“Queen Cookie”

Kiss Your Thin Mints Goodbye, But Probably Not

There’s a new Girl Scout cookie in town, but I doubt it’ll change anything #ThinMintsFTW.

A new Girl Scout Cookie may deserve the Queen title this season, but what Game of Thrones coup could possibly dethrone the Thin Mint?

Goddammit, Thin Mints have been the reigning Queen of Girl Scout cookies for so many decades that they’ve infiltrated our society. The Thin Mint appealing texture — so thin, so cookie — the brown crumbles that crunch with every bite into your mouth, the subtle mint flavor coupled with a cordial chocolatey charm… we all know it. It’s the perfect, safe cookie if you like that kind of thing, and oh — people do. The new S’mores cookies are a delicious take on an old classic, but Thin Mints have habitual behaviors, Girl Scout advertising, and pop culture references on their side. 21st century American just may not be ready for S’more change.[1]

People have routine-d their Thin Mints. I know people who dip their Thin Mints in peanut butter. I know someone who chews up their Thin Mints and stores the squirrel-like mash in his mouth while he gorges on Goldfish.[2] And I know many people like me, who finish a Thin Mint sleeve in under 10 minutes because it’s so goddarn easy to do, and then pretend that the calories gained for the benefit of a little girl’s activity club don’t really count, ’cause, like, charity, and, shit…essentially, people are attached to their Thin Mints, and people have Thin Mint habits — that shit is ingrained. Thin Mints = bo$$ in our society.

And then yesterday a new fucking cookie blasted up the scene!

It’s a good ole fashioned Thin Mint Vs. S’mores smackdown.

An adorable girl down the street delivered our annual Girl Scout cookie order. Stepping outside our suburban comfort box, we had ordered a faithful box of Swaggalicious Thin Mints, yes, but then dared to put ourselves down for a second box of, oh baby, a new Girl Scout cookie, that had never before entered our home nor our mouth holes: the S’mores[3].

Oh.

My.

GOD.

Before I get into my analysis, let me account for my expertise: I was in the Girl Scout program from about 2000 to 2005; that’s 6–11 years of age. I know quite a bit about what goes on in there. My Mama was co-troop leader for three years and Cookie Mom for one, and I was a sneaky ass champion saleswoman because I would go into my Dad’s law office and blink with my little eyes and ask these big shot lawyers for a weensy little boxy of cookeroonies and they would buy four and then my basement would be FILLED to the top with boxes upon boxes of Girl Scouts cookies and I would get the coolest prize which was always, like, a little stone lizard or a poopy little keychain. I used my privilege for a stupid fucking reward and it was GREAT. Let me tell you, I brought home the bacon. I killed. I cleaned those fuckers out and closed every deal I had. I mean bada bing bada bang, Glengarry Glen Ross, give me the leads because I knew those freaking cookies inside and out and I could’ve sold a gross to frog (Note: the age period during which I scouted may sound obvious, but I was friends with a troop of 4 teens that continued Girl Scouting through high school, so it’s worth saying. Also, I just ate a lot of Girl Scout cookies.)

How’d it go down? In the early 2000’s, we sold Shortbread for simple folk, Carmel deLites for people who were on a perpetual mental vacation, Animal Treasures (which were basically Thanks-a-Lots) for children, babysitters and furries, Peanut Butter Patties for athletes and cool kids (why do cool kids love peanut butter? I don’t know. But they do, right? Reese’s is winning the fucking game, and it’s not because the chess team eats ‘em), and finally, Thin Mints for everyone else with a soul. There were also some others than nobody gave a fuck about, and clearly, I still don’t. Times were simple, but they were good.

Since then Girl Scouts have revamped their products. What the heck do they sell now? Lemonades? Dulce de Leches? Savannah Smiles? Gluten free biscuits? Any cookie that’s named after a Beyoncé album[4], an Italian phrase, or a Georgian mood, is trying a little too hard. Not to mention the Gluten free craze, which is, actually, you know, a benefit, whatever…and boxes are no longer $4, they’re $5! Holy Hell, that’s more than a Venti Latte at Starbucks.[5] Plus, Girl Scouts are doing things like, like “rock climbing” and “camping”, now…I mean, what the heck! When I was a kid, we make beads into Christmas ornaments[6] and learned how to belly dance[7]! WTF is going on?!

But the one constant has always been Thin Mint idolatry. In my LIFE, I’d even say, idolizing Thin Mints has been the ONE CONSTANT.

Until now.

I couldn’t figure out how to make this picture smaller. At any rate, the sash is not included.

A perfect take on an old classic recipe of graham cracker, Hershey’s, and horse gelatin, welcome to this campfire treat. A double-cookied sandwich with rich chocolate filling and a bouncy marshmallow cream. The S’more is fucking DIVINE. The S’more crunches perfectly, while also harnessing a soft chocolate flavor. They’re 1 ½” x 2” , the perfect size. S’mores were so titled after the humorous exclamation of: “Wow, these are so good, I want some more!” and goddamit if it doesn’t hold true now. Me and my Mama ate through half a box in 20 minutes. And MY MAMA WAS A GIRL SCOUT LEADER, remember?!

