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Who can open a box of Thin Mint cookies and not be tempted to eat the whole thing in one sitting? Such is the case with many Girl Scout cookies. Once a year, we have the ability to buy Trefoils, Tagalongs, Samoas or any other of the 12 cookie types available. Limited buying opportunities cause people to stock up by the case and freeze multiple boxes.

Early days of Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scouts of the USA began in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low as a way to provide girls with community service opportunities and to experience the outdoors. Cookies became a way of raising funds for troop activities in 1917 when the Muskogee, Oklahoma troop baked cookies and sold them in the high school cafeteria as a service project.

The tradition bloomed from there when in 1922 a recipe for cookies was printed in the Girl Scout magazine suggesting troops could bake and sell them as a way to raise money. In 1936, the organization began working with commercial bakers to produce Girl Scout Cookies for troops to sell nationwide. Today, cookie sales support activities of 1.8 million girls worldwide.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves 10,000 girls in more than 40 counties in the southern part of the state. More than 200 programs are provided to the girls throughout the year. You can buy cookies through March at various locations in Southern Illinois. Dates and locations are available on the Girl Sout’s website, www.girlscouts.org.

Easy ways to use Girl Scout Cookies in recipes

Any of the cookies can easily be used in place of graham crackers to make a cookie crust for ice-box pies and cheesecakes. Shortbread Trefoils® may be the best to use, however, because of their flavor and texture. You can also mix these with egg, butter, sugar, and flour to make a crust the has more of a soft cookie texture when baked.

Tagalongs®, Samoas®, and Thin Mints® can be crushed and crumbled then added to cookie bars, brownies, and fudge.

Trefoils®, Toffee-tastic®, and Savannah Smiles® can be crushed and layered into pudding parfaits or frozen ice cream desserts.

Crushed cookies can be added to oatmeal, butter, flour, and brown sugar to use as a crumb toppings for pies and crumbles. They can also be used as ice cream toppings or blended into thick shakes for a frozen treat.

While sweet recipes might be the obvious way to use Girl Scout Cookies, Do-si-dos® and Samoas® have the appropriate flavor profile to be incorporated into savory dishes, too. The peanut and peanut butter flavor of the Do-si-dos® is perfect for peanut chicken recipes. If you’re feeling really adventurous, Samoas® has the perfect coconut flavor to use in curry recipes.

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Niki Davis can be reached at rootedinfoods@gmail.com. You can find more recipes and food history on her blog Rooted In Foods at www.rootedinfoods.com.

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