This time every year, the Girl Scouts of America begin their campaign to entice us with sweets and make us look in the mirror with loathing for the next two weeks. I kid, I kid. Girl Scout Cookie Season is an American Spring Pastime, like baseball, or shamrock shakes, or allergies. And considering these cookies are a key component of pop culture, and my Top Ten lists for the year aren’t done yet (they are very close, and my TV lists should be up by next week), I thought I’d take a brief detour to definitely list my Ranking Of Girl Scout Cookies.
A few disclaimers before we get to the list. First, I will only be ranking the “official” Girl Scout cookie flavors found on their website. Discontinued or regional brands like Thanks A Lots and Snaps and Oxfords are all ineligible. And your friendly reminder that my word isn’t law. These are just my opinions. You’re only here to read this list because you either a) usually agree with me, or b) love getting mad at me. Both are acceptable, just know that my word isn’t law. It’s just right. So without further ado, the Definitive Ranking of Girl Scout Cookies!
Perhaps it’s unfair to rank the newest Girl Scout Cookie flavor, the Toast-Yay, so low. After all, it hasn’t come into its own yet. But it’s also just a French toast flavored trefoil. It’s an unnecessary twist on a classic flavor, meant to capitalize on the brunch craze. You can do worse, but why settle for “you can do worse” when you can do so much better?
10. Girl Scout S’mores
Incidentally, there are two Girl Scout Cookies that bear the S’more title. One consists of graham cracker cookies with a chocolate/marshmallow mixture in the middle, while the other mixes graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow inside a chocolate shell. I’ll let you all debate the merits of both recipes, because quite frankly, neither is very impressive or exciting, and neither make much of an impact. It’s the most forgotten cookie on the market – and with good reason.
9. Caramel Chocolate Chip
The only gluten-free cookie on this list, I appreciate the simplicity of the Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie. It’s a straightforward chocolate chip cookie with a swirl of caramel and sea salt mixed into the batter. It’s a sweet treat that all cookie lovers can appreciate, regardless of gluten allergies. But a great Girl Scout Cookie defies straightforward recipes – it adds chocolate shells, and swirls ingredients. It has aesthetic. The Caramel Chocolate Chip is a sweet gesture, but it’s just a flavored chocolate chip cookie at the end of the day.
The newest lemon cookie in the Girl Scouts repertoire, Lemon-Ups have a good purpose: to instill positive messages through inspirational inscriptions on the cookie’s face. But it’s hard to look at these lemony bits as anything more than a knockoff of Lemonades – and without the lemon filling, it’s something of a step down. Kudos on the positivity, but you gotta back it up with a worthwhile cookie, people.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Toffee-tastic is what one thinks of when they think a “traditional” Girl Scout cookie. It takes a classic cookie flavor, adds a twist, and smartly packages it. Toffee-tastic is worthy of its title, blending toffee bits into a rich, buttery cookie with an enticing, crumbly shell. It even has a gluten-free variation. It’s not perfect – there are sweeter, better cookies out there. But if you’re gonna pick a point to start talking “great” flavors, this is a great first addition.
Lemonades are the exception to my “combo” rule. While I normally believe that “simplicity is perfection” when it comes to Girl Scout cookies (just mint, just caramel, just trefoil, etc.), the Lemonade takes the Lemon-Up formula and one-ups it. Instead of just adding lemon to a trefoil, the way Toast-Yay does with French toast icing, Lemonades actually take lemon cookies and double down on the lemon through a creamy lemon center. It’s the best lemon cookie, and a worthy contender for the lemon market.
The Do-Si-Do is the perfect cookie sandwich formula. It takes two flavors that might not work on their own – oatmeal and peanut butter – and blends them perfectly in an easy-to-snack-on formula. The oatmeal cookie has enough crunch to entertain, and yet is soft enough to not overwhelm. Meanwhile, the peanut butter in the middle works as a tasty treat for the eater. It’s a smart, simple cookie recipe, and one that stands tall as not only a classic Girl Scout Cookie, but the third-highest seller they have.
You know, Trefoils get a bad rap. Often cast aside as simply a glorified sugar cookie, the take on classic shortbread lacks the pizzazz and wonder of the other entries on this list. But here’s the thing about simple and classic: things only last this long because they’re good. And that’s exactly what the trefoil is. Emblazoned with the Girl Scout logo (thus the “trefoil” name) and tasting every bit as good as the Scottish biscuit that provides its name, the Trefoil stands tall as the most traditional, most tasty, and most beloved of the Girl Scout Cookie oeuvre.
Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos have long been in combat as the best peanut butter cookie. And I’ve already discussed the beauty of the Do-Si-Do, a crunchy, creamy combination. But at the end of the day, the Do-Si-Do is a glorified Nutter Butter. The Tagalong, on the other hand, is a glorious, original patty. It’s a soft, chewy concoction that layers its peanut butter inside a soft, delicious chocolate shell. And despite surface-level similarities to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, it is a wholly original cookie, unlike its popular contemporary. Patties are always a superior form of cookie, and the Tagalong is no exception.
Samoas find themselves in a strange situation. They are somehow both the most criticized cookie flavor and the second-best seller. I think this comes down to the controversial nature of coconut – it’s a hotly contested inclusion in an otherwise-beloved flavor. But despite people’s hatred, this is a combo that can’t lose – coconut flakes mixed with caramel with chocolate streaks throughout. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s a top-rate cookie, like oatmeal raisin without those sh*tty raisins.
1. Thin Mints
Come on, you knew it had to be #1. The highest selling cookie flavor, the kind that appears the most in pop culture, from Friends to Dairy Queen Blizzards, and ultimately just a great cookie. How can you beat the Thin Mint? It’s a perfect combination: a wholly chocolate cookie with peppermint extract mixed into the batter. The bite is perfection – slightly crunchy, yet with a soft, inviting texture. I mean, you can’t top perfection, and that’s what the Thin Mint is: perfection.
So there you have it: the definitive ranking of Girl Scout Cookies. I hope you enjoyed this fun little aside from 2020 best-ofs and Oscar prognosticating. I’ll be back at it again next week. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts on the cookie ranking, positive or negative, or am mad that I used regional nomenclature for these cookies, then feel free to comment below. Just know that there are no right answers when it comes to sugary snacks (you’re still wrong, though).