It’s that time of year where everyone stuffs their faces in the name of the greatest cookie season of the year. No, it isn’t Christmas, as the time for gingerbreads and snickerdoodles has long passed. Right now there are millions of smiling girls around the country knocking on your doors, rolling in with the red wagons that signal the arrival of the most wonderful, colorful, boxes of joy: Girl Scout cookies.
…Or so I’ve been told. Believe it or not, before 2016, I had never had a Girl Scout cookie in my life. Because I lived outside the US prior to college, all I’d really known of Thin Mints or Samoas was a vague memory of iCarly’s Sunshine Girls:
After recently witnessing them being distributed at the Oscars, I took it upon myself to buy a few boxes and see why households across the country hold (or possibly even hoard) them so closely. This is my take on some of America’s favorites:
Formerly known as Caramel deLites, Samoas are described to be crisp cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and striped with dark chocolatey coating.
These cookies reminded me of a cross between seven layer bars and Almond Joys. I found these cookies to be the sweetest of the lot, but also the most dynamic, with each element of the cookie bringing its own unique layer to the table. The only thing that was missing, I believe, was a sprinkling of salt to round out the flavors even more.
As far as the shortbread cookies go, you’re better off making them than you are buying them. I had hoped that these would exceed my expectations, but these cookies didn’t really have much to give.
Personally I thought they were dry and very plain. But perhaps you could amp them up by stuffing them with dulce de leche and coating them in chocolate, to make a quick version of the buttery Argentinean caramel sandwich cookies acalled alfajores.
Peanut Butter Patties
Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and while I love seeing chocolate melt all over the peanut butter in several baked goods, I’ve never been one to crave a Reese’s Cup.
Before eating these, I expected to be disappointed by something just as chalky. What I didn’t expect, however, was for the peanut butter to be creamy and salty, perfectly complimenting the dark chocolate coating. If you’re a fan of the peanut butter-chocolate combination, I highly suggest grabbing a box of these.
When I was little, I used to look forward to coming to LA for the summer and drowning myself in Dreyer’s Mint Chip ice cream. Now, unfortunately I’ve gotten older and likened it to toothpaste.
Knowing that Thin Mints are the most popular of all Girl Scout cookies, I kept an open mind. The verdict? I didn’t expect to like these as much as I did. This cookie was a chocolate bomb, with the mint chocolate coating being a refreshing yet indulgent compliment to the not-dry-at-all chocolate cookie.
Word of advice, ignore Gordon Ramsay and listen to Jimmy Kimmel: straight out of the freezer, one whole row at a time.
Despite not being the most popular or well-known, the Lemonades surprised me by being my favorite of them all. Unlike the Trefoils, these shortbread cookies are simple but buttery, perfectly iced with the sweet, tangy lemon icing reminiscent of, well, classic lemonade. I kept coming back to these wheels of buttery goodness, as the upcoming Spring months pair beautifully with refreshing desserts like these.
Regardless of which is your favorite, or whether you call them Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties, any one of these cookies to sure to make you (and a Girl Scout!) smile. Be sure to grab them while you still can. As for me? I may just have eaten another Lemonade.