey Squares in the US, please advise.
posted by Rash at 9:17 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]

I did make biscuits - Easter ones flavoured with cassia oil. They were good just out of the oven; unknown what they will be like without the warmth and pliability. Will take some to work tomorrow as I think they will be good dunkers.

Whilst I was making them I was listening to In Our Time, which was about the Chartists. One of the academics said that one of the Chartist leaders had been accused of telling his followers to go about with a copy of the Charter and a musket. He said that he had been misquoted and had said biscuit, not musket. It's referred to here.
posted by paduasoy at 11:12 AM on February 26

Based on comments from Canadian MeFites, I got some Coffee Crisps. They did not disappoint.
posted by theora55 at 11:47 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]

This thread just reminded me that I pre-ordered some cookies, like, weeks ago from a little girl who hit me up at the park. I wonder if I'll actually see those cookies show up at my house at some point soonish
posted by potrzebie at 12:46 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]

Every Girl Scout Cookie season, I feel perplexed about all the fanfare.

Unless something has changed recently the cookies probably aren't made with organic or fair trade ingredients (cocoa, sugar). They are sold using what looks to me like unpaid child labor.

I am very unclear on how this promotes [does a quick skim of Wikipedia for Girl Scout and Girl Scout cookie sales values] empowerment (someone else makes the cookies), entrepreneurship (someone else makes the cookies), or compassion or business ethics (were these cookies made with ethical ingredients? what costs does commissioning a megacorp "bakery" externalize?), for example. It says to me, make profit at the expense of others.

Also last I checked they even contained partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats). Not so much per serving that they'd have to admit to it on the label. Also according to something I read somewhere, cis boys, and children who haven't yet realized or shared that they're girls, don't appear to be allowed to participate in Girl Scouts activities in 2023.
posted by aniola at 1:29 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

> the cookies probably aren't made with organic or fair trade ingredient

This is correct. I don't know if anyone has run the numbers, but I suspect it would become too expensive. It's not about the cookies.

> They are sold using what looks to me like unpaid child labor.

They're volunteers, as are the adults with them. Many people volunteer for organizations they want to support. This is not what child labor looks like.

> cis boys, and children who haven't yet realized or shared that they're girls, don't appear to be allowed to participate in Girl Scouts activities in 2023

My council's policy: "We welcome children from across the gender spectrum: those who identify as transgender, agender, androgynous, etc., and those who are in transition or questioning their gender identity. The Girl Scout mission is to hold space for those who, on the spectrum of gender identity, are not cis-gender boys (those whose gender identity is boy, and the sex assigned at birth is male.) Girl Scouts is not appropriate for cisgender boys." So, yes, you are correct that cis boys rarely participate. If it is important for you to support scouting programs that include cis boys, I recommend the generally-groovy Campfire. They sell trail mix and other snacks outside stores around this time of year, too.

And it's fine if you don't want to buy the cookies! You are not alone! But please, don't tell the youth at the cookie booths why you're not supporting them. Every year someone feels like they have to tell us "I'm on a diet" or "You support abortions" or whatever, and that's a lot to throw at a kid who's just trying to raise some money to buy duct tape.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:04 PM on February 26 [15 favorites]

Please click on my links, which address the unpaid child labor I was talking about.
posted by aniola at 2:17 PM on February 26

You're right, the safer space question is more complicated than it was for the boy scouts. There's not a need for safer spaces for boys in the same way, they can be gender all-inclusive and it's a non-issue.

On the other hand, every person I can think of who has transitioned away from male has done it after childhood. They spent their childhoods presenting as 100% cis boys.
posted by aniola at 2:30 PM on February 26

I was excited to find Hobnobs at our local gourmet shop, but they're too expensive to be anything but a sometimes treat.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:52 PM on February 26

We don't have Girl Scouts here, just Scouts and everyone is welcome. We do have Girl Guides (anyone identifying as female welcome, but no boys!) but, as of 2021, they no longer sell biscuits (the correct name for what Americans call cookies).
posted by dg at 3:32 PM on February 26

I mean, if the child in question is presenting as a 100% cis boy I'm not sure why anyone would think Girl Scouting is an appropriate program for them. If you are a non-boy to the point where GS is more appealing to you and you're able to communicate that to the adults in your life, GS welcomes your participation. Not sure how they can do any better than that.
posted by potrzebie at 3:45 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

There is no Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts organisation in Australia, just Scouts Australia and, as per their Web site, Scouting welcomes all genders to our Sections and as Adult Leaders.

