Original Girl Scout Cookies


March 12: Girl Scouts Birthday (founded in 1912)

Congratulations to the Girl Scouts, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build “girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place”, for reaching 100 years of their cookie sales program in 2017. The program, which began in 1917, helps fund its mission and sustain troop activities.

We sometimes buy Girl Scout cookies. Their “Thin Mints” are our favorite, especially when we eat them right out of the refrigerator! There are many other Girl Scout cookies, from “Samoas” (caramel de-lites) and “Tagalongs” (peanut butter patties) to the newest “S’mores” (introduced in 2017 for its 100th year of cookie sales history). Their basic sugar-shorbread cookie, “Trefoils”, which now bears the Girl Scout logo, was the first cookie to be sold by local troops en masse.

We tried out the original recipe, which is for a roll-out dough. But it was too sticky to handle and we ended up making drop cookies instead. Besides, we did not have a “trefoil” cookie cutter to make the shapes so we kept it simple.

In honor of the Girl Scouts birthday, bake their original cookie recipe and indulge in the sweet treat that started the seasonal sales a century ago.


(Adapted from the Girl Scouts)


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspon baking powder


In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the milk. Add the vanilla extract.


In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture to make a sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.


Scoop a tablespoon of the cookie dough onto lightly greased, foil or parchment paper lined baking sheets, leaving at least two inches between the dough to expand during baking. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



  • We halved the recipe for this blog post, which yielded 1 ½ dozen 2-inch round drop cookies.
  • We substituted the vanilla extract for almond flavor and lessened the amount of sugar from ½ to 1/3 cup.
  • If making roll-out cookies, generously flour the surface and rolling pin before handling the cold dough. Roll out to ¼-inch thickness and cut out desired shapes. Sprinkle the top with sanding or colored sugars before baking.
  • Learn more about the Girl Scouts from their official website at http://www.girlscouts.org.