Every Girl Scout Cookie Ranked on a Scale of 1 to 5 Mary Berrys

Winter is finally almost over, which means the best season is finally upon us: Girl Scout cookie season! This particular Girl Scout cookie season is special for me because it coincides with my completion of a Great British Bake Off (aka The Greatest TV Show in History) marathon. Now that I am an expert on every bakable thing, I am happy to share my extensive knowledge with you, which I have done below by ranking every Girl Scout cookie on a scale of one to five Mary Berrys.


Toffee-tastic

“Gluten-free, rich buttery cookies packed with golden toffee bits bursting with flavor.”

two-mary-berrys

These are tasty, but basically just a Heath bar, which you can buy year round at every CVS and gas station in the country. Two Mary Berrys.


Tagalongs

“Crispy vanilla cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolaty coating.”

four-mary-berrys

Three distinct layers, three distinct textures, three delicious flavors. Four Mary Berrys.


Savannah Smiles

“Crisp, zesty lemon wedge cookies dusted with powdered sugar.”

one-mary-berry

I hail from the great state of Georgia and let me tell you something about Savannah: What makes people smile there is pralines. Toasted pecans covered in a mixture of warm brown sugar and butter, and cooled into little bites so sweet and smooth it’s like eating dessert in heaven. In Savannah, powdered sugar is for funnel cakes, not lemon wedges. One Mary Berry.


Samoas

“Vanilla cookies topped with caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and laced with chocolaty stripes.”

four-and-a-half-mary-berrys

Like Tagalongs, Samoas feature multiple textures and layers. Crunchy cookie bottom, gooey caramel center, crisp toasted coconuts, and creamy chocolate topping. This is the most flavorful of all Girl Scout Cookies, and there aren’t any mass-produced cookies on the market that taste anything like them. Four and a half Mary Berrys.


Lemonades

“Savory slices of shortbread with a refreshingly tangy lemon flavored icing.”

half-mary-berry

This is an insult to Mary Queen of Scots, specifically, and to Scotland, in general. Half a Mary Berry.


Thanks-A-Lot

“Shortbread cookies dipped in rich fudge and topped with an embossed thank you message in one of 5 languages.”

three-mary-berrys

This is also an insult — shortbread stands alone! — but I confess I love the idea of Mary Queen of Scots sarcastically handing these things out to her enemies. Thanks a lot, Lord Bothwell. Three Mary Berrys.


Thin Mints

“Crispy chocolate wafers dipped in a mint chocolaty coating.”

5-mary-berrys-png

The all-time great. There’s a reason every American household has three boxes of Thin Mints in the freezer, and it’s because if the apocalypse comes, humanity is going to need a reason to keep going, and pursing Thin Mints will be that reason. Also probably they’re in the freezer because no one wants to run out of them before next Girl Scout Cookie season. Either way: Five Mary Berrys.


Cranberry Citrus Crisps

“Crispy cookie, made with whole grain, full of tangy cranberry bits and zesty citrus flavor.”

one-mary-berry

Whole grain cookies? No. One Mary Berry.


Rah-Rah Raisins

“A crispy oatmeal cookie with plump, juicy raisins and Greek yogurt-flavored chunks.”

two-mary-berrys

Okay, Greek yogurt doesn’t have a flavor. That’s how come Chobani has to add all that food coloring and fruit and stuff into the good-tasting ones to get you to buy them. And anyway, every time you get a raisin in a bite of regular oatmeal raisin cookies, it’s like a small little mouth-victory. Why are you adding no-flavored chunks to them? You’re not doing anything to the taste and you’re ruining the raisin’s one chance to shine! Two Mary Berrys.


Do-si-dos

“Crisp and crunchy oatmeal cookies with creamy peanut butter filling.”

four-and-a-half-mary-berrys

The closest thing to a Do-si-do in the grocery store is a Nutter Butter, but those things are still about a hundred miles way from these sandwich cookie marvels. The cookie part of the Do-si-do is more crumbly and textured than the Nutter Butter, and the filling tastes much more like actual peanut butter. Four and a half Mary Berrys.


Trios

“Chocolate chips nestled in a gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookie.”

one-and-a-half-mary-berrys

Too many competing flavors going on here. It’s a peanut butter cookie but it’s an oatmeal cookie but also it’s a chocolate chip cookie. Two out of three of any of those things would be a good combo, but Trios take it one step too far. One and a half Mary Berrys.


Trefoils

“Traditional shortbread cookies.”

four-mary-berrys

Shortbread as it was meant to be eaten: without accessories. Sheer perfection. Four Mary Berrys.


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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1484 articles for us.

89 Comments

  1. You left out the variants caused by having two bakeries. In one sad, deprived section of the country, those devious Girl Scouts insist on selling Caramel Delights instead of Samoas. These little pastilles of perfidy masquerade as Samoas, but use inferior caramel and chocolate and lack the all-important caramel channel of Samoas, using a flat, ordinary cookie instead. Pure disappointment, negative infinity Mary Berrys.

