Girls Scouts cookies are here!
Girl Scout Cookie Time is a fun annual tradition that many of us look forward to, if for no other reason than our own bit of nostalgia. remembering our own efforts at sales — or getting to eat them!
My first memory of Girl Scout cookies and still a favorite of mine, is the shortbread Trefoils. I don’t remember which came first: eating them or selling them. Our Granddaughter – a Brownie Scout this year and yes – selling cookies! – announced that the Samoas are 40 years old this year. I was shocked! …and prompted to look into the Girl Scout Cookie History.
An icon of American culture for nearly 100 years, the tradition, efforts and experiences offered to the Girl Scouts through cookie sales has provided valuable life skills in leadership, personal development, confidence, and community involvement.
As early as 1917, just five years after Girl Scouting in America was started by Juliette Gordon Low, the sale of cookies has been a way for troops to finance activities. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Girl Scouts across the country, in partnership with their mothers, baked simple sugar cookies, and sold them door-to-door, packaged by the dozen in waxed paper bags sealed with a sticker. Get the Recipe below!
The Greater Philadelphia Council was the first to sell commercially baked cookies (1934) and the Girl Scout Federation of New York purchased a die in the shape of Trefoil and used the words, “Girl Scout Cookies” on the boxes being sold (1935). The very next year, (1936) the national Girl Scout association began the process to license the first commercial baker to produce cookies that would be sold nationwide by girls in Girl Scout councils. And the rest, we might say is “History”!
Cookies were replaced with calendars during World War II with shortages of the key ingredients of Sugar, Flour and Butter. After the war, the sale of cookies resumed and three varieties were offered: Shortbread, Peanut Butter Sandwich, and Chocolate Mint.
A few year later, the flavors had evolved to a vanilla-based filled cookie, a chocolate-based filled cookie, shortbread, and the chocolate mint. Since the mid-1960s, a few more varieties have been offered, with the most popular and best sellers still the Shortbread, Chocolate Mint , and the Peanut Butter Sandwich. Now known as Trefoils, Thin Mints, and Do-si-dos, these continue to be the top sellers with the Samoas catching up in popularity!
The cookie boxes have also undergone a steady transformation. Now, bright and colorful, they depict scenes of Girl Scouts in action: hiking, canoeing, biking and promoting the benefits of Girl Scouting.
As early as the 1950s, and with the growth of suburbia, Girl Scout Cookies began being sold by girls at tables in shopping malls.
Images and information from Girl Scout.org
GIRL SCOUT COOKIE RECIPE
An article by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Illinois, was published in The American Girl magazine in July 1922, by Girl Scout nationeal headquarters. In the article, Miss Neil provided a cookie recipe that had been given to the council’s 2,000 Girl Scouts.
Girl Scout Cookie, circa 1922
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- additional sugar for topping (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.
- Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.