Friday, January 01, 2016

Girl Scout Cookies

A few days ago, someone asked me a question about my favorite Girl Scout cookies.  I went to snarkily reply, saying something along the lines of "Why don't you just check Julie's Dining Club?", and then realized that somehow I have never reviewed Girl Scout Cookies.

Girl Scout Cookies should need no introduction.  I don't think it is possible to live in the US and not have experienced Girl Scout Cookies.  They come to your house, ring your doorbell, and look all cute while asking you to purchase overpriced, low quality cookies.  You have to do it.  If, somehow, they don't come to your house, you'll find them instead on every street corner, out front of the grocery store, or even worse, at your office, when a co-worker brings his or her adorable child there to ask you to purchase them.

Ok, ok, I'm being a bit dramatic, but, I don't really think these are great cookies.  That wasn't always true though, back in the day, I used to get into them, I think perhaps because my mom always loved Thin Mints.  She'd put them in the freezer, and ration them all year long.  My dad liked the Trefoils (shortbreads).  I always thought it was funny, as my mom is a epic baker, and we nearly always had fresh cookies in the cookie jar.  But, these were her thing, and I did sorta get into them, although I was never a big cookie fan in general, much less packaged cookies.

Anyway, the Girl Scouts have been selling some form of cookies since 1917, they clearly have staying power.  Back then, they had one variety, and actually baked them themselves.  Now, they have two different suppliers (who are not the girls themselves!), producing 11 varieties.  The strange thing to me is that depending on which supplier you get, the cookies actually have different ingredients/tastes, and, in some cases, even different names, although the same concept of cookie.  I've included both names here in the review.  So, the cookies I get here in California really are different from what I grew up with in New Hampshire.

Anyway, without further ado, I present the lackluster Girl Scout Cookies.  These are only my notes from the past year or so, so, not as extensive as I normally do, since for some reason, I never bothered take notes on these before.
Do-si-dos / Peanut Butter Sandwich.
"Crunchy oatmeal sandwich cookie with creamy peanut butter filling."

This was my first time having a Do-si-dos, as my mom never bought them when I was growing up.  But I saw peanut butter, and obviously couldn't resist trying it.

The cookie was hard and crunchy, reminding me slightly of a crunchy granola bar, due to the texture and hearty oats.  The peanut butter inside wasn't creamy as promised, and seemed to be more sugar than peanuts (which I guess is true of many commercial peanut butters anyway), super sweet.

Sorry Girl Scouts, but these really aren't quality cookies ...
Tagalongs / Peanut Butter Patty.
"Crispy vanilla cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolaty coating."

For some reason, when I was growing up, we also never got Tagalongs.  I'm not sure why, as peanut butter and chocolate are a combination that I have always loved.  I had tried them though, when friends of mine had them, and I traded one of my stash of Thin Mints.   I recalled liking them.

But ... it was a dry, flavorless, crispy cookie base.  The peanut butter was nicely creamy, but didn't have much flavor.  The chocolate was equally flavorless.  Chocolate and peanut butter should be a winning combination, so it was sad that this wasn't.

Subsequent tasting notes:
Hard, kinda stale, unremarkable biscuit style cookie.  The peanut butter was creamy and plentiful, as was the chocolate.  The chocolate and peanut butter were a good combination, if only the cookie part was better!
Samoas / Caramel deLites.
"Crisp cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and striped with dark chocolaty coating."

From my childhood memories, Samoas were always one of my favorites, and the third variety we got in addition to my mom's Thin Mints, and my dad's Trefoils.

But this ... was just a rather dried out, stale, flavorless cookie, ring shaped.  I didn't taste any caramel, but apparently the cookie is coated in it?  The coconut was just gritty, and the chocolate as flavorless as everything else.

I did not like this at all, which is sad, because I know I did used to like these.

Subsequent tasting notes: flavorless cookie ring, coated in flavorless caramel, coated in flavorless coconut, with chocolate stripes.  Not good at all.

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Savannah Smiles.

"Crisp, zesty lemon wedge cookies dusted with powdered sugar."

This was a hard cookie.  It had nice lemon flavor, but way too much powdered sugar.
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