It's that time of the year when little cookie delights begin to rain from the sky. It's Girl Scout cookie season. Boxes of peanut butter, mint and coconut infused treats will soo be coveted by even the most snobby of sugar snobs.

With all their modern variety, Girl Scout cookies have a very simple and plain origin. Selling the cookies has been a way to raise funds for the Scout since 1917. In the early days, the Girl Scouts would bake their own cookies and sell them.

In July of 1922 a local director in Chicago published a recipe for a basic sugar cookie that could be made cheaply and quickly in the Scouts magazine The American Girl. Florence E. Neil estimated that the ingredients for six or so dozen cookies would cost 26 to 36 cents. Then the troops could sell them for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.

From the 1922 issue here's Florence E. Neil's original Girl Scout cookie recipe:

  • 1 cup of butter, or substitute
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • Cream butter and sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, flavoring, flour, and baking powder. Roll thin and bake in quick oven. (Sprinkle sugar on top).

Through the 1920's and into the 1930's the Scouts continued to make the cookies themselves. In 1934 Girl Scouts in Philadelphia were the first to sell commercially baked cookies. In 1936 the national Girl Scouts organization started to licence commercial bakers to make them cookies.

Source: Girl Scouts

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