At this point in the essay, I feel the need to compare a Thin Mint and a S’more. Why our culture demands a hierarchy of something so subjective as a cookie taste is beyond me, but who would read this article if the conclusion was: “Both Are Good”? First, before I give my own opinion, I’ll include how girlscouts.org details the cookies on the Meet The Cookies webpage[8]:

Thin Mints: “Purchasing a box of Thin Mints — our round, mint-flavored cookies with a delicious chocolaty coating — helps a girl learn money management. She handles money, keeps records, even tracks orders — activities that are essential to running a successful business.”

S’mores: “Our new crunchy graham sandwich cookies with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling (YUM!) are one more delicious way to support her next adventure!”

There seems to be a discrepancy in Girl Scout advertising between their own cookies. Odd, no? Girl Scouts themselves cite selling Thin Mints as an almost preteen business school, teaching a girl to “handle money, keep records, even track orders”, while selling S’more don’t help you run a successful business at all! S’more are just “YUM!”, and selling them is a “way to support her next adventure”, a vague phrase of positivity regarding some whatever activity your girl does. It sounds even lamer and vaguer juxtaposed with the description of Thin Mints which specifically help one essentially learn management (somehow). If I’m not reading too much into this, which I probably am, Girl Scouts themselves seem to be promoting Thin Mints over S’mores. And it factually makes no sense that selling one cookies over another would promote different skills. That leads me to conclude that there’s even more favoritism going on, here. No wonder Thin Mints are the reigning champ — they’ve got a unique endorsement by the company that sells them![9]

Personally, I love Thinny Mintys. They’re an old-school, subtle chocolate mint cookie in a polarizing, globalizing 21st century world of flavor extremes. So few things are subtle nowadays that the very design of this cookie is philosophically appealing to me! Likewise, I love the S’more, an easy-to-eat, creamy, chocolatey treat that reminds me of the camping I never got to go on as a child, and makes me forget that horses died for my sweet tooth. My heart feels viscerally good about the S’mores, especially ’cause I don’t care about horses, and honestly, my mouth welcomes the new taste.

Between the Thin Mints and the S’mores, they both taste fine.

They’re both pretty okay.

Fuck it — I’ll say it.

Both Are Good.

And you read the article anyway!

The real question becomes, will people let this new, equally good cookie take hold? Probably not. Thin Mints have such a hold in popular culture that they aren’t likely to leave it. We already have our Thin Mint habits ingrained — is my friend Jake going to chew up S’mores and pop Goldfish into that mess? I hope not. And when you go to a comedy show or watch a TV program and there’s a scene about Girl Scouts, the first joke they make 90% of the time will be about Thin Mints — it’s recognizable and relatable. In a Jimmy Kimmel segment with Gordon Ramsey, Jimmy introduces Girl Scout cookies. “Well, I’m going to first of all warn you that this is almost like sacred territory you’re entering here…there’s the American flag, and then there’s Willie Nelson, and then we have Girl Scout cookies”.[10] These cookies, in pop culture media, are acknowledged as being an American treasure. Neither Ramsey, nor Kimmel, really enjoys Tagalongs or Samoas, but then Kimmel says, now “these are my favorites. These are the Thin Mints. I put these in the freezer, and then you pull out a sleeve, and you each all of them in one sitting”.[11] Even Kimmel has his own Thin Mint-eating habit, and what a ringing endorsement from a Late Night luminary amid crowd applause![12] Like Kimmel, we all know the Thin Mint, we all know what it indicates — American Girl Scout-hood — and in that, through Thin Mint cookie pop culture, we are united.

Just like politics, cookie popularity excels through name recognition. Sorry S’mores. We still associate you with the outdoor fireside snack, while Thin Mints have become virtually synonymous with the Girl Scouts program, thanks, in part, to the powers that be, the Girl Scout program itself, and the pop culture nebula. Perhaps in another 50 years, and maybe after a Jimmy Kimmel appearance, S’mores, you’ll have a bid for Queen. #BothAreGood.

[1] I swear to you that that’s the only terrible pun in this essay…I think.

[2] Jake.

[3] It seems that there are two types of S’more Girl Scout cookies, and I’m talking about the sandwich one with milk products included, baked by Little Brownie Bakers Girl Scout S’mores™. I know. I can’t believe I just said that sentence, either.

[4] I know the cookies came out before the album.

[5] $4.15 before tax.

[6] It was real fun for us Jews. Real fun.

[7] We actually did and that was actually kind of cool…

[8] “Meet The Cookies.” All About the Cookies. Accessed February 24, 2017. http://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies/Meet-the-Cookies.html.

[9] All of the cookies besides the two different kinds of S’mores, have unique descriptions of the benefits their selling will have to little girls. The Thanks-A-Lot teach “business ethics”, the Do-si-dos, for whatever reason, teach “goal setting”. But the newest cookies are just some time of adventuring support, and that unequal treatment of the S’mores as compared to the other, more stabilized cookies, contributes to their underdog position in the cookie hierarchy.

[10] Gordon Ramsay Tries Girl Scout Cookies for the First Time. Performed by Jimmy Kimmel and Gordon Ramsay. YouTube. February 25, 2016. Accessed February 24, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI_LQ5lR4gU.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ramsey responded that Thin Mints tasted like a “cheap after dinner mint”. I guess he didn’t like those much, either. But nevertheless, Kimmel seemed to love the old favorite!