The Girl Scouts didn’t always have boxes or bags of cookies to sell to people – they mixed up the cookies themselves. Before 1936 when commercial bakeries got involved baking and packaging, Girl Scouts baked their own cookies.
The recipe below is for sugar cookies, which probably equates to the ‘Shortbreads’ or ‘Trefoils’ that are now sold by Girl Scouts today. These two cookies go by different names depending on the commercial baker, and are both a sugar cookie in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil. ABC Bakers company make the Shortbreads, and Little Brownie Bakers make the Trefoils.
The trefoil symbol is important in Girl Scouts. According to the official Girl Scout website the three trefoil leaves represent the three-fold promise: “To serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”
The Trefoil cookies are one of three that are required by the national organization that the girls must sell: Thin Mints, Shortbreads/Trefoils, and the Peanut Butter Sandwiches/Do-Si-Dos. The rest of the cookies differ from council to council or region to region.
- 1 cup butter or butter substitute
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Additional sugar for sprinkling
- Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, then milk and flavoring, scraping the bottom well.
- Mix in the flour and baking powder.
- Roll out, then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven.
- Sprinkle with sugar as soon as they come out from the oven.