This year, the Girl Scouts added a gluten free cookie to their cookie lineup. There have been requests for gluten free cookies in past years from girl scouts who can’t eat the regular cookies and from consumers, and it’s great to see that the Girl Scouts are listening! The cookies are being test marketed this year in about 20 different locations around the country. My local girl scouts don’t have them, but I happened to be in an area that did (in Orange County, CA, where I paid $5 a bag) recently and was able to pick up a bag to try. The girls selling them told me that they had been very popular sellers so far.
The cookies are packaged in a zip-top resealable bag, rather than the box that most of the cookies are packaged in. The bags make it very clear that these cookies are different from the rest of the lineup, so there won’t be any accidental confusion with the gluten free and traditional cookies. Unfortunately, the cookies get knocked around a lot in the bag and don’t come out looking much like the cookies illustrated on the package. They come out of the bag covered in crumbs, so they look very dusty. Their shape is also a bit strange, as the cookies are nearly as tall as the are wide and resemble cookie nuggets more than “traditional” chocolate chip cookies. There are 20 cookies in the bag, which is 5 servings of 4 cookies each.
The cookies have a very sandy, crumbly texture and the gluten free flour blend – which is made primarily of rice flour, tapioca flour and cornstarch – is responsible for the texture. The other ingredients in the cookies are buttery, dried cane syrup, chocolate chips, water, vanilla and egg whites. You can really taste the vanilla and chocolate chips, but not much else, and the aftertaste reminds me somewhat of vanilla ice cream. It’s pleasant, but not quite what I expect from a chocolate chip or shortbread cookie, gluten free or not.
The best Girl Scout cookies make you want to reach for a second and these don’t really do that. They’re not bad, but I’m not tempted to run out and pick up a second bag, either. They are gluten free, but they’re not very unique, like the popular Thin Mints or Samoas. A gluten free version of Thin Mints, like my homemade Gluten Free Thin Mint recipe, would have been a home run, while these chocolate chip cookies will just get you to first base. It’s a good first step from the Girl Scouts and hopefully they’ll keep working towards a gluten free cookie that can really stand beside the other iconic Girl Scout cookies in the lineup.