Let’s face it, a lot of Americans get excited over Girl Scout Cookie Season (my husband eats those thin mints like candy)! And finally, the Girl Scouts of America have launched a trial of a gluten free Girl Scout cookie!
The Skinny on the Gluten Free Cookie
It is a chocolate chip shortbread cookie, which is made in a gluten free facility. The Girl Scouts and ABC Bakers say the bite-sized cookie is expected to be a “huge success”. They say it is made with “real chocolate chips and real butter” and “contains no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high fructose corn syrup, no palm oil, and no hydrogenated oils”.
It comes in a 5 ounce foil-style resealable bag. As we may have guessed we will pay more for this cookie. According to the Girl Scout cookie FAQ:
“As in the retail market, gluten free cookies are priced higher than other cookies as they cost more to produce. Bakers must maintain a gluten free facility, and ingredients typically cost more. In addition, each council sets their own pricing for Girl Scout Cookies so you may find that pricing will vary from council to council.”
As comparison, boxes of the other traditional Girl Scout cookies range in size from 6.3 -9 ounces.
Finding the Gluten Free Cookies
You may be excited to try them (I know I am), but you may have to be clever in how you get them (just like me), especially if you live in the central part of the US. This inaugural year, it will be tested in 20 select markets. Most of the Girl Scout Councils selling them are on the east and west coasts, plus a few in Wisconsin, one in Texas, one that covers Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois and one in Minnesota. Click here to see the list.
The cookie season usually starts in January or February.
Gluten Free in Minnesota
For my readers in my home state of Minnesota, I already spoke with Vickie Strobel, Director of Product and Retail Sales for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines Council. She says her area serves 39 counties goes as far south as Big Lake, and Willmar, Minnesota; as far north as Baudette and International Falls, Minnesota; east to Grand Marais, Minnesota and Ashland and Spooner Wisconsin; and over to the Hinckley, Minnesota area. It does not serve the Twin Cities. Here is a map from their website.
The news, while exciting, was also a little disappointing for Julia Fried-Devine and her daughter Elaina who live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Elaina is a Girl Scout who has celiac disease. In 2013 she started a petition for gluten-free Girl Scout Cookie as a Bronze Award Project for her troop.
The petition for a gluten free cookie was well received Fried-Devine says, “When Elaina went to ROCK’s Gluten Free Fun Camp [last summer] many kids approached [her] asking if Girl Scouts would really make a gluten-free cookie.” Fried-Devine said the Girl Scouts themselves were also getting asked about when a gluten free cookie would be available. In all, Elaina got about 1200 signatures on her petition from both the gluten free and Girl Scout communities. The results of this project have been sent to Anna Maria Chavez, the CEO of Girl Scouts.
Elaina and her mom are happy that there is finally a gluten free cookie available by the Girl Scouts. But after all the work they went through to do the petition drive, they admit they were a little disappointed when they learned the Twin Cities was not a part of the test market. They are looking forward to next year when they hope to “be able to buy, sell and EAT the gluten-free cookies,” Fried-Devine said.
I will try to get my hands on some before they are for sale so we can review them and get back to you! It will be nice to have an option out there when it comes to Girl Scout Cookie season! Thanks to the Girl Scouts for making this first attempt and we’ll see what is yet to come!