Girl Guide Cookies
© Denzil Green
Girl Guide Cookies are cookies sold by the Canadian Girl Guides to raise money for their activities.
The cookies are made commercially for them by the Dare company, and sold twice a year to the public (as of 2010.)
From April to May, chocolate and vanilla cookies are sold; from October to December chocolate mint cookies are sold.
Most of the Canadian Girl Guide’s funding comes from its cookie sales. As of 2008, the cookie sales raise about $11-million CDN for them. The vanilla and chocolate account for $6-million of that.
The girls get prizes for selling certain numbers of cases. The prizes include a crest, and gift cards donated by major retailers.
This is the recipe that Christina Riepsamen used for her 1927 cookies.
1 cup (8 oz / 225 g) butter
1 cup (8 oz / 225 g) white sugar
3 whole eggs
2 tablespoons cream
Pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking power
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 cups (15 oz / 420g) flour
Additional white sugar for sprinkling at end
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs well beaten, then cream, spice, flour and baking powder and baking soda.
Start oven heating to 350 F / 175 C.
Roll dough out thinly on a floured surface. Cut into rounds with a round cookie cutter, or floured glass rim. Sprinkle with white sugar.
Put on cookie sheet; bake for 10 – 12 minutes.
You can use milk instead of cream.
In 2005, all Girl Guide cookies went nut free.
In fall 2008, the organization announced that trans-fat levels would be cut to 90% of previous levels — they needed a few years to work out a new recipe. By 2010, they met the standards to qualify for 0 trans fat.
1909 — A group of girls storm into a Boy Scout rally being held at the Crystal Place, in London, demanding an equivalent girl’s organization
1910 — The first Girl Guide Company formed was the 1st Pinkneys Green Guides of Maidenhead, Berkshire, organized by Miss Agnes Baden-Powell (1858 – 1945), Mrs Hayes-Sadler, and Mrs William Paget. Powell got a start-up loan of £100 from her brother, Lord Baden-Powell. In the same year, the first Girl Guides Company in Canada was registered on 11 January 1910, in St Catharines, Ontario, organized by a Mary Malcolmson.
In 1922, the American Girl Scouts began recommending cookies to their member companies as a fundraiser, and published a recommended recipe for it.
The Canadian Girl Guides first sold cookies as a fundraiser in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1927.
They were baked at home by Christina Riepsamen (22 June 1885 – April 1963), leader of the Newlands Own Girl Guide Company # 4. Her daughter Henny (Hendrica) was a Girl Guide.
Christina was Dutch; she was born in the Netherlands in 1885. She and her husband John came to Canada in 1912. They lived in a wooden frame house at 1375 Robinson Street, Regina.
She got her girls to help her; they sold the cookies for 10 cents a bag in the spring of 1927, with a dozen cookies in each brown paper bag. The goal at the time was to raise train fare for the girls for a summer camping trip at a lake.
Her cookie recipe, aside from the Dutch touch of cardamom as a spice, was very similar to the published American recipe (see separate entry on Girl Scout Cookies.)
Their cookie sales were a great success, and by 1929, the National Headquarters of the Canadian Girl Guides had taken on the idea and started placing commercial orders. In 1930, they ordered cookies made with fruits, nuts & spices.
Sales of the cookies continued during World War Two, at least up until 1942.
“Girl Guide cookies, which were promised for delivery Saturday afternoon, will not be delivered until December 6, it was announced from Winnipeg division guide headquarters Friday. During the past month Winnipeg Guides have taken orders for cookies and proceeds from the sales are added to the National War Services fund.” — Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 28 November 1941. Page 15, column 6.
“The supplies of Girl Guide cookies have now arrived in the city and will be delivered by the Lethbridge Guides as quickly as possible.” — The Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. 1 June 1942. Page 9, column
- 1946 — Introduction of vanilla crème cookie, maple cream and shortbread
- 1949 — The embossed trefoil on the cookies was introduced in Ontario. The supplier was Barker-Bredin. The price is 25 cents a box.
- 1953 — A box of 24 cookies is 35 cents. The sandwich-type cookie, in vanilla & chocolate, is introduced
- 1955 — The cookie supplier becomes Weston’s, Canada. Price rises to 40 cents a box
- 1960 — The supplier changes to Christie’s. They make a special sugar-topped cookie to celebrate the 50th Jubilee of Guiding in Canada
- 1963 — Girl Guides switches to plain cookies
- 1966 — Vanilla & chocolate sandwich-type cookies brought back
- 1967 — Canadian centennial cookies produced
- 1968 — The price rises to 50 cents a box
- 1985 — Special cookies to celebrate 75 years of Guiding in Canada
- 1993 — Chocolate mint cookie introduced, starting in Ontario
- 1995 — Chocolate mint cookie introduced to all provinces
- 2003 — Supplier changes to Dare. They did face some complaints when the taste changed after the switch to Dare Foods.
Literature & Lore
A recipe for making a pie crust from Girl Guide cookies, before the cookie type was switched to the sandwich type with the cream filling:
SATURDAY, the Girl Guides of Winnipeg will call on house holders to take orders for the annual sale of cookies. These cookies sold by the young women in blue uniforms are simple and delicious just as they are, and are especially favored by the younger set as an after-four snack with a tall glass of cold milk. However, an enterprising official of the Girl Guide association did a bit of experimenting with the cookies last year, and came up with some now ideas that are worth trying. With this thought in mind, many of us will want to order an extra box or two of the crunchy cookies. The principal result of the cooking session with “Girl Guide cookies” proved that these confections make a. very tasty pie crust. It is similar to a wafer crust, except there is a decided caramel candy flavor. This type of crust is nicest with a light, creamy filling such as the pineapple or lemon fillings suggested today. Some may recognize the former as being similar to the recipe for Pineapple Delight, which was recently published in this column. It is every bit as delectable as that dessert. We would like to suggest another use for these cookies. They may be rolled into crumbs and used in place of bread crumbs in Brown Betty and other family style desserts, contributing a new and pleasing flavor.”
Girl Guide Cookie Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups Girl Guide cookie crumbs
2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted.
Combine melted butter with crumbs and mix well. With palm of hand, press against bottom and sides of 9″ pie plate. Bake at 300 deg. F. for ten minutes. Cool thoroughly before filling. If desired, before baking, a few crumbs may be reserved to sprinkle on top of filled pie. — Ross, Carol. Cooks New Dessert Tricks. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Winnipeg Free Press. 7 May 1952. Page 16.
Agrell, Siri. With interest crumbling, Girl Guides cut the trans fat in cookies. Toronto, Canada: The Globe and mail. 26 November 2008.
Saskatchewan Council of Girl Guides. 1927 – 2007: Celebrating 80 years of Girl Guide Cookies in Saskatchewan. 3 April 2007. Retrieved October 2010 from http://www.girlguides.sk.ca/PrLily/CookieBookletMar07.pdf