This may be hard to believe, but Thin Mints are not the original Girl Scout cookie. They may be the most beloved and best-selling cookies the Girl Scouts have ever given us, but for decades prior to their introduction in 1951, only those little shortbread Trefoils were available door-to-door. And there’s still a whole world of Girl Scout cookies beyond Thin Mints, Trefoils, Samoas, and Tagalongs (or Caramel deLites and Peanut Butter Patties, depending on where you’re from). But many of them haven’t lasted long.
Some of the Girl Scout cookies that are no longer with us, like Animal Treasures, sound positively delicious. But other varieties, like the ones that came in 100-calorie packs, seemed destined to fail. It’s all just a lesson that you should hold your favorite Girl Scout cookies close—because you never know when they will become extinct, like the following 10 experiments did.
The Girl Scouts of America was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912, when she gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to educate them about anything and everything, including camping and hiking. By the mid-1980s, there were millions of Girls Scouts across the country, and the organization thought it was time to honor Low with a sweet treat: a cookie in her name.
Juliettes, as they were called, were initially available from 1984 to 1985. They came in a box that had two sleeves, each with its own variety of cookie, according to Little Brownie Bakers, one of the two companies that produce Girl Scout cookies. The first sleeve was filled with a “daisy shaped shortbread cookie with a lemon-coated bottom, and the second sleeve with a pecan-praline coating on the bottom.”
Then, Juliettes were revamped in 1993. The second iteration was a caramel and pecan cookie covered with chocolate fudge, and they lasted until 1996.
Considering the focus the Girl Scouts have long had on the great outdoors and all the creatures living in the wilderness, it’s probably not too surprising that they offered a cookie called Animal Treasures. These chocolate-covered shortbread cookies were available from 1999 to 2005. And they didn’t just feature any animals; the cookies came in the shapes of endangered species, according to Mashable. Eventually, they were replaced by Thanks-A-Lots, which are still available today.
From 1996 to 1997, the Girl Scouts gave us the French-inspired Le Chips—a chocolate chip cookie with a hazelnut twist. While they may not have been as popular as some of the other flavors out there, they certainly had a devoted fan base.
In 2001, Bob Levey lamented their death in a Washington Post column. “I never sprang for any other flavor,” he wrote. “Everything else is tied for second place.”
In 2000, Le Chips were replaced by Aloha Chips, which had white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts instead of the hazelnuts. However, they didn’t stand the test of time, either. They were discontinued in 2004, but they too have their fans: Complex rated Aloha Chips among the 15 best Girl Scout Cookies of all time.
Olé Olés were available in the early 2000s, when low-fat diets were all the rage. The reduced-fat cookies included coconut and pecan bits, and they were coated in powdered sugar. We still don’t understand their Spanish-language connection, but we didn’t have much time to crack the code—Olé Olés were only available between 2001 and 2003.
Apple Cinnamons sound like a tasty breakfast cereal in cookie form, but customers weren’t crazy about the flavor. The cookies, which were around from 1997 to 2001, were also considered reduced fat and were shaped like apples, complete with cinnamon sugar.
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Iced Berry Piñatas
These cookies, which were on the Girl Scout cookie market from 2003 to 2005, featured strawberry jelly, cinnamon crumbles, and a hefty layer of icing. According to More magazine, “Piñatas were actually cookie versions of the Danish pastry.” But eventually, these guys also got knocked out of the game.
Kookaburras, which were available in the 1980s, were chocolate-covered crispy rice and caramel. Basically, as More magazine described, these bygone treats were “Kit Kats in cookie form.” Frankly, we’re not sure why they didn’t last, but there are copycat recipes all over the internet, thankfully!
In the late 2000s, pre-packaged snacks that only contained 100 calories were all the rage. And, of course, the Girl Scouts got in on the action. In 2007 and 2008, they produced 100-calorie snack packs of this cinnamon oatmeal cookie. But, we’re not surprised they didn’t last: Girl Scout cookie season is not for calorie counting.
These late 1990s oatmeal cookies had an advantage over their competitors: a layer of icing on the bottom. According to CafeMom.com, Upside Downs were the Girl Scouts’ answer to Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough of a sell for them to become a permanent flavor, and so they’ve since been retired to the Girl Scout cookie graveyard.