It’s that time of year. Not the time when the Super Bowl happens and then drunken car accidents follow. Not the time of year when ice and snow bury entire states and make Canadians wonder why Americans act surprised. Not the post-holiday bill time or even the serious beginning of tax season.
No, it’s Girl Scout cookie time.
If you are in any sort of suburban or metropolitan area, the Girl Scout cookie tables become ubiquitous, camped outside of whatever venue you wish to enter. The parents, usually mothers, are there with adorable little girls trying to sell you overpriced snacks that provide a woefully small return to the troop that’s selling them. If you’re particularly unlucky you have co-workers who have offered to help their daughters by passing around an order list at the office.
If you’re like me, you buy them. Sure, the troop would get more money if I just peeled off a dollar and handed it over, but the kids are sitting out in the cold and I want them to feel they’re actually learning something about commerce. Besides, the cookies tend to be pretty good, even if they’re now including gluten-free alternatives (Alton Brown railed against the growth of gluten-free baking outside of the boundaries of those rare, unfortunate individuals with serious tolerance problems. I tend to defer to Alton Brown on food-related matters.)
Not everyone shares my positive view of the Girl Scout cookie sales, however. I’ve heard it referred to as “extortion by cuteness”, as well as worse. For those people, I’m providing an alternative to simply shunning the bright-eyed kids.
Offer to buy the cookies. But only if they have your favorite ones. Which ones might those be?
Here’s a guide to the curmudgeon’s new favorite cookies:
The Apple Cinnamons: Sugar cookies shaped like apples and coated with cinnamon & sugar.
Forget-Me-Nots: Granola cookies
Mango Cremes: Vanilla and coconut sandwich cookies with mango filling.
Strawberries & Creme: jam and vanilla creme-filled sandwich cookies
Aloha Chips: White chocolate chip & macadamia nut cookies.
Double Dutch: Chocolate cookies with chocolate chips.
The common themes for all of these cookies are twofold: They have all been discontinued and are no longer available for purchase; and they are all distinctive cookies with no real analog among the cookies currently available for sale.
Or you could just do like I do and keep some cash in your pocket for the cookie kids. Most of the troops have the ability to ship boxes over to soldiers overseas or first responders, and I never wanted to be financially independent anyway.
Question of the night: What’s your (real) favorite Girl Scout cookie?