    • I like the ABC bakery cookies a lot better than the Little Brownie ones. I think the peanut butter patties taste far superior to the tag-a-longs. And caramel deletes have more caramel on them than the samoas. I was devastated when I moved to MN from WI and found out that they use a different bakery.
      But honestly it all ends up being what you grew up eating. If you’re used to one then you’ll dislike the other.

  2. This is a very informative and pleasurable list, however, as a Britisher, the whole girl scout cookie thing is a bit of mystery to me. Perhaps people could help me contextualise these gradings by answering the following questions:

    – Which of these would Mary Berry describe as “a real family classic” despite no-one under the age of 70 ever having heard of it?

    – Which of these would Mary Berry approach with her trademark tentative side-bite, and which would be worthy of the rarely-seen lateral incisor lunge?

    – Which of these objectively has no redeeming features, but Mary Berry still congratulates the baker on how much effort they put into them?

    – Which of these would cause leading UK fashion chains to sell out of the outfit Mary Berry was wearing at the time she ate them?

    – Which of these could be used to construct an edible architectural centrepiece that Mary Berry describes as “just spectacular,” glowing with the proud expression of a grandparent looking at their grandchild’s lopsided and slightly sticky science project?

    – Which of these would Mary Berry generously allow Paul Hollywood to taste first, in the hope they are still mostly raw and/or contain too much salt, so should doesn’t have to eat them?

    – Which of these would Mary Berry secretly prefer contained 3 extra shots of rum?

    – Wouldn’t Mary Berry call all of them biscuits anyway?

  3. Omg I’m so worked up over this cookie list.
    First of all ABC bakery variants are 10000% better than the Little Brownie bakery. Secondly I can’t believe lemonades got a half Mary Berry.

    #1 PB Patties (which have more peanut butter than the tag-a-longs)
    #2 Caramel Delites (have better and more caramel, chocolate and coconut than the samoas)
    #3 PB Sandwiches
    #4 Lemonades
    #5 Thanks a lots
    #6 Shortbread
    #7 Cranberry Crisps

    The rest don’t deserve to be listed tbh

  4. Also Heather, on a scale of 1 to 100 Mary Berrys, what are the chances of getting GBBO recaps when the new series starts in August?

    If you need a consultant on the idiosyncrasies the British middle classes, I have solid credentials.

  5. You know you’re getting older when you enjoy the Lemonade ones and the Cranberry ones more than PB patties or Samoas (I refuse to call them Caramel Delites, despite being in an area that sells those and the fact that ABC are better). I find them much too sweet and the Thin Mints give me horrible agita.

    I bought cookies so get off my lawn now!

  6. And when will the Girl Scout bakers make “a nice sponge?”

    I had hardly heard of sponge cake before watching the GBBO and they make it nearly every week. I’ve got an important question for someone who has baked on both sides of the pond:

    IS SPONGE CAKE JUST REGULAR CAKE? OR IS IT DIFFERENT?

    Ok off to eat some samoas

    • I think you’re worrying over the wrong distinction. Who cares about the difference between cake and sponge!

      As you hinted at, the important thing is whether it’s “a nice sponge,” which must be consumed with “a nice cup of a tea and a sit down,” or a nasty sponge that clogs your throat and makes you gag worse than watching to Donald Trump reference his penis.

    • The way I learned it, a sponge cake is leavened by beating air into egg whites rather than by chemical leavening like baking soda or powder or by yeast–Europeans in general have been more dubious about chemical leaveners than Americans and are more likely to make cakes without them. In general, sponge cakes are less rich and moist than the cakes Americans are used to and have a lot less fat in them. If a cake has to have some kind of syrup added to it after it’s baked in order to keep it from being dry, chances are it’s a sponge cake. They also usually make thinner layers and are less crumbly. All of that makes them more suited to some complicated constructions where they may need to be bent or cut or to act as a solid foundation for gooier things like custards and creams.

  7. I should probably be over Juliettes and Lemon Chalets being discontinued, since it’s probably been over 10 years.

    Yet here I am, holding a grudge.

    Sometimes when my mom is trying to guilt me into moving back to America she also casually mentions all the thin mints in the freezer.

      • I don’t think I have! I’ll make sure to though.

        If I buy cookies here, my go-to is St Michel galettes. I really love palets bretons but I have no self-control and if I eat more than about 2 at a time then get a tummy ache like a 5 year old. 30% butter, delicious but dangerous. :p

        • yes you need to try everything bonne maman though.
          Like their “sablés tout chocolat” are INSANE, so are their “croquants noix de coco”. also where about in France do you love ? There’s a local new business in Toulouse that do the BEST OF THE BEST (like honestly). I could find them in the Carrefour in Montpellier but they were hard to find back then, they might have expanded though :

          http://collectif-gourmandes.com/products-page/sables/

          the “chocolat tonka” is the best thing i’ve ever had in the whole wide world i think.

          • “chocolat” anything is the way to my heart. I live in Nantes, but I’ll keep an eye out for those.

