Earlier this week, when I least expected it, they got me. Those damn Girl Scouts, little ninjas of niceness that they are, snuck up on my house and forced me, with their unparalleled strong-arm tactics, to buy some cookies. Truth be told, this time it was just one Girl Scout, and how she got me to buy a box of cookies, just days after I’d bought four from a coworker’s daughter, was downright unfair. In fact, I’d like the government to consider quarantining this girl and weaponizing her cuteness. Because if she comes back to my house and pulls the same sh*t, I will be dragged into a life of poverty $4 at a time.
As it poured outside, there was a light knock at my door, and when I opened it I could barely stop myself from saying, “Oh you’ve got to be f*cking kidding me.” Standing in front of me, in an oversized raincoat that amplified the cuteness factor to unfair levels, was this Girl Scout holding a box. Her parent was dry and warm in a minivan two houses away, but she was standing before me, asking, “Would you like to buy some cookies?” In a matter of seconds, my standard defense of “I just bought some” crumbled like ash, and I dejectedly told her, “Give me a box of the Caramel deLites, please.” I also told her to get out of the rain and stay dry, but I swear she responded with a grin that implied, “Shut up, punk ass sucker.”
It’s the same story every year, as my gut defies orders from my brain and wallet. I wind up with more boxes of Girl Scout cookies than any human needs, and I eat them all with the shame of a man swindled out of his hard-earned cash. Somewhere out there the Girl Scouts who get me to buy cookies are displaying their Con Artist merit badges with pride, and I can’t blame them. They’ve earned them. All I can do is sit back, stuff my cookies into my facehole, and do what I do best… rank Girl Scout cookies like the world’s foremost cookie expert that I am. Argue with me if you want, but this is science, baby.
Lemonades are basically Shortbread cookies with a lemon icing. I don’t get why people would want their cookies to taste like lemons, because lemons are typically a complementary fruit. You put it in tea or hot water while you play mahjong. And if you love lemonade so much, have a glass of lemonade. I’ve never been drinking something and thought, “This would be better in cookie form.” Now, that’s not to say I wouldn’t try an Old Fashioned cookie if the Girl Scouts and Buffalo Trace want to team up for that, but lemon flavoring in general — be it all-natural or magical fruit flavoring — has no business on a cookie.
11) Savannah Smiles
“Okay, Burnsy, what if we make the cookies in a wedge style and cover them in powdered sugar? You couldn’t possibly hate those, could you?” I know I’m not making any friends in the lemon party, but no, you can’t talk me into the lemon-flavored cookies. Although, I will give the Savannah Smiles credit for making me sing the Hall and Oates classic “Sarah Smile” while I ate all of the other cookies.
10) Rah-Rah Raisins
I’ve got nothing against fruit, ladies and gentlemen, and I’ll defend every human being’s right to enjoy fruit in their cookies, even if you’re a weirdo who likes lemon icing. But raisins? Get out of here with that nonsense. “But Burnsy, raisins are so good in oatmeal cookies.” Wrong, imaginary person whose statement I just generated to prove a point that suits my agenda. Oatmeal cookies are fine without raisins. All cookies are fine without raisins. And I’m damn tired of the Girl Scouts pretending that anyone is cheering for these cookies. Get out of here, raisin industry.
I buy a box of Shortbread cookies every year, and the same thing happens every year – it’s always the last box in my pantry and it lasts for months. Shortbread cookies are the perfect cookie for a person trying to lose weight, because you’ll open the pantry thinking, “Damn, I could eat a sleeve of cookies right now,” and then you’ll see the box of Shortbread, eat one, and then close the pantry. This cookie isn’t terrible by any means, but it’s the ultimate socialist dream. A bland cookie created for every man. The only real advantage that Shortbreads have is that you can do anything with them or put anything on them. They’re like the basic building block of life, except a cookie.
My hopes were really high for the Toffee-tastic cookie this year, because toffee is awesome and anything that is -tastic is typically good, too. But it’s really not that good. I can barely taste the toffee bits in this cookie that’s held together like loose dirt. It’s basically like someone took a sleeve of Shortbreads and bashed it against the kitchen counter, then removed all the crumbs, dropped some toffee bits into the mess, and then pressed a handful of the debris together into a cookie that has five seconds before it self-destructs. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not -tastic. I’m changing the name of these cookies to Toffee-ceptible.
