That's right "kiddies" today we're celebrating yet another Centennial celebration! 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting in the United States. On March 12, 1912, a century ago, Juliette Gordon Low (Daisy to her friends:) founded the Girl Scouts of America in Savannah, Georgia. By all accounts, Juliette Gordon Low was a remarkable women (that's her in the middle) and as much as I would love to share her contributions to Savannah’s rich history, we have cookies to talk about. Girl Scout Cookies that is:) Perhaps I will return to Juliette Low's life on her birthday in October. In the meantime, let's talk cookies.
Juliette "Daisy‟ Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars and studied first aid." (Girl Scouts of the USA website)
By all accounts, Juliette Gordon Low was a remarkable women (that's her in the middle) and as much as I would love to share her contributions to Savannah’s rich history, we have cookies to talk about. Girl Scout Cookies that is:) Perhaps I will return to Juliette Low's life on her birthday in October. In the meantime, let's talk cookies.
The History of Girl Scout Cookies begins in Oklahoma.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma is proud to have a special place in Girl Scout history. Girl Scout Cookies® had their earliest beginnings in the kitchens and ovens of our girl members, with mothers volunteering as technical advisers. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917... The earliest mention of a cookie sale found to date was that of the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, which baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project in December 1917. By the 1920s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country were baking 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. (source)
An Early Girl Scout Cookie® Recipe
Girl Scout Council
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
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 6 to 7 dozen cookies.
In 1922, a Cookie recipe was provided by Girl Scout council leader Florence E. Neil in The American Girl Magazine. The cookies she suggested, could be sold for 30 cents per dozen. You can find an adaptation of the original recipe, with tips, at Serious Eats. Or, you can view the magazine recipe yourself here.
By the 1930s, Girl Scout Cookie production went commercial!
In 1933, Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city's gas and electric company windows. Just 23 cents per box of 44 cookies, or six boxes for $1.24 helped girls develop their marketing and business potential and raise funds for their local Girl Scout council program. In 1934, Greater Philadelphia became the first council to sell commercially baked cookies. A little over a year later, another large troop, the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York raised money by selling commercial cookies and it was them who, buying their own trefoil shaped die, had the words "Girl Scout Cookies" printed on the package. (source)
Let's jump ahead to the sixties (late sixties that is:) and the time when I was a Girl Scout:) I'm not sure whether this booklet published by the Campbell's Soup Foundation is from the 60s or later but I just had to share it with you. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really how long I've had it:)
From the introduction:
Cooking With A Purpose
The food you prepare does more than satisfy hunger. It shows how you feel about your family, your troop, your friends, younger or older people. Your effort is reflected in the attractive way you serve your prepared food. Cooking skill can help you put into practice your motto "Be Prepared" and parts of the promise and laws. Of course you recognize these as among the purposes of scouting. Here are many food ways to practice your purpose, contributing to badge earning and your own satisfaction as a Scout.
Here are ideas to help you do the things that individual badges stand for, and to do them often enough, thoroughly enough, and well enough to be prepared to give Girl Scout service.
For girls earning their Outdoor Cooking Badge, these recipes were recommended.
Did you notice there are no S'mores included in the above recipes? S'more's are as much a part of Girl Scout history as The Girl Scout Handbook of 1927, where the first recorded version of the recipe was found. Thankfully, Janet @ Dying for Chocolate had more to say about their history on National S'more Day. (Last year we celebrated National S'more Day stuffing our faces:)
Now for the really good stuff; The Cookies! What's your favorite? And, what does it say about you?
See that sunny yellow box of cookies in the middle? Those are this year's 100th anniversary introduction; Savannah Smiles. Some say they remind them of another Girl Scout cookie they miss called Lemon Coolers. Little Brownie Bakers, one of the companies that makes the Girl Scout cookies, (the other is ABC/Interbake Foods) explains the newest creation was named for founder Juliette Gordon Low's hometown: Savannah, Georgia. The company describes the cookie as "cool and crisp, with just the right number of lemon chips to deliver tiny bursts of flavor."
Since I have never tried either, I'm not much help. (Marion & I will be nibbling on a few tonight:) I can, however, tell you there have already been recipes developed using this latest addition.
I found the following recipe for Savannah Smiles Mousse at the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana website where you can download the entire 2012 Desserts First Louisville recipes for free. Many of the recipes were created with help from local restaurant chefs.
Savannah Smiles Mousse
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
¾ cup of sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup of ground Savannah Smiles cookies
7 large egg yolks
4 oz./1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
In a large heatproof bowl, combine the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and ground Savannah Smiles cookies with the egg yolks. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted and incorporated. Strain the lemon curd into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate the curd until chilled, about 2 hours. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until firm. Fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd.
The fundraiser is a dessert contest in which Girl Scouts team up with area chefs to make a dessert using Girl Scout cookies. Here's what the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland came up with.
I've also found a few more recipe links for you to explore that either use Girl Scout cookies as an ingredient, just in case you should find yourself with leftovers, or if you're feeling really creative you can attempt making your very own. I didn't want to impose again on other bloggers so rather than "grab" their pictures and links, I'll just provide the links.
Savannah Smiles Lemon Berry Trifle
Homemade Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies
Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas
Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Chocolate Pie
Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Cheesecake Cups
Girl Scout Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
If you think leftover Girl Scout Cookies are only worthy of decadent desserts, check out this recipe for Girl Scout Samoa Curry Arancini, one of the many winners of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington Food Blogger Recipe Contest.
I would like to thank the two adorable Brownies who provided me with these delicate delights and their wonderful mom's who were more than intrigued when I mentioned I found a recipe which included Savannah Smiles as an ingredient. (they were also delighted to know we celebrated the Oreo Birthday a few days ago:) Unfortunately because of all the chatter we shared I forgot to get their names:) Thanks girls!
The picture of Juliette Low's birthplace at the top of the page was scanned from a wonderful cookbook in my collection titled the Savannah Sampler Cookbook by Margaret Wayt DeBolt copyright 1978. It is darned with Savannah folklore, wood cuts and tempting southern recipes. It also happens to include a recipe for Girl Scout Brownies provided by the Girl Scout Council of Savannah.
If for some reason you crave that Girl Scout Cookie goodness from your favorite variety but are perhaps watching the pounds and the ingredients, you might be surprised to learn Lip Smacker launched Girl Scout Cookie lip gloss in many of your favorite flavors. You might be able to find them at Walmart too!
There are lots of celebrations coinciding with the Girl Scout Centennial Celebration. Not only in Georgia but all over the country, and some parts of the world. If you visit any of the links I've provided above, I'm sure you will be well on your way to local celebrations in your area. I happened upon an intriguing ad in a travel guide (PDF file) while online the other day. I can't remember where it came from but I simply had to include it for all you Paula Deen fans out there especially since she too is a native of Georgia.
"Once I showed up at my sister's with a baby rabbit I had bought from some children because its ears were cold. I put the rabbit on a hot water bottle and massaged its ears for quite a while. After all, I knew that all healthy animals had warm ears." ~Juliette Gordon Low~