Not your imagination: N.H. Girl Scout cookies taste different

Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page By Kara Baskin Globe correspondent  February 05, 2018 Get immediate alerts on all breaking news, delivered via Facebook Messenger. Sign up here. One Cambridge woman is torn between Boston and New Hampshire, but the differences are pronounced. An Arlington family pines for New York and Utah. One fan boycotted New Jersey after relocating to Massachusetts, and another mourns a move from Virginia.I’m not talking about sports teams. I refer to an even bigger rivalry: Girl Scout cookies.Delivery season is upon us. And for those who think all Thin Mints are created equal, let me confirm: Your opinion is half-baked. Advertisement Historically, two bakeries have manufactured Girl Scout cookies. There’s ABC Bakers, a division of Interbake Foods based in Richmond, Va., and Little Brownie Bakers, owned by the Kellogg Co., based in Battle Creek, Mich. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts work with ABC. Scouts in Central and Western Massachusetts, and in Southern New Hampshire, sell cookies from Little Brownie Bakers. Get The Weekender in your inbox: The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond. Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here There is a RFP process every three years wherein leaders from each region, or council, compare metrics like pricing, ordering software, delivery management, and so on.But let’s be honest. It really comes down to taste. The Girl Scouts can’t switch bakeries willy-nilly: There could be a revolt.“There’s a huge allegiance to one product over another because it’s what we’ve known. If we were going to switch bakers, we can’t do it just to keep the prices down. We have to take into account the loyalty that has built up,” said Barbara Fortier, chief operations officer for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Continue Reading

Girl Scouts kick off cookie season at Grand Central Terminal

For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Girl Scout cookie season is officially upon us, and troops from the Girl Scouts of Greater New York gathered in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall Friday to sell the beloved sweets. Friday and Saturday have been deemed National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, so the enthusiastic scouts were out in full force, encouraging commuters to stock up on their favorite treats while also sharing business strategies. Nine-year-old Alyssa, who sold almost 300 boxes of cookies last year, had some advice on drawing in customers. “You should always look them deep in the eye and give them a big smile,” she said. The fourth grader from Richmond Hill, Queens, said she enjoys giving the buyers their cookie orders, and adding up all the dough she’s made. “When I count the money I feel like I’m good at math — finally,” she said. Maya, 9, said her troop, troop 4326 in Queens, wants to sell 4,000 boxes this year. Their strategy? “We’re going to be really nice and give them options,” she said. There were also some veteran cookie sellers in attendance, like 17-year-old Regan. Regan, a senior at Professional Performing Arts School, has a decade of Girl Scout experience under her belt. She said being part of the program taught her some key people skills. “There’s always a conversation when you’re selling cookies,” she said. “I learned how to communicate with people.” Last year, Regan sold 400 boxes, and this year she is aiming for 500. Her favorite cookie? Thin Mints. “They never let you down,” she said. Thin Mints are the most popular cookie across the country, but New Yorkers are particularly fond of caramel and coconut-covered Samoas, said Katie Soper, the director of product sales for New York City’s Girl Continue Reading

Girl Scouts come out with ‘healthy’ new cookie — a Mango Creme that features no mango, but some mushrooms!

Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, but the same can’t be said for Girl Scouts’ cookies. Meet the Mango Creme, a crispy vanilla wafer packed full of nutrients from dehydrated veggies and fruits. It’s now proudly sold by Girl Scouts alongside the traditional Thin Mints, chocolately Tagalongs and crispy-coconut Samoas. The Franken-cookie is artificially flavored, but bakers used Nutrifusion to “supercharge” it with nutrients from rehydrated apples, oranges, cranberries, pomegranate, limes, strawberries and shiitake mushrooms, for Vitamin D. “Our product isn’t a replacement for real fruits and veggies,” said William Grand, the Nutrifusion vice president. “But we can offer an alternative for people who still want their chips, pasta and cookies. “Through our technology we can put some nutrients in the food they eat.” Grand uses shiitakes in Mango Cremes for the Vitamin D, he said. As a result, the cookies are chock-full of such vitamins like B1, A, C, D, E and B6 — in some cases up to 15 percent of the daily recommended serving. There are zero trans fats and no preservatives — but it remains to be seen if Mango Cremes sales will crumble next to fan favorites that your stomach loves, but your cardiologist doesn’t. The mango madness was the idea of ABC bakers, said Amanda Hamaker, manager of product sales for Girl Scouts. “They presented the idea to us, and said they’d done considerable market research showing that fruit cremes are very popular,” she said. The Girl Scouts liked the idea of making a cookie that packed a real nutritional punch. “It’s good to give it a little boost,” said Hamaker. But a cookie is still a cookie — even when part of it comes from a lab — and three Mango Cremes equals 180 calories. That’s 10 more than a serving of four Thin Continue Reading

