Girl Scout Cookie season is in full swing! In fact, it’s already almost over for the year. Anyone that knows me personally knows that the Girl Scout organization is near and dear to my heart. One reason: I used to be a Girl Scout! In fact, I even became a lifetime member after graduating from High School. Another reason: I’m now a Girl Scout Mom! Both of my girls are now Girl Scouts, too. Selling cookies, and eating them, is part of my DNA. But did you know that there are copycat cookies out there? If not, I did y’all a favor and compared a few of them to the actual Girl Scout Cookies. Read on to find out what I think about these tasty treats and their wannabes.
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Girl Scout Cookie #1: Thin Mints
Thin Mints are the heart and soul of the Girl Scout Cookie line. They have been around FOREVER. Thin Mints are a favorite for a lot of people, my husband and oldest daughter included. I hate to admit it, but they’re not one of my favorites. Despite that, they’re still a tasty treat. And just like any other sweet, sugary delight out there, the Thin Mints have imitators. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery as they say, but does it always mean they’re the same? I can tell you that it does not.
Let’s start with the original Thin Mints.
The original Thin Mints are the OG of tasty chocolate and mint cookies. They currently cost $5 a box, and weigh-in at approximately 9 ounces per box. The first thing that I considered for each cookie was the packaging. Thin Mints come in a cardboard box, each box containing two sleeves of cookies. The packaging is just okay in my opinion. While the box is nice and is able to be closed each time, the plastic sleeves inside the box are mediocre. Sometimes they rip too far down, making it hard to close them with something like a twist tie. Other times you can tell the cookies have moved around a bit inside of the box. How can you tell? You’ll see tiny bits of chocolate broken off inside of the plastic sleeve. So overall, the packaging is just okay.
Then there’s the taste.
The Thin Mint taste is classic. The actual Girl Scout Cookie version of the Thin Mint has a great balance of chocolate to mint flavor. The cookie inside is crisp and doesn’t crumble. The chocolate coating is pretty even. Each cookie looks the same.
Thin Mint Copycats
Quite a few Girl Scout Cookies have copycats, but it’s easiest to find copycats of the Thin Mints. I personally found them this time at Food Lion and Walmart. Dollar General also makes a copycat of these and the Samoas, but I was not able to purchase them this time. There are quite a few other chocolate and mint type cookies out there, but the two that I purchased were obviously trying their best to be Thin Mints.
Keebler Grasshopper Mint & Fudge
Girl Scout Cookie copycat #1 comes to you from Keebler. I purchased these at Food Lion for $3.49 on sale, weighing in at 10 ounces per box. I also saw them at Harris Teeter and Walmart. Let’s start with the packaging. Overall, these had the best packaging out of the three that I tried. In my opinion, the packaging created by Keebler sets these cookies up to last longer. They come in plastic cartons with a sticky tape-like resealable top. You don’t have to worry about twist ties or boxes staying closed.
The Keebler cookies, while good, didn’t taste like the original Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. The Grasshopper cookies are more chocolate-forward. Like the Thin Mints, they are crisp inside. The cookies have an even coating of chocolate, too. The Keebler Grasshopper cookies even look a bit like Thin Mints. While they aren’t an exact replica in flavor of the Thin Mint, they aren’t bad. In fact, I almost prefer the fudgy chocolate taste from the Grasshoppers over that of the Thin Mints.
Great Value’s Fudge Mint Cookies
I’m just going to come out and say it…these were my least favorite of the three cookies. For one, their packaging is terrible. You open it not knowing if the plastic will rip along the seam or completely down the side of the plastic wrapper. Be prepared to put these in a gallon size Ziploc once their open. You can find these cookies at Walmart (might as well grab those gallon sized Ziplocs while you’re there). They cost me $1.73 for a 10 ounce package.
The Great Value Fudge Mint Cookies are definitely trying hard to look like Girl Scout Cookies. Like Thin Mints, the Great Value cookies have an even layer of chocolate on the outside of the cookie. However, their layer is fairly thin compared to that of the Thin Mints. Like the Thin Mints, they are also a crispy cookie on the inside. However, I felt like the Great Value cookie was a bit dry compared to the others. Unlike the other two cookies, the Great Value cookies also had more of a “fake mint” taste. Overall, these were my least favorite of the three cookies.
