“Would you like to buy a Girl Scout cookie?”
Thus began the sales pitch–we were told to smile sweetly as the door creaked open, revealing our next-door neighbors–taught to pay small compliments to the potential clients–as they looked at us, politely; questioningly–were trained to develop our budding skills of careful flattery–by saying things like, “Your daughter is so beautiful!” only to be informed the baby they were holding was a boy.
Casting blundering small talk aside, out would come the folder.
Usually the grown-up would smile grimly at our gap-toothed, hopeful expressions as they took it from us reluctantly–the folder which had a list of all the Girl Scout cookies on the margin, along with little squares for them to mark their orders–frowning in concentration as they thought of their waistlines, probably, or their bank balances (though, this was during the Clinton era, so maybe more the former than the latter)–and after a few moments of staring intently, they would sigh–the first sign of a withering willpower.
“Can I put you for a box of Thin Mints then?” We would ask innocently. Clench the deal.
You could see the battle on our clients’ features; the desire for cookies–the desire to have them, to eat them, in the near, yet distant future–slowly, visibly vanquishing the whispers of that irritating adult voice of rationality which says–you don’t really need this.
That would be our cue to smile and look up at them; eyes wide with little-girl wisdom.
And they would break.
“ARGHGH Fine. Yes. No! Make that THREE boxes of Thin Mints. And one of those Samoas. No, two! And the Peanut Butter ones as well!”
Who could blame them? There were cookies of all kinds at the supermarket, yes, but Girl Scout cookies are seasonal–after the season is over you have to wait a whole year to have them again–and anyway, they would convince themselves, which cold-hearted ogre could say ‘No’ to cookies–brought to their doorstep by people who themselves are made of ‘sugar, spice’ and all that other stuff?
The orders would come in, and we would deliver, our pigtails a-swinging, not knowing one day we would grow up to be on the other side of that door. Our clients’ eyes would grow large with happy anticipation–lighting up at the colorful, rectangular Girl Scout cookie boxes…and you could see the exact moment that the latent sleepy cookie monster (which lives in all of us) would wake abruptly–
The ring of euphoria would cloud their senses, as they would gaze down at the green box; opening it, ready to devour its contents.
The first crispy bite, the happy snap of the peppermint-chocolate cookie; with its smooth chocolate coating–would dissolve their surroundings–and suddenly they would be reminded of a time when they were Girl Scouts, selling cookies door-to-door– and their Inner Cookie Monster would rejoice–his laughter echoing loudly through years of suppressed cookie-cravings…bursting open the doors of nostalgia.
But then, they would wake from their daydream, realize they live in Africa, and remember that no one here knows what on earth Girl Scout cookies are, and are much less likely to ring the bell selling them.
Sighing through memories of decades past, a solution would flash before them, rousing them to the present–their Inner Cookie Monster would sit up, blinking dramatically–the year is 2014, Inner Cookie Monster would prompt its owner to think–the age of information. The internet is filled, nay, seething with recipes! How many other people would have had the same daydream?
The Cookie Monster would twitch his head, as realization would dawn on them.
A distant bell would ring. Ding Dong!
And they would have to answer its call.
Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/thin-mint-cookies/
1/2 cup butter
3/4 to 1 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 bar Baking Chocolate
1 tsp Peppermint extract
1/4 cup Full cream milk (add bit by bit until correct consistency)
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and peppermint. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet ingredients. Batter will be sticky. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a cylinder (dough will be soft, but will come together). Cut cylinder in half, transfer onto saran wrap and roll up snugly into a paper towel roll (if available). Keep each roll in fridge overnight. (Or for a few hours, and then in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.)
Heat oven to 175C (350F), and slice each cylinder into thin cookies (1/4 inch thick, if possible), and place onto buttered cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Prepare coating: Melt baking chocolate in the microwave until consistency is less than solid, but not liquid (when it gets pliable). Add peppermint extract and full cream milk. Chocolate will solidify a little after adding peppermint extract. Keep stirring and heating until reaches the consistency of chocolate fondue.
Dip cookies into coating (I used my fingers) and let set in the fridge.
These cookies turned out really well, satiating my craving for Thin Mints, and though they weren’t exactly like the real thing, they were close enough for my liking.
I did have to leave them in the fridge the whole time for the coating to stay the right consistency; and this time I used 3/4 cup sugar but next time I would use a little bit more.
My husband, who had never tried Thin Mint cookies before, curiously looked at the carefully arranged platter of little brown round cookies and poked them, skeptically, before popping one into his mouth.
Within seconds I turned around–the plate was half-empty, my husband was patting his belly contentedly, and through his eyes–I could see it–the Inner Cookie Monster–purring with satisfaction, as he turned to me to ask, Why have you never made these before? These are the greatest things ever!
…and the Girl Scout franchise took another cookie monster for its own.