Make Your Own Girl Scout Cookies

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, March 9, 2011
Make Your Own Girl Scout Cookies, Sans The Artificial Ingredients

Whether you want to avoid some of the highly-processed ingredients (like trans fats and palm oil) or you just can’t wait for the annual cookie sale, we’ve got some simple ways to make healthier versions of these classic treats.

Why Make Your Own
Though Girl Scout cookies boxes say “trans-fat free,” the term is officially defined by the FDA as a food that contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, meaning some varieties — including uber-popular Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs — still contain trace amounts of the fat. The giveaway: Look for “partially-hydrogenated” on the ingredient list. That ingredient list also contains palm oil and preservatives — your homemade ones will just taste better.

2 Recipes, 5 Different Girl Scout Cookies
Many of the favorite Girl Scout cookies begin with the same base: The classic shortbread cookie. We focused on getting the key flavors of each classic versus creating an exact replica of each kind.  All these cookies freeze well — just bake and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months for an on-demand sweet treat.

Recipe #1: Shortbread Cookies
Start with any basic shortbread cookie recipe – like this one from Claire Robinson. Once baked and cooled, you’ve got the base for 4 different Girl Scout cookies. For the ones with toppings, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and transfer to the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to set before serving.

One Cookie Recipe, 4 Different Cookies

Trefoils: Leave plain for the most classic of Girl Scout munchies. A 2.5-inch round cookie has about 45 calories.

Classic Shortbread Cookies: Trefoils

Samoas: For the caramel-coconut topping: melt down chewy caramel candies in a microwave safe bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Microwave in 15-second increments (stir every 15 seconds) until completely melted. Mix in shredded coconut and spread over shortbread cookies, then drizzle with melted semisweet chocolate chips.

Chocolate, Coconut and Caramel-Topped "Samoas"

Tagalongs: Top with a 1/2 teaspoon of each creamy peanut butter, followed by melted semisweet chocolate.

Peanut and Chocolate-Topped Tagalongs

Do-Si-Dos: Top with a teaspoon of crunchy peanut butter for 35 calories of healthy fat. Instead of the typical sandwich cookie, leave it open-faced to save some calories.

Cruncy-Peanut Butter Topped Do-Si-Dos

Recipe #2: Chocolate Wafers
Arguably the most popular flavor, homemade Thin Mints are as easy as a base recipe for thin and crunchy chocolate wafers. If you make the cookies approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter and about 1/8-inch thick, they have less than 35 calories each, leaving room for the mint-infused chocolate coating.

Mint-Infused, Chocolate-Covered Thin Mints

Thin Mints
Melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30-second increments, stirring well. When completely melted, stir in 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract (a little goes a long way) — you can always add more, but do it carefully. Dip cooled chocolate wafer cookies in chocolate, transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the fridge to set. To save a few chocolate-y calories, simply spread chocolate over the top of cookies instead of completely coating them.

Use less chocolate coating to save a few calories.

: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (1,370)

  1. @LizKerry says:

    Thank you! I live in the UK and can't find Girl Scout Cookies so will definitely try these!

  2. SusieBeeonMaui says:

    I love the Thin Mints. Don't buy them anymore but still give the girls $$ when they are at the grocery store selling them.

    • Lynn says:

      Where did you get the cocoa wafer recipe from?

      • danawhite says:

        Hi Lynn – here is Food Network Kitchen's basic chocolate cookie dough recipe
        Classic Chocolate Cookies
        Beat 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar and 1 stick butter until fluffy, then beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder; stir into the butter mixture. Chill 30 minutes, then roll into balls and bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

        Then use these instructions for crispy and thin wafers

    • Carole says:

      Girl Scouts of America help support Planned Parenthood. Although I like the cookies, I will not support PP!

    • Just Me says:

      As a former GS leader I was disappointed when I saw that the girls only recieved .25 per box. By making these cookies at home, 1. We get more cookies,& 2. By giving $$ to the troop(s), they benefit by getting all of the $$. Thank you for your consideration.

  3. Kristin says:

    Girl Scout Cookies are one of the few things that buy, eat, and blissfully ignore all of the nutritional information on the side of the box. I don't overindulge, and to me, a few boxes once a year is no big deal. My favorites are Tagalogs, my boyfriend loves Samoas, and the Lemon Cream Chalets are also very good. :)

  4. Eden says:

    I make my own Tagalong Girl Scout cookies using crackers! All it takes is a Ritz cracker, spread peanut butter, sandwich with another Ritz cracker, then dip in melted chocolate!

    • Kathy says:

      I make the thin mints using Ritz crackers also. Just dip them in melted mint chocolate candy wafers then place them on cookie sheets lined with wax paper. They are a hit wherever I take them.

  5. Linda says:

    I agree….there is nothing like the real thing and such a great cause to support our girl scouts! Keeblers Grasshoppers are very similar to GS thin mints, so you can enjoy them all year long!

    • Linda says:

      If you knew what a piddling amount of the price of a box of cookies dribbles down to the troops, you wouldn't be so enthusiastic about them. I prefer to make a cash donation directly to the troop or district.

      • troop leader says:

        Yes we dont get alot but it also teaches our girls how to sell cookies, be social, how to handle money, and other things. Even though we dont get alot we still need the support. It helps to fund our camps also.

    • fyrepixie says:

      You know.. one of the bakeries for Keeblers makes the Thin Mints for the Girl Scouts…

    • Tracy says:

      thin mints used to be called grasshoppers, the shortbreads were ScotTeas and the peanut butter sandwich cookies were called Savannas.

  6. kentuckylady717 says:

    Sorry, I just noticed there is a recipe box to save to …..duh……guess I need to join eh ?

  7. OMg We love this! We are going to try this Thanks.

  8. maygardener says:

    These cookies look like the bakers were using illegal drugs when they made them

  9. The Tagalong girl scout cookies is my favorite of them all, its like my yearly dose of drugs. And a few boxes wont harm anyone.

  10. Carol says:

    Love Samoas, I wish I had a box rigt now!!!

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