Got Girl Scout Cookies? (with or without milk)
By Sam Johnson
"Sammy, they're finally here! Just what you've been waiting for!"
Mom gleefully announced the news to me the other day when I stopped by to visit. She saw it mentioned in the newspaper.
And she's right! I’ve been waiting for weeks now, and every time I'd think about them, my mouth waters.
"Lemonades," "Shortbreads," "Peanut Butter Patties," "Caramel deLites," "Peanut Butter Sandwich," the new "Thanks-A-Lot" and "Shout Outs" -- and best of all, the Thin Mints!
Of course I’m talking about those scrumptious Girl Scout cookies that have become as much a harbinger of spring (just-around-the-corner) as seed catalogs and Easter displays, but a lot more fun to eat!
Now truth be told, I’m not a fan of factory baked cookies of any kind. You will never catch me buying those “store bought” brick-hard varieties (though I do admit to an occasional weakness for a glass of milk and a double Oreo, Grasshopper, or a good old ginger snap).
But Girl Scout cookies are a different matter.
They are my one great weakness; the Achilles’ heel of my otherwise ironclad will that normally enables me to “just say NO” to door-to-door peddlers.
Bring a cure little pixie, Brownie, or Girl Scout, to my door with a sampler of Girl Scout cookies, and you’ve got yourself a sale. My steely-eyed look goes soft and my ironclad will instantly melts away.
I don’t know exactly what it is, but it must have something to do with the cookies themselves, for I’m not the type of person who has a hankering for sweets of any kind, cookie, candy, or ice cream.
Yet every spring when I hear that Girl Scouts are making the rounds taking orders for their cookies, my mouth begins to water and I actually begin to crave them.
I don't think it's an addiction; but one year the Girl Scouts and Brownies missed me, or I them, so I called a local den mother and pleaded with her to somehow get me a couple boxes of cookies, even if it meant phoning the bakery.
She explained it would be impossible and I would have to wait until next year.
My heart sank.
But when the cookies came in, her daughter brought me a box and said she hoped I was feeling better.
Funny thing, after I finished the entire box, I did feel better!
Now don’t misunderstand me.
When I speak about Girl Scout cookies, I’m actually referring to just one kind of cookie -- the Thin Mint.
Though the other Girl Scout cookies are fine, the Thin Mints are what I think of, and what makes my mouth water when I hear someone say the words “Girl Scout cookies.”
And I must not be the only one to feel this way, for of the estimated 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold each year, a fourth of those sold are the Thin Mints.
Yet while many of us “Thin Minters” think of this crunchy cookie as the “original Girl Scout cookie,” it actually isn’t.
The Girl Scouts got into cookie making back in 1932 when a group of Girl Scouts in Philadelphia held a cooking demonstration in order to earn their cooking badges. They gave away the cookies they baked to passers-by, and were surprised at how quickly the cookies disappeared.
The next year they again baked their cookies, but this time sold them in order to help pay off the expense of their summer camp programs.
Their venture was so successful that in 1934 they went commercial, contracting with the Keebler Baking Company to bake their iconic trefoil-shaped shortbread cookies which they sold for 23 cents a box.
The cookies were a big hit, and in 1936 the Girl Scouts went national with their cookies, later expanding their shortbread line to other types of cookies including the Thin Mints.
And the rest, as they say, is cookie history.
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