Girl Scout Cookie #2: Samoas
Samoas are another Girl Scout Cookie staple. They have also been around for a long time. These are hands down one of my favorite Girl Scout Cookies (along with Trefoils). I will admit, I have bought the imposters from stores before when it was not Girl Scout Cookie season. And while I love Samoas, I’m also going to tell you that they have some true competition when it comes to their copycats.
Let’s Talk About the Original Samoas
The Girl Scout Samoas Cookie is the epitome of coconut and chocolatey goodness. Currently they cost $5 a box, and each box weighs 7.5 ounces. The packaging for the Samoas is definitely a bit better than the packaging of the Thin Mints. The Samoas also come in a cardboard box, however they also have a plastic canister inside the box that keeps them from getting knocked around. I don’t worry about these drying out as much once I reseal the box…but let’s be honest…sometimes the cookies are gone in one sitting, anyway! Of the three “Samoas” this definitely has the best packaging.
Who Doesn’t Love Chocolate, Coconut and Caramel?!
I have always loved the texture and flavor combinations that are found in the Samoas. I’m a big fan of chocolate and coconut together. Add in the gooeyness of the caramel and you’ve got cookie gold. The Girl Scout Samoas Cookie has a great crunch from the toasted coconut and the cookie, but then it also has the “melt in your mouth” caramel filling. The cookie does not crumble all over your clothes, which I love.
Benton’s (Aldi) Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookies
Benton’s version of a Samoas Cookie looks like the original and tastes almost exactly like the original. They are truly a Samoas copycat through and through. If I were to blindfold myself and put both of these cookies in front of myself, I guarantee you that I would have a hard time picking out the OG cookie. Benton’s cookie packaging isn’t that great, though. Like Great Value’s Mint cookies, the packaging rips easy. Be prepared to get that Ziploc bag for these, too.
Benton’s cookies taste pretty darn good if you ask me. At $1.99 for an 8.5 ounce box, I would gladly buy these cookies from Aldi all year long. They have the same crunchy yet soft texture as the Original Samoas. Their caramel filling is more “sticky” but it’s still really yummy. But my favorite thing about these cookies? The smell! As soon as I opened the package I could smell the coconut smell. It was amazing!
Great Value’s Coconut Caramel and Fudge Cookies
At $2.08 for 8.5 ounces of cookies, this copycat is pretty good, too. The packaging, like Benton’s, is not very great. Be prepared to put these in a Ziploc bag along with the Benton’s and the Great Value Mint Cookies. The plastic rips pretty easily when you open it. But like the originals and the Benton’s, these cookies come in a plastic container, protecting them from any major damage if they get banged around.
The taste and appearance of Great Value’s Caramel Coconut and Fudge cookie is also super similar to that of the Girl Scout cookie. Great Value’s cookie has the same crunchy yet soft texture combination. I will say that despite these similarities, the Great Value cookie has less filling than that of the original Samoas. It also seems to be a bit of a “dryer” cookie than that of the Samoas.
And The Winners Are…
The winners may or may not surprise you. In the category of chocolate mint cookies, I pick the Girl Scout’s Thin Mint as my favorite. It has a great balance of chocolate and mint. And while I love the fudge-forward flavor and packaging of the Keebler cookie, it’s really hard to beat that balance of the Thin Mint.
For the winner of the coconut caramel fudge cookie, I pick the Benton’s Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookie. I know, shocker! But guys, something about this cookie just tastes slightly better. It’s hard to beat the cost, too. I will gladly support my Girl Scouts all year long, but it’s hard to beat a $1.99 box of cookies that tastes just as good, if not better than, the $5 box of cookies.
Have you ever compared Girl Scout Cookies and their copycats before? Tagalongs also have several copycats out there, but I couldn’t stomach another comparison. If you can’t find any copycats at a grocery store near you in the off-season, Amazon also sells copycats of the Thin Mints and sells the Benton’s Cookies.
Let me know which Girl Scout Cookie and which of its copycats are your favorites in the comments below!