It’s Girl Scout cookie season, and almost every customer in Wisconsin will be sold caramel deLites, lemonades, and peanut butter cookies, except for those in part of the state. .
The 4,000 soldiers of the Girls Scouts of Manitou, based in Sheboygan, use a different baker than the rest of the state. So their Thin Mints are made from a more chocolatey recipe, Caramel deLites are called Samoas and Thanks-A-Lot doesn’t exist.
And the differences don’t end there.
Wait, *why* are Girl Scout cookies different in different parts of Wisconsin?
There are two national distributors of Girl Scout Cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. Each Girl Scout council chooses which bakery to get their cookies from.
Some states only have one Girl Scout council, so the whole state gets the same batch of cookies. Wisconsin is almost entirely dominated by ABC Bakers, which is used by five of the state’s six boards.
Only Girl Scouts in Manitou — which encompasses all of Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Fond du Lac counties, and reaches parts of Calumet, Dodge, Ozaukee and Washington counties — sell cookies from Little Brownie Bakers.
“Two years ago, we did a multi-month study with a task force where we went through pretty much everything with the different vendors and their success rates,” said Cassie Sterwald, director of communications for the Girl Scouts of Manitou. “They decided to go with Little Brownie Bakers.”
Wisconsin isn’t alone in having two cookie bakers in the state, according to a 2017 map from the Los Angeles Times, but residents of the eastern part of the state are lucky enough to have all 17 cookie varieties just a short drive away.
Here are all the cookies and how they are described by each provider.
Samoas vs. Caramel deLites
The Girl Scouts of Manitou, Samoas: Crispy biscuits with caramel, coconut and dark chocolate stripes.
Rest of Wisconsin, Caramel deLites: Crispy cookies topped with caramel, toasted coconut and strips of fudge.
Fine Mints vs Fine Mints
Les Eclaireuses de Manitou, Thin Mints: Crispy and chocolatey cookies made with natural peppermint oil
Rest of Wisconsin, Thin Mints: Crispy chocolate wafers dipped in a mint fudge coating
Lemon-Ups vs Lemonades
Les Eclaireuses de Manitou, Lemon-Ups: Crispy lemon cookies baked with inspirational messages to lift your spirits.
Rest of Wisconsin, Lemonades: Naturally and artificially flavored shortbread slices with a refreshing and tangy lemon glaze
Tagalongs vs Peanut Butter Patties
The Girl Scouts of Manitou, Tagalongs: Crispy cookies covered in peanut butter and coated in a chocolatey coating.
Rest of Wisconsin Peanut Butter Patties: Crispy cookies covered in peanut butter and coated in a fudge coating.
Peanut butter sandwich vs Do-si-dos
The Girl Scouts of Manitou, peanut butter sandwich: Crispy, crunchy oatmeal cookies with a creamy peanut butter filling.
Rest of Wisconsin, Do-si-dos: Oatmeal sandwich cookies filled with peanut butter.
Girl Scout S’mores vs. Girl Scout S’mores
The Girl Scouts of Manitou, Girl Scout S’mores: Chocolate-Marshmallow-Filled Graham Sandwich Cookies
Rest of Wisconsin, Girl Scout S’mores: Crispy graham crackers dipped twice in cream frosting and coated in delicious fudge
Clovers vs shortbread
Les Eclaireuses de Manitou, Clover: Delicately flavored shortbread cookies that are deliciously simple and satisfying.
Rest of Wisconsin, Shortbread: Traditional shortbread cookies.
Toffee-tastic vs caramel chocolate chips
Les Éclaireuses de Manitou, Toffee-tastic: Rich, buttery cookies with sweet crunchy caramel pieces (also advertised as gluten-free).
Rest of Wisconsin Caramel Chocolate Chips: Rich caramel, semi-sweet chocolate chips and a hint of sea salt in a chewy gluten-free cookie.
Bonus cookie: Thank you very much
The Girl Scouts of Manitou does not sell Thanks-A-Lot cookies. Girl Scouts in the rest of Wisconsin are selling the large shortbread cookie, which is dipped in rich fudge and topped with an embossed thank you message in one of five languages.
Where to find the Girl Scout cookies you want
Individual Girl Scouts are selling door-to-door and at parents’ workplaces through January 26. Those who live north of Milwaukee County might come across troops selling Little Brownie Baker cookies.
Kiosk sales at grocery stores and other venues begin in mid-February and last until mid-March.
If you don’t live in Girl Scouts of Manitou areas and want to try Toffee-tastic, the sandwich version of Girl Scout S’mores, or other cookies from Little Brownie Bakers, visit GSManitou.org and type the postcode 53081 into the cookie finder to see a list of sales stalls in the area.
Caramel chocolate chips, chocolate covered Girl Scout S’mores and other cookies from ABC Bakers will be sold statewide. Visit GirlScouts.org to know more.
Map source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis, Girl Scouts of the United States of America