20 April, 2016

Girl Scout Cookie Milkshakes

One of my favorite things about the spring (or, really, pre-spring - we're on the tail end of the season by now) is picking up Girl Scout cookies. Although it's a little frustrating not ever knowing for sure when or where to find Girl Scouts selling cookies - but I guess that contributes to their mystique. I like to make a habit of buying cookies from girls only, because it seems like it defeats the purpose to let the parents do all the work. I walked into a Lowe's (of all places) this season, and was ambushed by several girls in costumes, dressed as the cookies they were selling, which was just downright adorable. The money practically shot out of my pocket on the spot.

My favorite cookies are Tagalongs and Thin Mints - both chocolate-based; one with peanut butter, the other mint. But as good as the cookies themselves are, I'm particularly fond of blending them up into delicious, creamy milkshakes. So a couple of years ago I looked up a template recipe (two parts ice cream to one part milk, with just the right amount of cookies), and then spent some time perfecting it. It's really very simple, though - all you need are some of your favorite cookies, an ice cream flavor of your choice, milk, and a blender. That having been said, I don't know how some of the other cookie types would work in milkshake form (feel free to experiment, though!), but I can vouch for (and heartily recommend) using either Tagalongs or Thin Mints.

Tagalong Milkshake (Chocolate/Peanut Butter) or
Thin Mint Milkshake (Mint/Chocolate)

Large (2-3 servings) [about 2-4 per box]
 2 cups ice cream
 1 cup milk
 6 Tagalongs/8 Thin Mints

Medium (1-2 servings) [about 3-6 per box]
 1-1/2 cups ice cream
 3/4 cup milk
 4 Tagalongs/6 Thin Mints

Small (1 serving) [about 5-8 per box]
 1 cup ice cream
 1/2 cup milk
 3 Tagalongs/4 Thin Mints

 1. Add ice cream, milk, and cookies* to blender.
     (*Break into quarters first.)
 2. Blend until smooth (or desired thickness).
 3. Enjoy!


* If your milkshake comes out too thick to drink, just add an extra splash of milk (not too much!) until it blends up nice and smooth (notwithstanding the occasional small lump of cookie, which is part of the milkshake's charm).

* Feel free to add more cookies if you really like them - but the amounts listed above should be sufficient to give the shake that cookie flavor. Instead of total indulgence, I tried to balance the number of cookies so as to make the boxes go further. (Thin Mints are small, so you might want to put in an extra one or two of those - it's up to you).

* Theoretically, any flavor of ice cream will work - so you can use what you like. If you prefer vanilla, for example, go for it. Mint chocolate chip would probably go great with Thin Mints. But I love chocolate, and these are both chocolate-based cookies, so I prefer the flavor of using chocolate ice cream. But the choice is yours.

* You might feel that the small recipe is a little on the meager side - especially considering the size of many one-size-fits-all milkshakes you get at professional ice cream parlors. If you're the type of person who orders the Big Gulp at movie theaters, then by all means, mix up a large monster shake and enjoy it all to yourself. Personally, I think that's a little too much indulgence for one sitting. Otherwise, the medium makes for a satisfying shake, and the small is great for those who still like to indulge, but who may be on a diet. I'd rather have 5-8 small shakes spread across as many days, than only 2-4 large shakes per each box. "The banquet is in the first bite; the rest is just filling up". But certainly, use your own discretion - the medium size is a good compromise.

* For the sake of presentation, or if you really like eating the cookies straight from the box, you can stick one on the rim of the glass, or float it at the top of the shake if desired. Personally, I think there's enough cookie flavor in the shake itself, and that seems like kind of a waste, so I don't bother. I usually leave a few cookies in the box un-shaked anyway, just for eating plain. But if you're serving guests or someone you want to impress, then certainly, this is a good way to give your shake a little extra flair. (I don't, however, recommend tricking somebody into thinking they're eating a Girl Scout cookie shake by putting a cookie on top when there is not actually any Girl Scout cookies in the shake itself).


  1. "several girls in costumes, dressed as the cookies they were selling,"

    That sounds hilarious! I want to do that for Tekko next year.

    "The money practically shot out of my pocket on the spot."

    I'm trying hard not to make the obvious joke here. ;)

    Funny you should bring this up because I was just thinking about Thin Mints and where I could find some. I was wondering when Girl Scouts did their cookie thing, or if they do it all year, or whatever. Looks like "Cookie season" is already over. Bah humbug.

    Those milkshakes sound amazing, I'll have to make one.... next year!!

  2. Those cookie girls were adorable. I really wanted to take a picture of them, but I refrained because it seemed like kind of an awkward thing to do.

    But yeah, those Girl Scouts are elusive. A year or two ago, we went clear through the spring without a peep from them, and actually forgot that it was Girl Scout cookie season until it was too late! I've been alert every spring since then, but this year when I first noticed them in March, it was already getting on in the cookie season. They have a "cookie finder" app you can consult online, but it's far from comprehensive. Most of the sellers are under the radar, popping up at stores unexpectedly (grocery stores like Walmart and Shop'n Save are popular, but you never know where they might turn up - case in point, Lowe's Home Improvement), so you just gotta keep your eyes open during the first quarter of the year, and make sure you get out to stores in the afternoons and on the weekends - when girls are less likely to be stuck at school.

    There are very few professionally licensed products that have a deal with Girl Scouts to sell their cookies, but sometimes you can find ice cream (Breyers, I think) and Nestle Crunch bars made with genuine Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints and Samoas are the most popular) even during the off-season, so that could potentially satisfy your craving. There's a local ice cream parlor just on the other side of the school near where I live that buys up Girl Scout cookies in the spring and then sells their equivalent of blizzards (or you can also ask them to make milkshakes) with the cookies crumbled up in them. Their ice cream is generally pretty mediocre (yet it's surprisingly popular around here), but I always like to make an exception for the Girl Scout cookie flurries (or whatever). If you know of any mom-and-pop ice cream parlors near where you live, you might just get lucky.

    Aw shit, I just had a crazy idea. The Cheesecake Factory should totally do seasonal Girl Scout cookie cheesecakes!