The Girl Scouts are going modern: This year, in addition to selling their cookies online for the first time ever, the group has also introduced several new cookie flavors, all of which nod to contemporary diet trends. Trios are gluten-free peanut butter cookies with whole-grain oats; Rah-Rah Raisins are oatmeal raisin cookies with “Greek yogurt-flavored chunks”; and Toffee-tastics are another limited-edition gluten-free offering. The real question: Do the new cookies even hold a candle to the brilliance of a frozen Thin Mint or a classic Tagalong? To find out, Grub consulted the target demographic: two 11 year-old girls — Penelope Platt (an expert evaluative eater, since she’s the daughter of New York restaurant critic Adam Platt) and her classmate Julia Millard Williams. What’d they think?
Penelope and Julia each sampled seven flavors of Girl Scout Cookies, a combination of classic flavors and two new additions (gluten-free Trios and yogurt-studded Rah-Rah Raisins). When it came time to taste the Trios, both girls seemed slightly put off before even taking a bite: “It doesn’t even look very appetizing to me,” Julia announced. “It’s weirdly shaped.” Penelope was so skeptical that she smelled the cookie before trying it. Another thing that makes Trios stand out: They arrived in a plastic bag, instead of the traditional box.
Upon tasting, both Penelope and Julia knew something was up — and they weren’t fans. “It’s rigid,” Penelope keenly observed. “And it all crumbles together in your mouth.” Both girls were surprised to hear that the cookie’s gluten-free, but the restriction explained why it had major textural issues, a common issue with gluten-free baked goods.
The young critics felt slightly more confident about the Rah-Rah Raisins. Julia deemed it “okay” (practically a two-star review in kid speak), and while Penelope voiced her controversial opinion that “oatmeal and raisins don’t necessarily go together,” she came around to the flavor. Neither could taste the Greek yogurt, which, depending on your point of view, may be a good thing.
“I was expecting to bite into a gooey raisin, but there was something else — maybe white chocolate?” Penelope said. “It definitely tasted like a health cookie, or a cereal cookie. My dad eats yogurt, granola, and raisins together for breakfast. This is that in cookie form!” (For the record, Mr. Platt is a fan of Do-si-Dos.)
As a control, it only seemed fair to present the girls with some older flavors, too, in order to gauge their overall appreciation of the classics. As it turns out, they didn’t love them. Besides Thin Mints — always a crowd favorite, and the only cookie the girls immediately recognized — they weren’t too fond of the others, either. They deemed Trefoils too “lemon-y,” said Do-si-Dos “could use more peanut butter,” and Tagalongs were “too salty” with “an overpowering amount of peanut butter.”
Perhaps most surprisingly, Samoas lost by a landslide. Penelope couldn’t even finish the cookie, opting to spit it out. (“All you taste is coconut — I hate coconut!”)
Yet, despite their not-exactly-glowing reviews, cookies are still cookies and the girls both agreed they’d eat most of them again (except Samoas), even if they’d only spend their own allowance on Thin Mints. Ultimately, it seems like the next time the Girl Scouts update their recipes, they may want to ditch the diet-friendly approach and instead make more of an effort to appeal to younger generations. As Julia put it: “I know these cookies were made a long time ago.”