Saturday, January 18, 2014


A pantry somewhere in America

The first joyful event in my life occurred two months ahead of schedule, me. 
A teeny preemie,
practically perfect in every way but ounces, getting down below four pounds before finally rebounding into a rousing, rollicking one month old, five pound baby fit to take home.  For much of my early life, it was a struggle to keep weight on.  I wasn't a picky eater, I was just always trying to catch up.  Ah, the irony.  At the time, I guess no one thought to offer me a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie.

She rang my door on Saturday and to my credit, I exercised great control, considering.  I only ordered two boxes of Thin Mints and two boxes of Samoas, the most decadent of cookies, listed in the official listing of cookies to never, ever think about as dictated by Dr. Ahhhzzzz.  The Girl Scouts of America have been selling cookies since 1917, beginning with homemade cookies in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Chocolate mint anything and I have a long, tortured history that began when I was in grade school.  Around Thanksgiving time, my Camp Fire Girls would go door to door (shocking, I know) selling candy for $2.00 a box.  The most popular candy was the Chocolate Mint Melts.  Saturday afternoon was a great time to catch people at home because they were in a hurry to get back to the game on t.v. I maybe missed my calling, I was so good at my spiel and deft hand, exchanging money for candy boxes quickly.

Except I had to stay on my toes.  The Chocolate Mint Melts did, almost immediately, when placed in your mouth.  And if one of the boxes was already opened, I had to make sure I didn't offer the secretly, already opened box, used for nourishment between houses. By the time the fundraiser had ended, there was no loose change in my house and nothing in my wallet and a very quiet piggy bank.  About this time, my struggle not to be skinny ended.  Ah, the irony.

But it is the cookie part that gets me every time.  I can't eat a whole steak (but definitely a lobster).  But not a bag of chips or a bowl of cheese dip or a whole container of ice cream.  I want to know.  What is the secret, addictive ingredient in cookies?

I identify with the Cookie Monster except I don't dress in blue fuzz.  Cookies are delightful and crunchy.  The gene for cookie love is in my DNA.  I LOVE COOKIES.  Of course, they don't love anyone and especially not me.  But they do love to stick around.

There are secret societies around the world whose sole membership requirement is the member's ability to throw together the Chocolate House Cookie recipe in a dark laundry room and eat the raw cookie dough.  I can't help it.  It runs in my family.  Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs, Good Vanilla. Salt. Pecans. Chips.  And then the same company came out with the ready to bake cookie pieces, available on the open market of the dairy section.  No law against it.

Speaking of laundry rooms and pantry shelves.  Yesterday, when fiddling with cereal boxes, cracker boxes, a melba toast box and a Beignet mix box, all of which I keep almost too high to reach, a gap in the usually tight shelf revealed a box of peanut butter GS cookies way behind in the far reaches, past the huge upside down Tupperware Cake Container full of old Pier One Paper Plate Holders.  Too far to reach.  That's why it is still there.  I would have to get a step ladder to climb up to the hidden jewel.

Being the efficiency expert that I am, there is no way to know how long that little serendipity has been hiding out in my housewife's Perfect Pantry.  In order to conduct further cookie research, I got out the stepladder to take a picture, proving the hiding place of the GS cookies.  It was at this time, another, undiscovered box, was discovered behind the PB box!  Now there are two cookie boxes
on the top of the shelf.  One is missing one sleeve of cookies.  The Shortbread variety has not been opened.  The best news is the use by dates were 09-2013, which in my house can mean a couple of more years, depending on the product.  Certainly four months past the date would not be detrimental to anyone's health.

I haven't opened them up.  I could, if I felt a cookie binge coming on.  But this is January and I am trying to work on the cookie thing.  However, in my internet research, I came across the official original shortbread cookie recipe.  With great self-control, I am refraining from whipping up a practice batch to show off on this post.  But I did want to pass it along for your eating pleasure. 

No calories were consumed in the production of this post and I am a non-paid, non-representative spokeswoman of this worthwhile organization. I also was not compensated with any free cookies.


In the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country continued to bake their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.

Girl Scout Cookie, circa 1922

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • additional sugar for topping (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.
Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.

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