Girl Scout Cookies from the past

Girl Scout Cookies from the past

Girl Scout cookies have been a tradition of the Girl Scouts almost since the organization was founded, in 1912. The first Girl Scout cookies were simply cookies made and sold by Girl Scouts to benefit their local troops. One of the earliest reports details a troop selling cookies in their school cafeteria. As more troops began to make and sell cookies, the sales moved door-to-door in local neighborhoods. The cookies, which were fairly plain sugar cookies in the beginning, were sold for 25-35 cents per dozen. In 1936, the Girl Scout Council licensed the first commercial baker to mass produce cookies for all Girl Scouts to sell, and it was at that point that the real tradition of Girl Scout Cookie sales began. The same types of cookies were offered again and again, giving consumers something to look forward to.

While several types of cookies are the same every year, new cookies come and go on an annual basis. The current lineup includes: Trefoils (Shortbread Cookies), Thin Mints, Do-si-dos (Peanut Butter Sandwiches), Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties), Samoas (Caramel deLites), All Abouts (a.k.a. Animal Treasures, Thanks-A-Lots; Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate), Lemon Chalet Cremes (sandwich cookies with lemon creme filling), Daisy Go Rounds (Low Fat and cinnamon flavored), Sugar Free Chocolate Chips, Dulce De Leche (Latin caramel cookies) and Lemonades (shortbread cookie with lemon icing).

While Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Tagalongs and Do-si-dos are staples (and the most popular flavors), there have been lots of tasty cookies that have come and gone over the years.

There is no comprehensive list of all the now-retired Girl Scout cookies, so I’d like to hear about what cookies you remember from sales past. Here are a few names I’ve been able to come up with, dating from the 1970s to the 1990s – Lemon Coolers, Ice Berry PiƱatas, Golden Nut Clusters, Trail Mix, Cabana Cremes, Country Hearth Chocolate Chip, Echo, Chocolate Chunk, Pecan Shortees, Medallions, Van’chos, Forget-Me-Nots and Granola cookies – and I’ve heard reference to things like Golden Yangles from even earlier sales!

Post any that you remember – names or descriptions – in the comments. I don’t want to miss out on any good cookies just because they aren’t being included in this year’s cookie sale.

108 comments

  1. oh – I love the photo of the old cookies – I remember the cookies being called Savannahs and Scot-teas – what a great memory! Ahh, those were the days… I seem to recall a cookie called a Kukabura – I seem to remember it being similar to what the Samoa is now – has anyone else mentioned these? I would really enjoy reading a compilation post on what you find from all of your readers here!
    Thanks for all the posts – I love everything you write!

  2. Several of the names you mention are regional names for some of the current cookies. The names were standardized nationwide in the 1990s. Lemon Coolers are Lemonades now for example.

  3. My memory may be off (and these cookies might bear one of the names you mentioned above), but I seem to remember a maple log cookie that I found pretty revolting as a picky Brownie. This would have been 1992 or so.

  4. I’ve been told that not all cookies are sold every where… guess if it doesn’t sell well in one area but does in another they can justify just selling it there the next year and trying something else in it’s place in the area it didn’t do well in.

  5. When I was a little girl (late ’70s, early ’80s), we kept our wrapping paper and bows in an old girl scout cookie case (the kind boxes of cookies were shipped in). The box was for Sesame Thins, but they were long defunct before I became a Brownie in 1980. A quick Google turns up nothing, but I still wonder if they were sweet or savory.

  6. oh the memories! trefoils were definitely my favorite when i was actually a brownie, cerca mid 90′s, but i would eat 8 boxes of thin mints now if they were in front of me! so minty and chocolatey and delicious! i’m new to food blogging, but i really like your website and enjoy the variety of topics you talk about! :)
    -amy

    http://asliceoflohrpie.blogspot.com

  7. my first year selling cookies was the first year girlscouts tried out a low fat cookie. I sold a TON of em, but they were HORRIBLE. it was a spiced bar cookie with raisins and icing and it tasted like spiced, iced cardboard.

