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. Hilary says:

    Best thing to do is buy 3x what you think you will eat – freeze 2/3 to1/2 of it and you have cookies to last (almost) until the next round of cookie program. It supports the girls this way, AND – any recipe where you can take crushed up gram crackers, etc. to make the crust of the pie – use the frozen Girl Scout cookies instead – its SOOOOOOOOOOOO good! Peanut butter pie with Do-Si-Do crust is my Dad's favorite – so once or twice a year I make one and surprise him with it at a random family get together.

  2. katshealthcorner says:

    These sound AMAZING!!!! :)

  3. Lohbiesmom says:

    I plan to make the Thin Mints this weekend, thanks!! Unfortunately, my favorite girl scout cookies are no longer available: the Scot-Teas and the original sandwich cookies. I do have a recipe for the "original girl scout cookie" which was the Scot-Teas, evidently…yum!!

    • Karen says:

      Would you mind sharing your Scot-Teas recipe? This was my favorite GS cookie. TY in advance.

    • Tracy says:

      the "original" girl scout cookies were lemon cookies if I remember right but you made them at home with the recipe they gave you. When someone realized how many cookies were being sold they decided to market premade and repackaged cookies to the GS and now instead of 25 cents a box for a good amount of cookies they are who knows how much and the girls only get a token amount from each box sold. – Sad really.

  4. Rickie says:

    First, grind up two Girl Scouts in the food processor……

  5. jolleymomma says:

    Thank you! My children will be thrilled to be able to actually eat these thin mints, as I don't buy girl scout cookies, or any other pre-packaged cookies, because I try and avoid any/all preservatives.

    Do you have a recipe for the lemon chalet creme cookies? Yum!

  6. Ariel says:

    My favorite are the Lemon Coolers, which I can't seem to find anymore. They're the ones smothered in powdered sugar, not those Lemonades or whatever that are dipped in lemon icing. Those suck.

    • Laura says:

      Ariel – Here is a recipe I saved from "Top Secret Recipes" a few years ago. Laura

      Lemon Coolers

      Recipe By :Top Secret Recipes Serving Size : 50

      Cookie Dough:
      1/2 cup powdered sugar
      1/3 cup sugar
      1/3 cup shortening
      1 whole egg
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla
      1/8 teaspoon salt
      1 1/2 cups cake flour
      1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      1 tablespoon water
      1 cup powdered sugar
      1/2 teaspoon lemonade powder — unsweetened (drink mix)

      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
      Cream together sugars(except for 1 cup powdered), shortening, egg, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.
      Add the flour and baking powder. Add 1 tablespoon of water and continue mixing until dough forms a ball.
      Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls and flatten slightly onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown.
      As cookies bake combine 1 cup powdered sugar with the lemonade drink mix in a large plastic bag and shake thoroughly to mix.
      When the cookies are removed from the oven and while they are hot, add 4 or 5 at a time to the bag and shake it until the cookies are well coated. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
      Makes 50-56 cookies

    • melissa says:

      the new 100th Anniversary cookie, Savannah Smiles is just that…….tart lemon with the powdered sugar dusting………yummy! I have heard that they make a great pie crust, crushed up for lemon ice box pie but haven't tried that yet.

    • Nancy Solsberg says:

      Oops, I replied to the wrong post…. My daughter's GS troop is selling the Lemon Coolers right now in Michigan.

  7. Anna says:

    Oh man, so delicious. I always loved girl scout cookies. I should try to cook some of my own.

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