The 1922 Girl Scout Cookies 60.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2018 Nov 29, 2018

No need to track down a trefoil-shaped cutter — OG Girl Scout cookies were simple, round and baked in home kitchens to boot, says cookbook author Anne Byrn. She adapted the original recipe printed in American Girl magazine (in 1922) to make the dough easier to roll out, which also makes them easier to decorate if you so choose.

You'll need a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter.

Need more inspiration? Check out our Holiday Cookie Generator, featuring more than 300 recipes to suit any taste.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, and up to overnight. The baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

60 - 72

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 60-72 servings; makes 3-inch cookies

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until for 2 minutes, until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract; beat (medium speed) for 1 to 2 minutes. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Use a fork to whisk together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add to the butter-sugar mixture in three additions, beating on low speed just until incorporated each time. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Generously flour your work surface. Divide the chilled dough into quarters. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll it out to an even thickness of 1/8 inch — about as thin as you can make it. Flour your cookie cutter between each cut, spacing the rounds of dough at least 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake (upper and lower racks) for about 9 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. The cookies should be lightly browned around the edges.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing. Repeat to use all the dough.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "American Cookie: The Snaps, Drops, Jumbles, Tea Cakes, Bars and Brownies That We Have Loved for Generations," by Anne Byrn (Rodale, 2018).

Tested by Miriam Albert.

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