  8. Some of the cookies you list for this year must be regional. My daughter’s troop just wrapped up sales. We only sold Trefoils, Thin Mints, Samoas, Dulce de Leche, Lemon Chalets, Sugar Free Chocolate Chip, Tagalongs and Do Si Dohs. We are in Texas. Last year we were in Indiana and I know there was a type available there that we did not have here…I never realized they were regional, and that they were priced differently in each region. We sold for $3.50 a box, but I saw another blog saying her daughter was selling for $4.00 a box.

  9. I remember golden yangles!! The were around the first year I sold cookies as a Brownie in the early 1989. I had completely forgotten the name but I remember my parents buying a bunch of all the other cookies from me and one box of the yangles for my diabetic grandmother.
    I grew up selling the cookies from ABC Bakers (peanut butter patties, caramel de’lites) but the local troop here only sells Little Brownie Bakers (do di dos, samoas). I thought it was absurd the cookies didn’t have more descriptive names. For those who don’t know, all troops have contracts with one of the two afore mentioned bakers, hence the different names for the same cookies.
    I remember another low fat cookie they offered, it was like a soft oatmeal cookie with a strawberry jam filling, I can’t remember the name though.
    I love the Dulce de Leche this year! I need to spend a month trying to recreate those.

  10. I loved Lemon Pastry Cremes when I was a girl scout. They sound an awful lot like Lemon Chalets though. In Pennsylvania where I live, there are no more lemon pastry cremes, so I have to settle for Lemonades. Which in my opinion don’t even come close. I also made the mistake buying only one box this year. Now the GS cookie season is done, and I will have to wait another year to get my fix.

  11. For a VERY short while here in Minnesota, they sold a cookie called “Ole-Ole” (pronounced olay-olay of course!) I don’t remember the year we had them, but it was after 2000 and before 2005.

    They were coated in powdered sugar, and tasted like a russian teacake…which is why I was CRAZY in love with them!

    The following year, they were gone off the order sheet, and “lemon coolers” were there instead. SIGH!

  12. Lemonades are not the same as the (discontinued) Lemon Coolers; the coolers were powder sugar coated, the Lemonades are lemon iced.

    Slashfood.com did a story about favorite retired girl scout cookie flavors a year or two ago; there were many on the list I’d forgotten about!
    (search for “retired girl scout” and it’ll pop up).

    Thanks for the good memories! Now I’m hungry! :-)

  13. Thanks for the memories!

    Does anyone remember a GS cookie from the early 90s called a “Juliette” (aka Golden Nut Cluster)… those were pretty good, if I recall.

  14. OK, I’m really telling my age here, but I sold GS cookies in the late 50′s and early 60′s for, get this, 50 cents a box!!! My favorite was the creme filled cookie selection, which sadly, isn’t made anymore. I was happy to see the picture of the box even though they are long gone from the lineup. I think Keebler used to make a similar cookie called Opera Cremes, but I haven’t seen them in ages either.

  15. Oh how we love the Girl Scout Cookie. I remember the first year my daughter sold cookies. I believe it was 1999 we had just moved to San Diego from Hawaii. The new cookies that year were Aloha Chips with macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips. I thought is was funny how even the Girl Scouts were rubbing it in that we had left Hawaii. That was also the year I “volunteered” to be the troop cookie dad. Let me tell you I have never seen that many cookies in one place at one time(my living room).

  16. Thanks for showing us what the old boxes looked like. I like how Thin Mints used to be called Cookie Mints. I hope Thin Mints are never retired!

  17. Unfortunately, the troops themselves see very little profit from cookie sales. When I was a scout (over a decade ago), the profit was 50 cents or less per box. We sold Avon to fund our troop, much higher profit margin and no calories!

  18. I sold Girl Scout Cookies up until a few years ago, I remember Lemon Coolers, Ole-Ole’s which were coconut and very few people bought them, a strawberry cookie that was really good but I never saw again, and an apple cinnamon cookie that was sold for a couple of years but I forgot the name.

