The Early Years of the Cookie Program

Our very first Girl Scouts in the 1910s needed a way to pay for their adventures. What did they do? They held bake sales that have evolved into an iconic part of American history.

In 1922, Girl Scout’s national magazine featured a cookie recipe from Florence E. Neil. She estimated the approximate cost of ingredients for six to seven dozen cookies to be 26 to 36 cents. The cookies, she suggested, could be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.

In the 1920s and 1930s, a growing number of Girl Scouts baked their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.

Girl Scout Cookie, circa 1922

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar plus additional amount
for topping (optional)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk,
vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1
hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top,
if desired.

Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until
the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.

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