This year, when we ordered our Thin Mints and Samoas (or Caramel DeLites, depending on which bakery your local Scout troop gets their cookies from) we decided to try pitting them against the copycat cookies we’ve seen popping up in the grocery store in a blind taste test. The varieties we gathered were Keebler, Great Value and Hannaford, and my test subjects were Ian, my sister Desiree, and drummer for the Adam Ezra Group (and a good friend of ours) Alex.
I would like to preface this post by saying that regardless of the results of this taste test, Ian and I plan to continue supporting the Girl Scouts with our cookie purchases when that time of year come around, but let’s face it — sometimes you want a box of Girl Scout cookies in the off-season, and this is your guide to finding the best fake-outs for those times when you just can’t wait.
The price points of the knock-offs are pretty competitive. Legit Girl Scout cookies go for $4 a box, and the Keebler versions are considerably less at $2.50. The Hannaford and Great Value brands are the most affordable, at $1.99 and $1.88 respectively.
First my subjects tried the Thin Mints (and their knock-offs.) The plates were numbered but the cookies were in an order known only to me. I asked my captive audience to guess which cookie was the Girl Scout cookie, and to tell me which was their favorite. Hannaford narrowed the options a bit; their cookie was inexplicably white instead of the brown we’re all used to. Ian and Alex both successfully guessed the Girl Scout cookies, while Desiree thought the Keeblers were the real Girl Scout cookies. The real surprise was when Wal*Mart’s Great Value was the unanimous favorite.
Then I handed out the Samoas. Nobody correctly guessed the Girl Scout cookies, but the unanimous winner of the taste test was Hannaford, with the Great Value variety a very close second. I thought it was very interesting that the Girl Scout Cookies lost both rounds — girls, demand that your bakeries step up their game! They’re losing on their home court!
So anyway, now I have eight boxes of cookies sitting in my kitchen. I think a Thin Mint cheesecake is gonna happen, but I haven’t figured out what to do with the Samoas yet.