            I have eaten at least twice my body weight in bonne maman madeleines.

          • OMG the madeleines.
            (also I checked and you can find the sablés on carrefour online, so they should retail them in Nantes probably. But seriously you need to find them and then come back and tell me how your life is forever changed).

          • I can confirm, these cookies are amazing!

            I ate 2/3 of the bag waiting on the bus and it took a lot of self control to get the rest home to share with my GF, who ate every last crumb.

            You’re on my list of Trusted Food Advisors, Chloe. Thank you!

  8. I’ve been avoiding Girl Scout cookie season this year due to a recent Celiac diagnosis. Seeing all the things I can’t eat now makes me sad. But I can’t not click on anything related to Mary Berry.

    And so I discovered they actually have a Celiac-safe gluten free cookie and I’m super excited, because 2 Mary Berries are better than none and I’m always happy to support the Girl Scouts.

    So thanks!

    • The Trios are actually delicious!

      I was a girl scout even through high school, and actually never liked any of the varieties growing up (except sometimes Peanut Butter Patties), and now I can’t even have almost any of them (gluten :( ), but LIVE for the few months I can support the GS troops in my area and enjoy some delicious Trios. Plus, they’re bite-sized, so I can eat them faster. :)

  9. So my friend and I got in a fight about tagalongs and it turns out that my autostraddle friends are the only ones who (a) love tagalongs and (b) love me for loving tagalongs.

    Thank you all for being the community that the tagalongs and I deserve.

    P.s. samoas for life, even though their name is ethnically questionable at best.

  10. Ugh, I hate being in the minority here thinking that Thin Mints are terrible, comletely overrated cookies that deserve 0. But I know most people like mint+chocolate together and I just DON’T.

    Also what is this fascination of combining peanut butter+chocolate? I don’t understand it and it ruins the chocolate experience 99.5% of the time.

    But at least you agree that Samoas are the best (caramel delights, you aren’t quite as good as samoas, but you’re close enough).

    • Have you had them straight from the freezer? I don’t like room temperature thin mints, but I love them frozen. I can only eat 2 or 3 at a time before they warm up and are significantly less delicious.

    • Don’t feel too bad I think of baked fruit with the except of citrus curds as a foul sin against nature and similar to vomit, which is something I’m a bit of expert with having be a childhood sufferer of abdominal migraines.

      Apples are perfect the way they are, why ruin theeeeeem.

      (Also minority hater of Samoas because aw coconut no. Where my coco-not squad at?)

  11. I’m so happy to finally come across a crowd that enjoys and appreciates The Greatest British Bake Off, as we refer to it in out household, seeing as it’s The Greatest. None of our friends understand or recognize its majesty. When Nadiya won last season I was bawling my eyes out, and then Mary Berry choked, it was just amazing. The girlfriend and I love this show better than all the other shows put together. There is no backstabbing, no nastiness, everything is so lovable and loving and perfect.

  12. As always, I feel delighted to live in a world in which Heather Hogan exisits! <3

    I agree wholeheartedly with these rankings (full disclosure: the Thin Mints,coconut, and rasin ones cease to exist in my mind I SIMPLY DO NOT LIKE THESE FLAVORS LIKE EVER AT ALL OK) although I might argue that once in awhile I might be down with chocolate in my shortbread. But 99% of the time good ol' Trefoils are where it's at! Looooove.

  13. Thanks-A-Lots would make the best passive aggressive gifts lol.

    I strongly believe Samoas are the best and are the clear winner here. I found an empty box (that I had already ate) in my cupboard the other day and I tore into it so fast even though I knew it felt too light only to be let down. My second favorite girl scout cookies are the white chocolate macadamia nut Aloha Chips which are discontinued but still live on in my heart because I was a dedicated girl scout.
    Peanut butter with chocolate is too rich for me. I’m always surprised it’s people’s favs because it makes me physically shiver but to each their own!

    On a somewhat related note who else watches Troop Beverly Hills before camp???

  14. While I can agree the name Savannah Smiles is dumb because Savannah, Georgia is pralines and glazed pecan land you had me worried I had misjudged you as a person until you got to Thin Mints.
    But you’re Georgia girl you’ve never loved and lost Hubig’s lemon pies only to find those Savannah Smiles and smile because it’s the closest thing you can buy flavour wise to the part of your childhood that survived Katrina, but went up in flames six years later and has yet to return.
    I could make you a little fried pies with filled with lemon curd but my pie dough is not like their’s was. Somehow the closest thing in flavour is those poorly named Savannah Smiles.

    Did I just get wistful and prose-y over pie and cookies?
    I swear I came to share an Thin Mints holiday cocktail idea that randomly popped into my head reading Heather’s rankings.

    Which Is This Right Here:
    Chocolate liqueur
    Some kind of vanilla ice cream
    Some kind of vanillish “milk”
    Smashed thin mints, preferably the poor sad ones at the bottom that just get smash due to their position in the box
    And a blender

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