  19. Yes! The old Animal Treasures are now All Abouts but are not as good as I remember Animal Treasures being! Thanks for this research and great old Thin Mint pics.

    erin @ vittles

  20. RC – Good memory! That was actually I story I wrote a while back when I was working for slashfood!

  21. There were some chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies that were available in the late ’70′s – they were called Oxford Cremes at that time – I think they were a flavor that had been around forever (with a name change or two)and were dropped when the “more exciting” flavors came along…Also, does anyone remember that the Di-Si-Do’s used to be called Savannahs?

  22. Juliettes! Those were my absolute favorite for the approximately two years they were sold. Pecans and caramel and chocolate. Mmmmmmmmmmm…

  23. I remember the Ole-Ole cookies when I was selling them in the 90s and the Juliettes ring a bell also. And they also had a vanilla version of the Chalet Cremes, those were my favorites in the thin light blue boxes. I seem to remember an oatmeal version of the cookies sometime in the early-mid 90s but I can’t put my finger on it, and I definitely remember the first low-fat version of the cookies they were wretched.

  24. I saw your website and was trying to remember a cookie back in the late 70′s and early 80′s. It was similar to the peanut butter and chocolate cookie, except I think I remember it being maybe a shortbread type cookie with a thicker layer of chocolate on top but also the whole cookie was surrounded by chocolate. Hope that makes since. Anyway, I used to buy them by the box loads and they quit selling those in our area in Louisiana. Does anyone remember this cookie or perhaps the name of it?

  25. I am a co-leader for a troop in Georgia. Times haven’t changed much. Lisa W. said when she was a scout over ten years ago that the troops only made 50 cents or less per box. That is still the case in GA. Our council increased the price per box from $3.00 to $3.50 and we only make 50 cents per box IF each member of our troop sells a certain number of boxes. If they don’t we only get 40 cents per box. It’s a shame because our girls work so hard to sell those cookies!

  26. My mom and I have been trying to figure out what kind of cookie my grandma used to keep stock piled in her freezer haha when I was little (which I probably sold to her as a brownie in the early 90s). I remember that they were oval-shaped and chewy with like a caramel type coating? From reading other descriptions they might have been the Juliettes/Golden Nut Clusters? Or maybe the one’s “Emily” described? Can anyone tell me?

  27. Does anyone remember a chocolate chip cookie with pecans dipped in chocolate? Do you know what they were called? Am I crazy? Those things were amazing!

  28. My favorites ever were the Juliettes! Like a tagalong, but instead of peanut butter it was caramel and pecans. Circa 1995 or so. I miss them so much. :(

  29. Marci, I believe you are talking about the kukubura, those were so good. I sold them in Colorado in the 80′s and boy do I miss those

  30. yes I remember Juliettes!!!! I have been searching and searching to try and come by those or even a recipe but no such luck! Hopefully someone figures it out because those are great cookies and fond memories!

  31. yes I remember Juliettes!!!! I have been searching and searching to try and come by those or even a recipe but no such luck! Hopefully someone figures it out because those are great cookies and fond memories!

  32. My late mother-in-law was a Girl Scout back in the early days in Connecticut. She said her troop MADE the cookies they sold! That was probably in the 1920s!

  33. I LOVED the chocolate & vanilla sandwich cremes…..like in the picture. It seems like they were made by Burris or BurryLu or something like that! I know there are tons of other chocolate & vanilla sandwich cremes out there, but to me, those Girl Scout ones were the best! Every year I keep hoping they will bring them back………..

  34. I’m trying to remember a cookie that had something strawberry in the center… I think it was strawberry. Maybe in the shape of a star…

  35. Anna- I remember those cookies. I can’t remember the actual name of them but I remember them being regional.. Delaware had them but you couldn’t find them anywhere in southeast PA. Strawberry in the center and I think the base was shortbread… loved them.. but only around for a year :(

  36. i think the low fat oatmeal ones were called snaps or something snaps. i love juliettes. they were my favorite. i remember selling them my first year as a girl scout.

  37. My favorite was the one Sabrina described – like the tagalongs except with fudge cream instead of peanut butter. They were also made commercially for a short time, I think by Salerno, but maybe by Keebler. I don’t remember what they were called but they were THE BEST.

