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The Daily Meal

The Girl Scouts began selling their famous cookies in 1917, and these baked treats have become an American icon ever since. When the Girl Scouts started their cookie-selling program, troop members baked the cookies in their homes, and sold them door-to-door. This practice taught troop members invaluable lessons in business, and also helped fund troop activities. Since 1936, the task of baking these cookies has been outsourced, but the national affection for them has never stopped. Over the years, a number of different cookie variations have come and gone, but some favorites have lasted throughout the decades.

Click here to see the How to Make Girl Scout Cookies at Home.

Today, two licensed bakers make Girl Scout cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. Regardless of which baker makes the cookies, they turn out looking and tasting very similar. What does change, however, are the names of the cookies. To give you an example, one troop may be selling Samoas, and another Caramel deLites, but they are in fact the same cookie.

Eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies are produced every year, and each troop is required to sell three favorites: Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, and Trefoils. All three cookies were introduced in 1951 and remain their best-sellers today. The other five varieties are decided upon by the bakers and by Girls Scouts of the USA.

Savannah Smiles, a half-moon lemon cookie with powdered sugar, is one if the latest cookie variations to be released. It was created to honor the 100th anniversary of Juliette Gordon Low founding the Girl Scouts. Most of the cookies, including Samoas, Tagalongs, Lemonades, and Thanks-A-Lots, are shortbread-based. They vary by either adding a combination of caramel, coconut, and chocolate, or by simply dipping the base cookie in fudge.

Girl Scout cookies have been such an integral part of American culinary history that there are even hundreds of recipes for desserts that use Girl Scout cookies as an ingredient. We want to share how to make Girl Scout cookies at home, just like they were made in early Girl Scout history: in the kitchens of young troop members. The most popular cookies sold today include: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles, Thanks-A-Lots, and Trefoils.

While we recommend buying these cookies from your local Girl Scouts, you can also make these classic treats at home whenever the craving strikes.

Check out the slideshow above to learn how to make homemade Girl Scout cookies.

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Tags: KD 101, Dessert, Cookie, Caramel, Chocolate

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