Pacers to honor Girl Scout who helped save mom from car wreck

This story has been updated.A young Pendleton girl who will be honored by the Girl Scouts on Thursday for rescuing her mom from an overturned vehicle now has a new fan club — the Indiana Pacers — who want to recognize her as an Indiana Hero.Melina Lakey, a Brownie Girl Scout, used safety lessons she had just learned to help her mom escape their vehicle after a serious accident April 15. Her Brownie troop had recently earned their first-aid badges and had completed a service project benefiting Fire Rescue House of Madison County.The then 8-year-old and her fellow Brownies from South Madison Girl Scout Troop 3597 had toured the Alexandria Fire Department and learned basic safety skills. Later that same day, she put those skills to work by staying calm and helping her bleeding and dazed mother, Ashley McCollum-Lakey, get safely out of the overturned sport-utility vehicle.“I used what I learned in Girl Scouts. It was scary, but I kept calm and stayed courageous,” Melina said in a news release.Her mom, who leads her daughter's Girl Scout troop, told IndyStar that the accident occurred when she, her husband, Jeff, and Melina were returning from the drive-in movies in Shelbyville late on the night of April 15. As they rounded a curve on the country road, the Nissan Rogue hit a ditch and spun out of control, rolling six times before coming to rest on its roof.All three were restrained by seat belts, and the SUV's airbags deployed. McCollum-Lakey said her husband reached back to unbuckle Melina, who was able to climb out of the overturned vehicle and get to her mom, risking being cut by shattered glass and other debris.“She wasn’t concerned about hurting herself; she was getting me out of the car,” McCollum-Lakey said.The little girl then picked up her mom's bloodied cellphone to call 911.Jeff Lakey was able to escape the vehicle on his own after his wife and Melina got out. Continue Reading

Girl Scouts introduce Savannah Smiles, a new cookie to mark 100th year anniversary

There’s a new Girl Scouts cookie making its way to your doorstep: Savannah Smiles. The lemon-flavored, powdered sugar dusted confection will symbolize the the organization’s 100th year in service and sweetness. The name of the new cookie — was inspired by Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the iconic troupes in Savannah, Ga, according to the International Business Times. The Girl Scouts had been using cookies as a way to support their troupes since 1917. Low’s Savannah home has become a tourist attraction for Girl Scouts and those who love them. “In the time-worn rooms, each girl considers how, 100 years later, Juliette Low’s story encourages her to dream big and do great things with her life,” said a spokesperson for Little Brownie Bakers, the company that makes Girl Scouts cookies. “That’s why we are so proud to offer this special cookie that will delight customers and remind girls of their rich heritage and unlimited future.” Tired of waiting for your local Girl Scouts troupe to knock on your door? Impatient cookie lovers can download the free Girl Scouts Cookie Finder Smartphone app, which allows you to find the nearest Tagalongs, Trefoils, or Thin Mints. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

As they celebrate Girl Scouts centennial, older Scouts instruct younger ones about cyber safety

When Girl Scout Cadet Denise O’Leary was just a Brownie, there was no such thing as Facebook and little girls like her weren’t logging on to Myspace. But recently, while teaching a Brownie troop about the perils of the Internet, she realized just how much times have changed. “We weren’t as exposed to the Internet as they are now,” said the 17-year-old Girl Scout Gold Award candidate. Denise and 100 other Girl Scouts were presented with the new “Internet Safety” fun badge at Maestro’s Caterers in the Bronx Sunday. The event also marked the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA. The badge, which is earned through a Cablevision-sponsored program, teaches the dangers of cyber bullying and about the lack of privacy on the web. The program can be used to obtain the official “netiquette” patch. “When we did this activity as a group, the girls couldn’t believe some of the things that had happened,” said Dandai Moreno who leads two troops in the Bronx. The girls were warned never to divulge where they live, she said, because “next thing you know, an old man shows up at the park saying ‘hey, I’m your friend’s dad.” The message seemed to hit home with the girls. “If you share your password somebody can find where you live and rob you,” said 9-year-old Brownie Namelofy Pineda. “If you bully on the internet the kid could be scared to go to school,” added 8-year-old Jaida Reyes. [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Girl Scout cookie connection at Queens Borough Hall

