Best Girl Scout cookie: Thin Mints, Samoas or…?
Girl Scout cookies have been sold for over a century and have featured many different flavors over the years (anyone remember Kookaburras?) These days the cookie selection is down to 12, and the Samoas and Thin Mints dominate as the most popular flavors.
Does that mean Thin Mints and Samoas are the best? I decided to try all the flavors and rank them from high to low. And even though yes, I have a Go-to Girl Scout cookie, I kept an open mind since I hadn’t tried all the flavors yet.
Before reading my ranking, please know that I don’t like cookies that are too crispy or hard. When I was a teenager I took a bite of a hard cracker and it broke my permanent restraint… so now I don’t trust them and it may (definitely) affect some of my grips decision.
A special thank you to the Girl Scouts for providing me with all the cookies for this very important project. I also learnedduring my adventure.
Note that this taste test is unscientific and based solely on my opinion. I’m not an experienced food critic, I just like to try new cookies and piss off my family and co-workers who don’t have the same opinion as me about which cookie is best. Here’s how I ranked the 12 cookies and why.
This is how my colleagues voted
Before I started my taste test, I wanted to see which Girl Scout cookie was the favorite among my CNET colleagues. To my surprise, nearly 55% voted for Samoa, with Thin Mints coming in second with just over 27%.
Here are the survey results based on 55 responses:
- Samoas/Caramel Delites: 54.5% (30 votes)
- Fine mints: 27.3% (15 votes)
- Tagalongs / peanut butter pancakes: 10.9% (6 votes)
- Do-si-dos/peanut butter sandwich: 1.8% (1 vote)
- Clovers / Shortbread: 3.6% (2 votes)
- Lemonades: 1.8% (1 vote)
How I Ranked the 12 Girl Scout Cookie Flavors
Note that some of the cookies have different names in different regions because they are made by different bakeries.
12. Toffee Tastic
It’s the only cookie I couldn’t swallow. After biting into the gluten-free hard cookie and letting it dissolve, I felt like I had just eaten a spoonful of sand. And it didn’t get better from there: the caramel bits tasted more like mediocre caramel and the cookie smelled like real dirt.
Toffee-Tastic is a very hard cookie similar to biscotti, and it might be best to dunk it in tea or coffee to soften it. The cookie was so hard that I performed a “drop test” on a concrete sidewalk to see what it would take to break it. After four attempts and one throw, the cookie eventually broke in half.
Needless to say, I do not recommend this cookie.
When I first saw Adventurefuls cookies, I thought they would become a new favorite. A caramel filled brownie sounded delicious, but this cookie was anything but what I expected. For starters, I only like the center of freshly baked brownies and won’t eat the edge pieces. Unfortunately, this cookie reminds me of overdone brownies.
I first tried to break it in half, but it was super hard – even the caramel wasn’t as soft as I thought – so I bit into the center with my molars. The flavor of the brownie part was meh and the caramel flavored center tasted artificial.
10. Caramel chocolate chips
This is another gluten-free option offered by Girl Scouts and although it’s much better than Toffee-Tastic, it’s still bland. The texture is pleasant, soft and presents large pieces of chocolate. However, it’s not much different from a regular chocolate chip cookie. It’s extremely sweet as it has a caramel flavor but it’s also a bit salty which I didn’t like.
The lemonades taste like the custard of lemon meringue pie, but it’s the frosting that does all the work. The cookie itself leaves little to be desired, and that may be because the frosting is so powerful. It’s one of the biggest cookies Girl Scouts sell, but thin enough to eat in a few bites. If you go for a lemon cookie, I suggest you try Lemon-Ups instead (see below).
8. Tagalongs / peanut butter patties
I’ve only ever had the Tagalongs, but for this taste test I got peanut butter patties. It’s been years since I’ve indulged in Tagalongs, but the taste between the two is somewhat different (they’re made by different bakeries).
The top layer is a soft peanut butter while the bottom layer is a crunchy crust, and the entire cookie is coated in a soft chocolate coating. The peanut butter patties are a little too rich in flavor for me but taste great overall.
I thought lemons and lemonades would taste the same, but that’s not the case at all. Lemon-Ups taste more fruity than lemonades and smell like freshly squeezed lemons. There’s a lemon glaze on the bottom of the cookie that really brings the flavor home, and also a kind of spiciness that you don’t usually get with the average cookie.
I could definitely enjoy these cookies in the spring with a glass of unsweetened iced tea.
6. Girl Scout S’mores
S’mores Pop-Tarts heated in a toaster were always my favorite when I was a kid, and Girl Scout S’mores cookies taste similar. They are super soft with a buttery graham cracker sandwich filled with creamy chocolate and marshmallow flavored filling.
But since s’mores aren’t supposed to be cold, I decided to reheat these cookies in my microwave. Fantastic decision. The chocolate melted as it should and the marshmallow filling became much softer. If you buy these, I recommend heating them up (I used 7 second increments to be safe).
No, they still don’t taste like the s’mores you make by a campfire, but they are pretty good.
5. Clovers / Shortbread
Clovers may look like simple cookies, but the taste is far from simple. They have a perfectly balanced buttery taste with a sweetness that isn’t overpowering. These cookies go great with coffee if you’re the morning cookie type.
This simple shortbread cookie is baked in the shape of the Girl Scouts logo and has a soft texture that melts in your mouth like cotton candy. I now understand why these cookies came in fifth place in our survey above.
Do-si-dos are soft, easy-to-break peanut butter sandwiches. Not only do they have peanut butter in the center, but the cracker also tastes like peanut butter. The whole cracker melts in your mouth and has a nice, subtle flavor – I could eat them as is without the peanut butter.
Peanut butter tastes different in Do-si-dos than in Tagalongs because it is not so sweet. To me, it tastes more like genuine peanut butter with no artificial flavors and has the same texture.
3. Fine mints
Thin mints are a popular choice for a reason. They melt in your mouth from the first bite and have a chocolate mint flavor similar to an Andean chocolate mint. They are fine and have just the right amount of crunch.
Pro tip: Eat one right after a garlicky meal to cleanse your palate. That’s a close second to brushing your teeth, right?
From a professional standpoint, if you ever decide to do a taste test of Girl Scout cookies, save the Thin Mints for last, as the minty flavor lingers for a while after eating and could compromise the flavor of the cookie. next cookie you try.
2. Toast Yay
These cookies propelled Thin Mints to my personal third place, and I’m not sorry about that. Have you ever tried Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal? That’s what Toast-Yay cookies remind me of. They taste like gingerbread and cinnamon graham crackers with a delicious layer of frosting. The crust melts in your mouth almost instantly.
The big bread shaped cookies are almost the size of my palm. However, they are only available in certain regions, so they can be difficult to find. But if you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend them.
1. Caramel Samoas/Delites
If you know, you know: Samoas cookies are the best. If there ever was a perfect cookie, this is it. It deftly balances coconut, chocolate and caramel with a chewy cookie crust. Samoas are really the only Girl Scout cookies with a classic chewy texture, and they’re also a little sticky if you break them in half. The texture reminds me of a no-bake cookie.
The Samoas Girl Scout cookie is by far the most controversial, as one of the main ingredients is coconut, a constantly polarizing food. It seems like most people I’ve talked to who don’t appreciate the chocolate and caramel donut-like goodness of this cookie aren’t usually coconut fans. Go figure.
You definitely don’t have to agree with how I’ve ranked every Girl Scout cookie flavor. After all, they are just cookies. What you can do is have fun with it, like I did.and host a tasting party with friends and let us know which one is your favorite.