It's Girl Guides Australia that restricts membership to girls and women. Under the terms of this policy, ‘girls and women’ includes persons who identify as, and live their lives as, females. For the purposes of Australian Guiding membership, non-female gender is a lawfully permitted basis for denying membership. With 19,000 members across the country, as opposed to 70,000 scouts, I wonder how long they'll remain viable as an organisation.
posted by dg at 4:31 PM on February 26

I mean, if the child in question is presenting as a 100% cis boy I'm not sure why anyone would think Girl Scouting is an appropriate program for them. If you are a non-boy to the point where GS is more appealing to you and you're able to communicate that to the adults in your life, GS welcomes your participation. Not sure how they can do any better than that.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that a cis boy who wants to participate in feminine-coded activities isn't a boy?

If I understand you correctly, I don't think this is a good case. It's more socially acceptable for little girls to participate in male-coded activities because male is treated as the default gender in a lot of ways. I want to live in a society where little boys can and do participate in feminine-coded activities.

But do I think there is a safer space case to be made for excluding cis boys.
posted by aniola at 4:33 PM on February 26

But do I think there is a safer space case to be made for excluding cis boys.
Yes, this is why Girl Guides Australia does so. Because its membership told them they don't always feel safe or free to participate in spaces that include boys. Sad, but true.
posted by dg at 4:55 PM on February 26

Even with their unappetizing name, McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives are my favorite. And I see from that link that there’s now a dark chocolate version. *skitters off to order some*
posted by bendy at 6:27 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

Unless something has changed recently the cookies probably aren't made with organic or fair trade ingredients

I'm a bit confused; did someone claim they were made with organic or fair trade ingredients? I'm pretty sure the majority of cookies on grocery store shelves aren't made with organic or fair trade ingredients.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:39 PM on February 26

A Grimdark Tagalong Reboot is my next metafilter username
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:05 PM on February 26 [5 favorites]

Remember that there are two different baking corporations that supply the girl scouts in the USA, and each has their own formulation for each cookie. So your longtime favorite might suddenly become substandard after you move to a new area.

I wonder how historically applicable that map is, because I grew up deep in an orange zone but the Thin Mints we got were absolutely the look of the green zone ones, and I can attest to that with the most complete confidence anyone has ever had for any memory in the history of brains.
posted by fleacircus at 8:45 PM on February 26

I was never any kind of scout, but we did candy sale fundraisers for the school band and it always felt a little off to me. Now I look back and realize that... some candy companies were getting high school kids to sell product for them, which strikes me as pretty sketchy. I was well aware that selling candy to my peers during school hours was a questionable idea for a variety of reasons (unhealthy, doesn't contribute to a good learning environment, felt oddly like we were pressuring our peers to buy drugs) but... we need to fundraise for the band trip! Everyone has to sell at least X boxes! For music education! That was some weird pressure to get from teachers & administrators.

In the case of Girl Scout cookies, it looks like subsidiaries of a couple multinational corporations with annual revenues in the tens-of-billions are getting a non-profit and a bunch of young girls to do their marketing and sales. Sure, the non-profit is getting a sizeable cut of the proceeds, but I sincerely doubt it is a losing proposition for those companies.

did someone claim they were made with organic or fair trade ingredients?

I think that was in reference to "business ethics" being part of what the cookie sale is supposed to teach participants. Selling something made with non-fair-trade cocoa and/or sugar may be business as usual, but it is far from ethical.

Anyway... Cookies! My partner occasionally makes some out of chickpea flour and nuts and dried fruit and things. They are very filling and remarkably tasty, depending on which ingredients she decides to substitute, and how well the substitutions work. At this point, I think it's less a recipe and more a general concept.
posted by sibilatorix at 9:03 PM on February 26

I like cookies made with oats. Oats and raisins is OK, oats and nuts is great, oats and chocolate is superb. Basically, I like oats.
I should try baking some oat cookies some time. That would be a first.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:36 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Alton Brown’s oatiest oatmeal cookie recipe is a bit of an ordeal, but it is a deliciously oaty cookie.
posted by obfuscation at 5:06 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

My mom used to blend oatmeal until it became flour-like, then sub it in for half the flour in our chocolate chip cookies. To me, it's the best way.
posted by Night_owl at 6:02 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

If you like Girl Scout cookies and the Girl Scouts, skip this comment. Just skip it. I don't want to yuck your yum and am giving you the opportunity to ignore this.
OK - I have a few problems with the cookie sale from when my daughter was a brownie. The first is that while the reported amount that Girl Scouts says they get from sales is large and stays local, they neglect to say that most of it goes to the local council and not necessarily to the troop. Roughly 60 cents per box goes to the troop (it was 50 when my daughter was involved). That's...not a lot. Second, there is something akin to horse-trading that happens with cookies sales. If only one person orders Do-si-dos, that troop has to order a full case and are responsible for selling the full case. Multiple troops will then do cookie barters in order to avoid getting stuck with cookies that aren't wanted. It's a serious PITA and time-suck. At this point, I prefer to just give the troop cold, hard cash. They do better from it. If I give them $10, that's $10 that the troop gets instead of $1.20. Finally, and this probably has more to do with my local council than the org in general and nothing to do with cookie sales, the org is hypocritical about inclusivity. The year my daughter, who has Down syndrome, was eligible for going to Girl Scout camp was coincidentally the year that they were using a girl with Down syndrome on the poster. It was also the year that they said, "no. Your daughter can't come to Girl Scout camp because she has disabilities." So yeah, not a fan anymore. And while I used to like to stash away a box of thin mints for turning into ice cream or a box of lemonades for the crust of a cheesecake, that's not my thing anymore. But I do have sympathy for the girls who are standing out in the cold in my area and will choose to like the player and hate the game and just donate cash.
posted by plinth at 6:59 AM on February 27 [6 favorites]

