This is the second year where the organization is selling gluten free Girl Scout cookies. Last year, they sold a shortbread-style GF chocolate chip cookie in a limited number of markets.
In 2015, they have two kinds. The chocolate chip cookie is gone. Instead they have Toffee-tastic and Trios.
Toffee-tastic is a butter cookie with toffee chips. Trios are a peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie.
I was excited to try the Trios which arrived on my doorstep last month, courtesy of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Lakes and Pines council in central Minnesota. They are a little bit bigger than a half dollar in size and a pretty good combination of oatmeal and peanut butter. All -in-all, not too bad.
I have not yet tried Toffee-tastic.
Recently I received a question and comment on Facebook from Mary, she explained:
“I just inquired from a parent (who attended a cookie sales training meeting for our area scouts) as to if I would be able to buy the new gluten free ones directly or if they would have to be ordered. Her reply was our area decided not to sell them at all as the cost would have been $5.50 for the new gluten free box vs. $4 for the regulars.
She then said that the thin mints were gluten free. I informed her they were not and she pointed out it said vegan right on the sales form so they were gluten free. How irritating that the Girl Scout Organization has been heavily promoting the gluten free cookies in the news yet so poorly informing the scouts who are selling them of what gluten free means and failing to say much about the higher costs.”
So to make sure everyone is on the same page, Mary is correct. The Thin Mints are not gluten free. And the term vegan means no use of animal products — it does not mean no gluten (gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye ingredients).
After hearing this, I inquired with the Minnesota-Wisconsin River Valleys council.
Molly, who is in charge of the cookie project for this council, explained the gluten-free cookies are being piloted this season. As a result, she says there is a limited supply of the cookies and troops could choose whether they were going to sell them. She says a troop opting out of the gluten-free cookie is certainly conceivable as mentioned in the above story.
What about education? What is the message being given to the Girl Scouts when the gluten-free cookies are added to the cookie “repertoire” and talked about in the media across the country? Molly said they don’t really provide information on gluten free that “it would be up to the troop to research that.”
I did mention to her that education would be a good thing to do, so the Girl Scouts understand why the cookies are available and what gluten free actually means. This way a person can hopefully avoid a frustrating interaction like the one Mary describes above.
Finally, Molly wanted to clarify expectations on the new online ordering option. Not all councils are doing the online option, including the MN-WI River Valleys council. She explained that getting any cookies online is “not like shopping at Amazon, you have to have a connection with a Girl Scout in that council”. If you live in an area that has a council with online ordering and the gluten-free cookies, you’ll be set. But if you want a certain kind of gluten-free cookie and they either aren’t available in your area or the council that covers the area in which you live, doesn’t have online ordering (or both), you will need to hit up a niece, granddaughter, step-daughter, or family friend who lives elsewhere and get them purchased or ordered for you. Molly says you have to have a connection with a Girl Scout to get the cookies online.
I hope this helps add insight about accessing the gluten free Girl Scout cookies.