  38. my favorite was a cookie called Lemon Drop!!! OMG – my niece & ate the whole box is less than an hour & I went back to try & buy more. Think the was the only year they sold them – have been looking for them every year since :-)

  39. I loved the Ole Oles. They were sold in 2002, I believe. I usually do not like toasted coconut or pecans (unless they’re ground up to minimize texture, but those cookies were heavenly! My sister bought a box and we ate the entire thing in about 10 minutes…I was so bummed when I found out they were a one-time deal.

  40. If anyone is looking for cookies but missed the sale check your local girl scout council office, lots of times they have left over cookies from the sale for sale if you stop in. Give them a call to see if your council has any left!

  41. I sold cookies in the 90′s…I remember the first version of low-fat cookies people keep mentioning. They were called Ginger Snaps, and they were pretty un-appetizing!

  42. MMM I sure miss the scot-teas (shortbread with sugar on top) and the savannahs (peanut butter). I sold them in the late 70′s.

  43. Jenifer Phillips

    Wow I’ve been doing a history search on Girl Scout Cookies forever. I was a brownie scout in the 80′s and was trying to find out the names of the cookies I sold. One was the Kookaburra which was a small rectangle cookie with layers of wafers (like from a kit kat candy bar) and caramel and then covered in milk chocolate. I remember eating them right from the freezer after a long day at the swimming pool. With all the history searches I did, I didn’t find anything on this cookie. I was trying to figure out if there are any other cookies like it out there now. I know Keebler sells a version of the thin mint cookies at the grocery stores now. Totally forgot about the Golden Yangles crackers. The peanut butter sandwich cookies were called Savannahs when I sold cookies. I have a good memory about that stuff even though it was 30 years ago when I sold cookies. Everyone I ask doesn’t seem to remember the Kookaburras and I thought I was losing my mind!!

  44. These cookies look delicious, I must get my hands on some.

    Your girl Mary :)

  45. I agree with Mel. My favorite cookies were the vanilla and chocolate sandwich cremes. I used to sell them in the sixties and bought them every year until they were discontinued in the seventies. They had a certain quality to them, much better than the ones you buy in the supermarkets. I believe they were made by Burry, which was a popular cookie company in those days. Please bring them back!!!!

  46. the lemon girl scout cookies they sell now are nasty . I remember a delicious shortbread type lemon cookie that was so much better.

  47. I sold Girl scout cookies for 7 years (1987-1993) and have seen many varieties come and go in that time–:)

    The first year I sold we had 2 “new” varieties that were only available for a couple years each: Jubilees-which were rectangular and a close cousin to the Samoa/Caramel Delite, and Classic Cremes-much like the Oxford Cremes mentioned by a previous poster.

    I also remember selling Golden Yangles for several years, selling Peanut Butter Sandwiches as Savannahs, and selling Scot-Teas.

    In the 90′s, I remember selling Lemon Pastry Cremes for a few years. I also recall a one-year-only offfering mentioned by a previous poster: can’t remember the name, but they were a sandwich cookie that had a middle consisting of a strawberry jam like core surrounded by a cheesecake-like creme filling. I also remember another variety (again, I can’t recall the name) that was a filled cookie; it had a filling with cocnut and something else (caramel?) and had chocolate stripes on the outside.

  48. I was a girl scout in the 70′s early 80′s. I remember the Scot-Teas and Mints being very popular. I found this site of the op retired cookies.

    http://www.divinecaroline.com/22145/95093-ten-retired-girl-scout-cookies

    http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art57910.asp

  49. When I was a Brownie (mid ’80s) I remember Caramel DeLites were called Jubilees & were rectangle shaped rather than hexagons; Peanut Butter Patties were called Hoedowns, Peanut Butter Sandwiches were called Savanahs, & the Shortbreads where called Scot-Teas. We also sold little orange crackers called Golden Yangles. I still think of them as Jubilees & Savanahs, & the Girl Scouts today have no idea what I’m talking about!

  50. Who knows what Van’Chos are they list them in the retired list but I can find nothing saying what kind of cookie they were?

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