Thin Mints, reconsidered

During my elementary school years, I was part of a Girl Scout troop. I got quite into the badge-earning aspect, completing several on my own. I also got into the cookie selling. A friend and I went door to door and one year I managed to sell 200 boxes that way. I know I was over 100 boxes some other years.

With that volume of sales, I got to know people’s preferences. I was always stunned that Thin Mints were the top seller. Like far and above everything else. I failed to see what it was about the chocolate mint concept that got people excited. My personal preference at the time was the Peanut Butter Patties, or the caramel/coconut ones (they went through several name iterations I believe). Shortbread cookies were good too. But I never liked the Thin Mints and have maintained a bit of an aversion to them. I probably had a few as a scout and then didn’t touch them since.

Anyway, my daughter is not in Girl Scouts (oddly, there doesn’t seem to be an active troop for her grade around here, and she didn’t want to join what used to be the “Boy” Scouts, which two of her brothers are in…). So my husband purchased some boxes online from a colleague’s daughter. I didn’t think he liked Thin Mints particularly either, but I guess when you’re ordering Girl Scout cookies you get a box of them.

So there they were on the counter when I noticed…they were vegan. Long time blog readers know that in the fall of 2020 I started cutting out dairy to see if it would help my chronic sore throats and congestion. Short answer: yes. Now that I am aware of it, though, I see that even small amounts can trigger a reaction. Like I ate a waffle from a batch of batter that my husband had made with about 1 tablespoon of butter in it, and I wound up with a sore throat. So I’m reading labels and getting annoyed at things like why does our usual brand of granola have milk in it? I had to switch. Most baked goods are out…But if the baked goods are vegan? Well, they’re all good.

And thus I have been eating Thin Mints. They are OK. A bit of a feeling like I’m eating a cookie that reminds me of brushing my teeth. But not bad. I can have a cookie with a cup of coffee and feel vaguely normal. A cup of coffee with no cream in it, but I’ve already made my peace with that.

(Actually, too much coffee can trigger things too — but that’s a different matter. Getting old is fun!)

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Are you a Thin Mint fan…or no?

Photo: Thin Mints. I did do some canoeing as a Girl Scout, though we were not as photogenic doing so as these children. 

21 thoughts on “Thin Mints, reconsidered

  1. I always knew Thin Mints were the most popular but didn’t realize how far they outpaced the rest until I pinch hit to handle physical cookie distribution for my daughter’s troop this year. I had 50% more Thin Mints cases than the next closest (Caramel Delites), and nothing else even hit double digits for number of cases. My dining room walls were basically entirely lined with Thin Mints until this morning when parents started picking up their scouts’ orders.
    FYI – if your area has the same cookie distributor as us (ABC Bakers, there are two different companies that handle GS cookies) you have additional vegan options – their Peanut Butter Patties, Toast-Yay, and Lemonades (my personal favorite) are all vegan.

  2. As a person whose mom always put in an order for 10 boxes of thin mints with whomever girl scout got to us first, I am appalled that people DON’T like thin mints! Are there even any other flavors of girl scout cookies?!?! 😉 (I literally cannot name any others, though I know they exist) We always kept our thin mints in the freezer, too – delicious!! Laura, glad you are coming around to tolerating (maybe even enjoying!??) them!

  3. I’m not a fan of chocolate and mint together except for those wonderful little mints at Olive Garden that have a layer of chocolate and a layer of mint.

  4. Long time fan here and current Girl Scout leader for my daughter’s troop. We are in the throes of cookie selling season and yes, the Thin Mints are by far the most popular! Even though, I agree, there are a lot of other flavors that are equally if not more delicious. Heartily agree with the other commenters about putting those cookies in the freezer!

  5. I too am Team Thin Mints. Always have been. We keep them in the freezer and crush a couple over vanilla ice cream. Also, a couple after lunch can help with any lingering garlic breath.

  6. I am team #thinmints also. One of the things that surprised me about my kids is that they didn’t like the same things I did or liked things I didn’t (weren’t they supposed to me mini-mes!?!). But when neither liked mint chocolate, I was on board. I would not have to share my thin mints! But, of course , they also liked thin mints. The only chocolate mints they like.

  7. frozen thin mints YESSSS! (but i love mint, my favorite ice cream flavor is mint chip).
    also this post had me googling WHERE ARE THE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES? totally buying thin mints + samoas this year.

  8. I am not a thin mints fan either. I buy cookies to support the scouts but don’t really like any of them. Also I was dying laughing at “ like I’m eating a cookie that reminds me of brushing my teeth” So true!!

  9. I like a thin mint but I really love the peanut butter ones, and would like someone to bring me some in Scotland. I can’t have dairy either (although it sounds like I’m less reactive) and I’ve been surprised how good some of the non-dairy butters have gotten, even for cookies. If you get the one that is solid (NOT margarine or olive oil spread), they’ll bake just like normal. We’ve been baking our way through Snacking Cakes substituting milk for oat milk and the vegan butter.
    I also really really love Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate olive oil cake.

    1. @Cb – I have been pleasantly surprised, now that I have embarked on this journey, at how many excellent products exist. Some have been made for vegans and some for people who can’t eat dairy, but it’s enough of a market that there’s some good stuff. I have a nephew with severe allergies, and so I was vaguely aware that the family was still finding various things but the fact that Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy Phish Food exists is just so wonderful. And a range of almond milks. And non-dairy “butter” that tastes decent when melted on bread. I have not ventured into the world of fake cheese yet because I feel like that might just make me sad but I will never say never.

  10. Hi Laura, same for me. I sold a lot of Thin Mints as a Girl Scout and was always a bit mystified that they were so popular, but people LOVE them. My favorites as a kid were the same as yours: Tagalongs, Samoas, and Trefoils!

  11. I like A thin mint. I used to look upon the shortbread cookies with disdain but they have grown on me too. I think I’m the only person in America who liked the lemon sandwich cookies. I think dairy is causing an itchy reaction on my skin 😭

  12. As an Australian I was momentarily confused. What I think of as Thin Mints are also known as After Dinner Mints: https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/630827/walkers-dark-chocolate-after-dinner-mint. No biscuit (cookie) base involved – just chocolate over a mint fondant filling. They might have changed the name to avoid confusion with your (American) product.

    While googling, I came across this: https://www.marthastewart.com/1525683/martha-bakes-season-nine-episode-two-australian-cookies, which (controversially?) says “MINT SLICES No disrespect to the Girl Scouts, but these cookies might be knocking Thin Mints out of first place.”

    She includes a recipe for home made Mint Slices (these are the bought ones: https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/36215/arnott-s-mint-slice-chocolate-biscuits – and widely loved in Australia). Not vegan, though, sorry, due to the milk solids in the chocolate.

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