I remember doing the same thing but I was not too eager to ring people’s doorbells. I was very shy and direct sales have never been my talent.
But that is one reason the Girl Scout cookie program was developed. It’s not just a-bout selling the most famous cookies in America, it’s about helping girls develop important life skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
As girls advance through the organization, they earn badges that signify achievement in each of these areas. Earning a badge in Girl Scouts is usually a daunting task, but a memorable one.
I remember earning my bicycle badge for riding five miles around Andy Woods Elementary. I also had the cookie badge, sewing badge and a few others. Every time I added a badge to my sash I was very proud.
As an adult, I wonder why Girl Scouts sell cookies in January when everyone is trying keep their New Year’s goals of eating healthier. Maybe this is when we all earn our badge in moderation.
Many people put their cookies in the freezer so they can savor their couple of boxes of Thin Mints slowly throughout the year. Others receive their box of peanut butter Tagalongs and devour the whole thing in one or two sittings – which isn’t hard to do with only 14 in the box.
The sale of Girl Scout cookies began in 1917 as a way to finance troop activities. The Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked cookies and sold them in the high school cafeteria as a service project.
The rest of the story comes from girlscouts.org.
“In July 1922, The American Girl magazine, published by Girl Scout national headquarters, featured an article by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Illinois. Miss Neil provided a cookie recipe that had been given to the council’s 2,000 Girl Scouts. She estimated the approximate cost of ingredients for six- to seven-dozen cookies to be 26 to 36 cents. The cookies, she suggested, could be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.
“In the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country continued to bake their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.
“By the early 1950s the cookies were being mass produced and were available in three flavors: shortbread, peanut butter sandwich and chocolate mint. By the mid ’60s more flavors were added but the original three were the top-sellers.
“The cookie production continued to grown and in the 1990s as eight varieties were available, including low-fat and sugar-free selections that never sold well enough to continue production.”
So which cookie is the guiltiest pleasure? Which flavors are available this year? And which is the favorite? Tylerpaper.com and girlscouts.org have conducted favorite cookie polls. I have included the local and national results – which are surprisingly similar.
Samoas: Crisp cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and stripe with a dark chocolate coating. They are the Tyler Paper favorite with 28.9 percent of the vote and the national favorite with 32 percent. They are also the worst when it comes to fat and calories – 75 calories and 4 grams of fat per cookie.
Thin Mints: Crisp wafers covered in a chocolate mint sauce. They contain 40 calories and 2 grams of fat per cookie. In popularity they are a close second to the Samoas with 26 percent of the vote in the Tyler Paper poll and 28 percent in the national poll.
Tagalongs: Crispy cookie layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolate coating. These are the third place cookie with 15.7 percent of the Tyler Paper vote and 13 percent of the national vote. They are also near the top in fat and calories with 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per cookie.
Trefoils: The traditional shortbread cookie received 15 percent of the Tyler Paper vote and five percent of the national vote. They are also one of the lowest on the guilt meter with 32 calories and 1.5 grams of fat in each cookie.
Do-Si-Dos: One of the original flavors with a crunchy oatmeal sandwich filled with creamy peanut butter. Coming in at a little more than 5 percent on the national poll and eight percent on the Tyler Paper poll they are a little better than their other peanut butter counterpart, the Tagalongs, coming in at 53 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.
Savannah Smiles: Crispy, zesty lemon wedge cookies dusted with powdered sugar. It’s one of the newer flavors but still ranks at 3 percent on both polls. This year I tasted Savannah Smiles for the first time and I really like the bright lemon flavor and slight sweetness from the powdered sugar. On the nutrition scale these rate the best. One cookie has 28 calories and one gram of fat.
Thank You Berry Munch: Introduced in 2009, these hearty cookies with premium cranberries and white fudge chips might have some stiff competition but they are gaining some ground as a new favorite. They have 60 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per cookie.
These are the eight flavors available in Texas according to www.texascookietime.org.
Door to door sales began on Jan. 11, and booth sales at area stores begin Feb. 22. Samoas may be at the top of the list for popularity, calories and fat but there are many other flavors to choose from that are just as tasty. Whatever your fancy – lemon, chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, caramel or just plain shortbread – there’s a Girl Scout cookie for everyone.
1922 Original Girl Scout Cookie Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
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 degrees) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.
Recipe from www.girlscouts.org