By rule, peanut butter is good. The Constitution should be made out of peanut butter. Elon Musk should invent a Tesla car that runs on peanut butter and has a pretzel steering wheel covered in peanut butter. You really can’t go wrong with peanut butter in a cookie, and this one has the added benefit of being a peanut butter sandwich that has oatmeal cookies for the outside. It’s a great cookie for people who are skeptical of peanut butter, like too much of it will cause a wild orgy to break out in your living room and then you’ll never get the stains out of your carpet. It’s a coward’s cookie, basically, because you’re afraid of taking another step toward cookie-topia.
This is the St. Louis Cardinals utility player of cookies. It’s the New England Patriots wide receiver of the Girl Scouts’ menu. It’s a peanut butter oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips, hence Trio, because it’s three great flavors in one solid cookie. You’re not gonna eat a box of these cookies in one sitting while you cry about the calories, nor will you talk someone’s ear off about how good they are frozen, so you can use them to scoop a Wendy’s Frosty. You’ll eat a few of these, perhaps with a glass of milk, and you’ll feel no regret about it.
Good for you, settling for the safety cookie.
5) Cranberry Citrus Crisps
I’ve never been a big fan of cranberries, from the fruit to “WHAT’S INNA YO HEEEEEAAAAAAD,” but I give the Girl Scouts a ton of credit for creativity in this flavor. After all, you’ve got two lemon cookies on the menu and – BLECH! – raisins, but nothing that takes a chance, for goodness sake. Fruit is a gift from the heavens, and if you gave me a blueberry or blackberry cookie, you’d have my heart for eternity. So, to make this cookie with cranberries and a citrus flavoring, you’re telling me that you’re not afraid to try. Kudos on your ambition, Girl Scouts, but let’s find a way to get peanut butter involved.
4) Peanut Butter Patties
The biggest PRO and CON for the Patties, aka Tagalongs, is that you can eat them until you are vomiting chocolate peanut butter goodness from every hole on your body. Remember when Devil Ned Flanders put Homer Simpson in the chair and fed him donuts, as if that was some sort of punishment? That would be me with the Tagalongs. They are my hell, because they are so freaking tasty. And for those of you who agree with me, and probably think they should be No. 1, mix in a glass of chocolate milk and sweet fancy sugar shock, it’s heaven.
3) Thin Mints
Mint is the most controversial flavoring in the dessert world. There are people who absolutely love mint chocolate chip and there are people who despise it. Same with mint cookies n’ cream. It is a truly divisive flavor, and I understand that. However, I absolutely love mint flavoring, especially when it’s covered in chocolate and frozen. Keep these in the freezer and make each day of your life a refreshing winter wonderland, you cookie peons. And if you believe that you’re ready for the ultimate mint experience, use the Thin Mints to shovel a Frosty or Blizzard into your dumb, fat mouth. Don’t you dare feel an ounce of shame, because it’s basically perfection.
2) Caramel deLites (or Samoas)
This is the fully-loaded Rolls Royce of Girl Scout cookies, and Andy Isaac, my best friend in terms of food appreciation, is not wrong to call it the best. It has everything – caramel, toasted coconut, and chocolate. It’s truly a deLite, as the name suggests. The only reason that it’s not the clear cut No. 1 on this list is because sometimes a cookie with this much happening is too much for the average cookie eater. Some people just aren’t equipped for this kind of explosive flavor, and too many good people have fallen into a lifestyle of Caramel deLite addiction. Caramel deLites are not meant for a novice snacking appetite — they should be regulated by the government.
I feel like if we weren’t so fat and lazy from eating all of these cookies, society could easily break off into three warring factions – the Tagalongs, Thin Mints, and Caramel deLites. People are shockingly intense about their cookie preferences, and so I expect and welcome outrage from each clique (I mean, you’re all wrong because this is science, but go ahead and speak out anyway). I will die on this fudge-bottomed hill, though. Sometimes perfection is simple, and in the case of the Girl Scout cookie, the Shortbread dipped in fudge is the ideal cookie to please the masses. It’s a little bit country and a little bit rock-and-roll. And to top it all off, “Thank you” is featured on the tops of the cookies in five languages, so you’re actually learning something.
Delicious and educational? This is the cookie that our children deserve.