Friday, March 4, 2022

My Kid Went to California, and All I Got Was This Complete Set of ABC Bakers Girl Scout Cookies

ABC Bakers puts their Thin Mints in FOIL SLEEVES!

After a couple of long pandemic years, last month Will was finally able to achieve her dream of going to a sleepaway camp in the Girl Scouts of Northern California council. It wasn't the summer camp with surfing, ocean kayaking, and sleeping out on the beach that she'd originally wanted, but a just-as-magical winter camp up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with Sierra redwoods, snowshoes, sleds, and comfy cabins.

Before and after, she hung out with her grandparents, who indulged her OTHER two biggest California dreams: to spend a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (a perennial dream, as she visits the Monterey Bay Aquarium almost every single time she visits California), and to buy the complete run of ABC Bakers Girl Scout cookies.

For those not involved in the Girl Scout Cookie War Machine, there are two different bakeries that make the Girl Scout cookies that the kids sell, and your local Girl Scout council works with one of those two bakeries. The bakeries are mostly the same--they both make a shortbread, a peanut butter and chocolate patty, a coconut and chocolate, a chocolate mint, a peanut butter sandwich, a lemon, and a caramel chocolate--but there are differences in the flavor and packaging even of those. And each bakery has a couple of different cookies, too. We're a Little Brownie Bakers council, and we have S'mores and Toffee Tastics. ABC Bakers has Toast Yays and Caramel Chocolate Chip.

Sell Girl Scout cookies for a couple of years, and you start to get curious about the other bakery's cookies, if for no other reason than customers--at least customers in a college town!--often come up to your cookie booth and ask the kids for cookies that are actually made by the other bakery. The kids learned early on to direct a customer asking for Caramel Delites to our Samoas, and a customer asking for Peanut Butter Patties got our Tagalongs. It's the same kind of skill set that a kid uses when a customer wants a cookie Girl Scouts stopped making a decade ago, or when a customer wants to know why cookies don't still cost a buck-forty like they used to when THEY were a kid. It expands a kid's worldview, and encourages them to contextualize their own experience in place and time.

So Will, who is currently selling Girl Scout cookies for her eighth (and final!) year, was STOKED to hit up a Girl Scout cookie booth in Monterey and bring me home a bunch of ABC Bakers cookies to try.

And because she is my child (and she's working on earning her Girl Scout Ambassador Photographer badge, which asks for a set of still life photos), we also took photos of them! 

Caramel Chocolate Chip is the ABC Bakers gluten-free cookie:

ABC Bakers Thin Mints have a pull-tab top!

They're also shaped differently, and the kids and I think that they're maybe a little crisper, more chocolatey, and slightly less minty:

Here are Toast-Yays!

They're meant to taste like French toast, and the cinnamon really comes through. The kids loved them, but I'm not a fan:

Lemonades resemble our Lemon-Ups, but the glaze is heavier:

Will LOVED the glaze and prefers these to Lemon-Ups. I thought the glaze had a weird aftertaste and I much prefer Lemon-Ups:

The Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, are, other than the pull tab on the box, identical to Do-Si-Does:

Based on the serving size and number of cookies in the box, though, they must be a different size, but we couldn't see how:

We thought the Caramel DeLites looked a little different from Samoas, but they tasted the same:

Adventurefuls are the new cookie this year for both bakeries. Little Brownie Bakers is having major supply chain issues this year and couldn't stock us past our troop's initial order, so people in our council barely got a taste, and I'm impressed that Will was able to score this ABC Bakers box!

Again, they're slightly different from Little Brownie Bakers' Adventurefuls, and I slightly prefer these:

Peanut Butter Patties are indistinguishable from Tagalongs:

Comparing these cookies was such a fun project, and I'm glad it was one more dream that Will could realize before she graduates high school. Our last Girl Scout cookie season together is almost over--only 47 boxes left to reach her all-time biggest goal of 2,000 boxes sold! I've already got the photo I took of her first-ever Girl Scout cookie booth standing ready, so I can set it side-by-side with the photo I'll take this week of her last-ever Girl Scout cookie booth. 

If that second photo is blurry it's because YOU'RE crying, not me! 

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