Girl Scout cookie addicts who live or work in Queens won’t have to travel far for a fix of their favorite sweet treat on Tuesday. Queens Borough Hall is the only place outside of Manhattan where cookie lovers can pick up Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Trefoils as part of the one-day public sale known as the Corporate Cookie Connection. “Who is not addicted to Girl Scout cookies?” asked Leni Calas, who created the website. “When my daughter brings home an order sheet I practically rip it out of her hands.” Troops entered a lottery to get one of the coveted slots at 45 locations in corporate and public buildings. The Howard Beach-based Daisy Troop 4286 and Brownie Troop 4615 was selected to sell cookies at Borough Hall. “The girls are very excited — this is huge for them,” said Lindsay Clemente, one of the troop leaders. “This is one of the best locations you can get.” Sales from the cookies, which sell for $4 a box, help pay for scouting programs and special trips. The individual troops get a portion of those sales. Clemente said the troop has worked hard planting trees as part of the city’s Million Trees program and filling the shelves of the busy St. Barnabas Church food pantry. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and her staff said they were excited to have the Girl Scouts at Borough Hall. “It helps Girl Scouts to develop the essential skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics,” Marshall said in a statement. “All this and the best Thin Mints, Trefoil Shortbread, and Lemon Cream cookies money can buy.” Waist-watchers and others trying to avoid desserts can still help the troop reach its goals. People can purchase boxes of cookies and have them sent to military personnel serving overseas. “This is really important for the Girls Scout troops because it allows them to expand on Continue Reading

Sweet cause: 21 restaurants compete in Arizona’s 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge, Feb. 1-28

Girl Scout Cookies season is gearing up, bringing with it perhaps one of the Valley's fiercest competitions: the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge.This year, 21 chefs from across the Valley and Flagstaff worked with local Girl Scouts troops to create desserts using their trademark cookies, from a Trefoil strawberry shortcake to a Thin Mint cheesecake.Each restaurant had a chef build a unique Girl Scout cookie creation using an assigned cookie. The restaurants will feature their custom dessert on their menus from Feb. 1-28. A portion of sales proceeds will go toward local Girl Scout programs.This is the fourth annual challenge. Last year, Jada Shiya won with her Trefoil cookie creation for Churn, an ice cream shop in central Phoenix. Shiya is back in the competition this year working with a completely different set of ingredients.For the 2017 challenge, she was assigned the Savannah Smiles, a lemon shortbread cookie dusted with powder sugar."What I decided to do was make an ice cream base with the cookies soaked in it and blend it in," Shiya said. "So the ice cream base is a lemon base made with the cookies mixed with a swirl of raspberry jam throughout."Making a lemon raspberry ice cream was an easy choice."I was brainstorming what kind of flavors that would go good together," she said. "When I started researching what to do, I made this base as my first one and it was so good, I just decided this is the one we were going to go with."Shiya won the 2016 Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge with a cookie butter swirl ice cream using the shortbread Trefoil cookie, one of the Girl Scout's original cookies created in the mid-1970s. She wanted her creation "to stay true to the flavor of the cookie," making her own cookie butter to emphasize the Trefoil taste.But for Shiya and many of the chefs, the most important part of the competition is supporting the Girl Scouts."The Continue Reading

SOUND OFF: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie, Jersey?

Girl Scout cookie season is here and while you're plowing through your third box of Thin Mints you may find it interesting to note that the cookies you're devouring might not be the same ones you purchased last year.There are actually two different companies that produce the five most famous Girl Scout cookies: thin mints, shortbread cookies, chocolate-covered peanut butter cookies, peanut butter sandwiches, and caramel-coconut cookies, according to Brownie Bakers in Louisville, Kentucky are the makers of Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, and Tagalongs. ABC Bakers in Virginia produce Thin Mints, Shortbread, Peanut Butter Patties, the Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Carmel deLites. Although the boxes look the same and the name sounds similar you are actually tasting different cookies, according to the site.If you buy your Girl Scout cookies in Monmouth or Ocean county, thank your lucky stars, because you are getting the better cookies, according to the site.So if you're a true Girl Scout cookie aficionado, I suggest you look more closely at the box before purchasing your next batch of cookies. Continue Reading

Girl Scout cookie company Little Brownie Bakers recalls Lemon Chalet Cremes cookies

These Girl Scout cookies aren’t so sweet.Little Brownie Bakers, makers of the addictive little treats, are recalling batches of Lemon Chalet Crèmes cookies.The recall was prompted by complaints that the cookies had an off-taste and odd smell.According to a press release on their Web site, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company found no traces of bacteria.“Certain lots of Lemon Chalet Crème cookies contain oils that may be breaking down which can result in an off taste and smell,” the statement said. “We determined that while the cookies are safe for consumers to eat, they are not up to our quality standards.”No other Girl Scout cookies, including favorites like Trefoils, Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos, were affected.Customers affected by the recall can get more information by calling 1-800-962-1718. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading