All About Girl Scout Cookies

If you're like us, probably the first thing you think of when you hear, "Girl Scouts" is cookies. That's because the Girl Scouts, who celebrated their 100th Anniversary in 2012, have been selling cookies for almost that long.

The Girls Scouts of the United States of America was founded in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia, by Juliette Gordon Low (aka "Daisy") with the help of the founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Sir Robert Baden-Powell.

The Girl Scouts grew out of the Girl Guides which were first formed in Scotland in 1911.

The organization's name was officially changed from Girl Guides to Girl Scouts in 1915 and by 1916, the group quickly surpassed 7,000 members.

Some famous Girl Scout Alumnae include: Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Ann Landers, Lucille Ball, Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Martha Stewart, Condoleezza Rice, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dorothy Hamill, Barbara Walters, Sandra Day O'Connor, Gloria Steinem, Sheryl Crow, Taylor Swift, Sally Ride, Katie Couric, Madeleine Albright, Dionne Warwick and Peggy Fleming.

Girl Scout Cookie Mission

Every Cookie Has A Mission

Girl Scouts Cookies History

The selling of cookies to finance troop activities began back in 1917, with the sale of home baked cookies in high school cafeterias.

In 1922, an article and cookie recipe was published by Girl Scout national headquarters and provided to more than 2,000 Girl Scouts, estimating that six to seven dozen cookies could be made for about $0.30 cents and then sold for $0.25 to $0.30 cents per dozen!

In the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts from around 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 $0.25 to $0.35 cents per dozen.

An Early Girl Scouts Cookie® Recipe

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for topping (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Cream butter and 1 cup sugar.
  3. Add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt and baking powder until well mixed.
  4. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
  5. Roll out the dough and cut with a Trefoil Cookie Cutter (sprinkle sugar on top, if desired).
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges turn golden brown.

This recipe makes about 6- to 7-dozen Early Girl Scouts Cookies.

In 1934, the Greater Philadelphia area became the first Girl Scout council to sell commercially baked cookies. Two years later, in 1936, Girl Scout Cookie sales went national when the national Girl Scouts licensed the first commercial baker.

Enthusiasm for Girl Scout Cookies quickly spread nationwide. In 1937, more than 125 Girl Scout councils reported holding cookie sales.

Annual cookie sales continued, with the national organization licensing local bakers to produce and package the cookies sold by girls in councils. By 1948, a total of 29 bakers throughout the nation were licensed to bake Girl Scout Cookies!

During World War II, when sugar, flour, and butter shortages were common, making cookies was expensive and ingredients were scarce. So, Girl Scouts also began selling Girl Scout calendars to raise money for their activities.

In 1951, Girl Scout Cookies came in three varieties:

  • Sandwich
  • Shortbread
  • Chocolate Mints (now known as Thin Mints)

By 1956, this expanded to four types of cookies:

  • A vanilla-based filled cookie
  • A chocolate-based filled cookie
  • Shortbread
  • Chocolate Mint

Some bakers also offered an optional flavor.

Girl Scout Cookie Flavors

Girl Scout Cookie Flavors

In 1960, licensed bakers first began wrapping the Girl Scout Cookie boxes in printed aluminum foil, or cellophane, to protect the cookies and preserve their freshness.

Cookie sale volume increased significantly in the 1960s. By 1961, 14 licensed bakers were baking thousands and thousands of Girl Scout Cookies annually.

By 1966, a number of varieties were available, with the best sellers being Chocolate Mint, Shortbread, and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies.

In 1978, the number of bakeries was decreased to four to ensure uniform quality, packaging, and distribution and lower prices.

Girl Scouts of the USA, began supplying the licensed bakers with standard cookie package layouts and pictures.

As of 2012, two licensed bakers (Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers) produce a maximum of eight varieties, including three mandatory ones (Thin Mint, Peanut Butter Sandwich, and Shortbread) and five optional. All these cookies are kosher.

Where Are Girl Scout Cookies Sold?

Girl Scout Cookies can only be purchased from Girls during the official cookie season, which is usually between January and April, though some occur in September.

To find cookies and learn when cooki season starts in your community, you can visit www.GirlScoutCookies.org and use the zip code locator to learn when cookies go on sale and where booth sales may be located in your neighborhood.

They also have a free mobile Cookie Finder App for your iPhone®. You can search for sales in your neighborhood, get details on your favorite Girl Scout cookies and find your own Cookie Personality!

Mark your calendar for National Girl Scout Cookie Day which falls on February 8th.

Girl Scout Cookie Boxes

Girl Scout Cookie Boxes

Types of Girl Scout Cookies

Licenses bakers can offer up to eight varieties of Girl Scout Cookies, but only three types are mandatory: Thin Mints®, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-Si-Do's® and Shortbread/Trefoils®.

The national Girl Scout organization reviews and approves all varieties proposed by the bakers. Any of the five optional cookies can be changed every year. Each bakery names its own cookies, so Girl Scout Cookies that are quite similar may have different names. That's why the varieties differ by year and location.

To see a listing of all current varieties of Girl Scout Cookies along with pictures and descriptions, you can visit www.GirlScoutCookies.org.

Best-Selling Girl Scout Cookies

The biggest sellers are:

  • 25% Thin Mints®
  • 19% Samoas®/Caramel deLites®
  • 13% Peanut Butter Patties®/Tagalongs®
  • 11% Peanut Butter Sandwiches/Do-Si-Dos®
  • 9% Shortbread/Trefoils®

All the other varieties combined account for the remaining 23%.

Thin Mints, which were introduced in the 1930s, are the most popular Girl Scout cookie as well as the 3rd best selling cookie in the United States!

Best Selling Girl Scout Cookies

Best Selling Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookie Flavors and Nutritional Estimates

Caramel deLites® / Samoas®
Delicate vanilla cookies drenched in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with cocoa stripes. Number 2 Bestseller.
Each 2 cookie serving of Samoas has 150 calories, 8g fat, 18g carbs, less than 1 g fiber, less than 1g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values
Samoas Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrate, 1 fat
Each 2 cookie serving of Caramel deLites has 130 calories, 6g fat, 19g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Caramel deLites Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrates, 1 fat

Do-si-dos® /Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Deliciously smooth peanut butter sandwiched between crunchy oatmeal cookies and long time favorite Girl Scout cookie flavor.
Each 3 cookie serving of Do-si-dos has 160 calories, 6g fat, 26g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein and 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Do-si-dos Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrate, 1 fat
Each 3 cookie serving of Peanut Butter Sandwiches has 160 calories, 6g fat, 26g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein and 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Peanut Butter Sandwiches Diet Exchange: 1.5 starch or carbohydrates, 1.5 fats

Dulce de Leche
Inspired by the classic confections of Latin America, these sweet, bite-size cookies are rich with milk caramel chips.
Each 4 cookie serving has 160 calories, 8g fat, 20g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Diet Exchange: 1 carbohydrate, 1.5 fats

Lemonades™
Savory slices of shortbread with a refreshingly tangy lemon icing.
Each 2 cookie serving has 150 calories, 7g fat, 22g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Diet Exchange: 1.5 starch or carbohydrates, 1 fat

Mango Crèmes™ (Introduced in 2013)
Delicious vanilla and coocnut cookies filled with a tangy mango-flavored crème enhanced with nutrifusion (nutrients derived from fruits).
Each 3 cookie serving has 180 calories, 8g fat, 25g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g protein and 5 Weight Watcher PointsPlus Value
Diet Exchange: 1.5 starch or carbohydrates, 1.5 fats

Savannah Smiles®
Savannah Smiles are crisp, zesty lemony cookies named in honor of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting.
Each 5 cookie serving has 140 calories, 5g fat, 23g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Diet Exchange: 1.5 starch or carbohydrates, 1 fat

Shout Outs!™ (Introduced in 2011)
Light and crisp, Belgian-style Biscoff-like caramelized cookies
Each 4 cookie serving has 130 calories, 5g fat, 18g carbs, 0g carbs, 2g protein and 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value

Tagalongs® / Peanut Butter Patties®
Crispy vanilla cookies layered with real peanut butter and blanketed with a chocolaty coating - another favorite flavor.
Each 2 cookie serving of Peanut Butter Patties has 130 calories, 7g fat, 15g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Each 2 cookie serving of Tagalongs has 140 calories, 9g fat, 13g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Peanut Butter Patties Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrate, 1 fat
Tagalongs Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrate, 2 fats

Thanks-A-Lot®
Heart-warming shortbread cookies dipped in rich fudge and topped with an embossed Thank You message in one of five languages.
Each 2 cookie serving has 150 calories, 6g fat, 22g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Diet Exchange: 1.5 starch or carbohydrates, 1 fat

Thank U Berry Munch™
Real, premium cranberries provide a delightful tartness in these hearty cookies sweetened with creamy, white fudge chips.
Each 2 cookie serving has 120 calories, 5g fat, 18g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Diet Exchange: 1 carbohydrate, 1 fat

Thin Mints
Thin chocolate wafers dipped in a rich chocolaty coating with a burst of pure peppermint. A longtime bestseller.
Each 4 cookie serving (from ABC Bakers) has 160 calories, 7g fat, 22g carbs, less than 1g fiber, 2g protein and 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrate, 1 fat
Each 4 cookie serving (from Little Brownie Bakers) has 160 calories, 8g fat, 22g carbs, less than 1g fiber, 1g protetin and 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value

Trefoils™ / Shortbread
Traditional favorite with a buttery, light flavor.
Each 5 cookie serving of Trefoils has 160 calories, 7g fat, 22g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein and 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Trefoils Diet Exchange: 1.5 starch or carbohydrates, 1 fat
Shortbread Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrate, 1 fat
Each 4 cookie serving of Shortbread has 120 calories, 4.5g fat, 19g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g protein and 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value
Shortbread Diet Exchange: 1 starch or carbohydrate, 1 fat

Discontinued Girl Scout Cookies