Okay, so I ordered the Raspberry Rally cookies online and finally opened them today, per this thread.

They are... just okay. Very strongly raspberry...something. Chemically outside is pretty there, not very mint-ish on the inside. About two out of five stars, would probably not custom order again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:48 AM on February 27

Wait, the raspberry ones are minty?
posted by mochapickle at 9:53 AM on February 27

Mod note: Several comments deleted. The first was an accidental post to this thread, which the user requested be deleted and the remaining were responding to that initial accidentally posted comment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 10:05 AM on February 27 [7 favorites]

If I give them $10, that's $10 that the troop gets instead of $1.20.

This is not always true. When I learned how little went to the individual troops, I asked about just making a straight donation instead. I was told if a donation was made a certain number of weeks before or after "cookie season" (and of course, during) the troop was to treat it as if it were cookie sales and distribute the money accordingly.

Just FYI - to make sure the donation goes where you want it to (and, of course, this could be different in different areas.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:40 AM on February 27

My most valuable trait to determine if I'm allowed access into the fallout shelter as the nukes are launched is that I cannot stand Thin Mints so I'll leave your stash alone.

My GS cookie of choice would be Samoas/Carmel Delites.
posted by Twicketface at 11:06 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

I bought some Pim's Orange Cookies this weekend on a whim, probably because they reminded me of Pimm's Number One Cup. I think they're probably Jaffa Cakes to most of the rest of the world: a wafer-thin dark chocolate disk, a layer of orange marmalade, and a quarter inch thick piece of sponge cake. They're very light and airy and quite good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:25 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

I had the vague impression that Raspberry Rally was supposed to be like, a raspberry Thin Mint. Only in looks so far. I apologize for misleading. There's not a lot of there-there in the middle.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:36 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

OMG Jaffa Cakes! The only orange/chocolate combination I like.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:09 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]

We just bought some Girl Scout Cookies yesterday. The thin mints don't appear to be a substantive or tasty as they used to be, which is a shame.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:02 PM on February 27

Keebler makes a decent mint chocolate cookie and there are a few store brands that also fill that need.
posted by soelo at 7:27 AM on February 28

Some of y'all must be in the ABC footprint, because the Raspberry Rally preview box we got from Little Brownies was outfuckingstanding. Unfortunately, the digital site sold out of them in an hour and a half.
posted by Etrigan at 9:39 AM on February 28

With the pandemic leading to online Girl Scout Cookie sales, I could finally do my head to head tasting of ABC to LBB, and I'm just sorry for those of you in the wrong part of the country.
posted by advicepig at 1:15 PM on February 28

Also, my two favorite cookies are no more. Pouring one out for lemon coolers and s'mores.
posted by advicepig at 1:16 PM on February 28

Always and forever and unambiguously Samoas.

Yeah, I’m solidly team Samoas, too. That said, I’m also dearly fond of good old, simple Trefoils. Boring? Maybe. But there’s something about those uncomplicated little shortbreads that make me happy.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:19 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]

I love the raspberry/chocolate combination. So does the SO. I will be buying and consuming them with gusto. Might even give one to the SO. Maybe.
posted by Splunge at 1:29 PM on March 1

Sold out.
Sold out.
Sold out.
Sold out.

posted by Splunge at 1:50 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]

I always liked Wednesday Addams: "Are they made from real Girl Scouts?"
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 7:11 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]

Trefoils made me think that I didn't like shortbread until well into adulthood, they are a sham and I was surprised they're still on the roster. I was hopeful about the Toast-Yays, as I love cinnamon, but it sounds like I can skip them.

As a scout many years ago, we had Golden Yangles to sell. They were cheese crackers, I assume so that we could bully diabetic people into buying from us. It's an amazing name and I'd love to see it rebooted.
posted by momus_window at 10:25 AM on March 2

I heard I could find some early taters in this thread

Later taters are fine too if that's all that's left
posted by Press Butt.on to Check at 9:40 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]

How about common taters?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:53 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]

Sold out for the season. Quite a short season...
posted by Splunge at 3:19 PM on March 3

Now everything is sold out, if you're in the LBB footprint.
posted by Etrigan at 11:50 AM on March 7

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