Girl Scouts of America to Give Downsizing Merit Badge?

By: Michelle Buffardi

As Girl Scouts around the country straighten out their beanies and practice their sales pitches (sales begin in early February), The Girl Scouts of America announced that troops in some areas are downsizing their annual offerings to just six cookies. Don't panic -- Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils, Do-Si-Dos, Lemon Chalet Cremes and Tagalongs aren't going anywhere. But some recently introduced varieties, like Thank U-Berry-Munch, Lemonades, Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips and Dulce de Leche are. The scouts are scaling back in hopes that simplicity will streamline sales and ultimately lead to increased profits.

Already mourning the loss of the beloved, but apparently not-so-popular cookies that are about to be axed? Don't be. You can make near-exact homemade versions, door-to-door sales and polyester beanie optional.

The Dulce de Leche cookies, made from caramel and caramel chips and inspired by the traditional Latin American caramel-like sauce, were introduced by the Scouts to add diversity to their lineup, but sales of the cookies didn't soar as expected. But just because America's favorite green-clad youngsters couldn't hawk them, doesn't mean they're not amazing. Make them yourself, with Ingrid Hoffman's classic Alfajor recipe and you'll see.

Thank U Berry Munch, we hardly knew ye. The cranberry and white chocolate fudge chunk cookie was just introduced last year. Is that even enough time to judge sales of a new cookie? Perhaps the Scouts were just regretting the punny name. But if you're missing the good cookie with the bad name the White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies over at Food.com should be an acceptable replacement.

The Lemonades sold by the troops were round shortbreads with lemon icing, but it's much more hip to be, you know, not round. Try Food Network Magazine's Lemon Shortbread Cookies -- the dough's flecked with lemon zest, and so is the frosting.

It's sad to see All Abouts, also called Thanks-a-Lots, go. The simple shortbread cookies dipped in fudge and embossed with a thank-you message were like little party favors, like an I Bought Cookies merit badge for the consumer. Make your own thank-you gift with Chuck Hughes' Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread cookie recipe; skip the embossing and add a layer of caramel instead.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips were introduced by the Scouts in 2008 to capture the hearts of cookie-loving dieters. If you miss them, try the Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies on Food.com. Or, you could just eat an apple.

Which GS cookies do you stock up on when the girls come to your door?

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