First of all, I want to say thank you.
Because last week, I put up this little button:
And you guys clicked. You kept doing it. Holy shit. You guys sent so many hard-earned dollars that my eyes started lactating. During this stint of unemployment, it hasn’t been easy to justify spending money every week on this blog, especially since some of my posts could get pretty pricey depending on what I was doing. I didn’t want to say anything — but I almost put The Pizzle on hiatus after Valentine’s Day.
A very small part of me thought, “Dannis Ree, that would be a stupid thing for you to do. The culinary world needs you to march on until you die of garbage food poisoning. You will become a martyr for no particular reason.” This very small voice inside my head eventually got louder and louder, and so I simply decided to keep going, no matter what the consequences would be. I did not anticipate this kind of response from you. So I just want to say: I love all of you so much that my little misshapen heart may actually explode.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. A million times, thank you.
And now? Let’s start the show.
There are not many food products that reduce adults into hysterical children, but Girl Scout Cookies are one of those things.
Whenever I pass grocery stores with Girl Scouts standing outside of them, I watch grown men and women point at the Girl Scouts and start screaming at the top of their lungs. This is because Girl Scout Cookies grow on special trees that only become mature for harvest right around now, and after the growing season, they stop until next year. Only the purest, most selfless Girl Scouts can pick them off the tree. We cannot grow Girl Scout Cookies in different climates yet, because they are fiercely native to the United States, so there is no chance of outsourcing their growth to Chile or Peru for the time being.
Now, I was back at the toy store, this time looking for actual toys for my friends child’s birthday, when I stumbled upon a Girl Scout Cookie Oven and I shit my pants right in the store. Actually, I did have diarrhea at that toy store once, but it was a total poomergency.
Most of you know by now that I often visit the toy store to find items to use for this blog. It all started with me wondering whether or not I could cook meatloaf in an Easy Bake Oven, then it moved onto Play-Doh Empanadas, and then I tried the worst candy food kits ever. At this point, I’m starting to wonder if my obsession over children’s food toys has put me on some kind of special list. But I bought one of these ovens anyway.
When I was checking out at the register, the nice cashier said, “You want a gift receipt for this, right?”
“Nope!” I replied, a little too confidently.
“Oh,” she said, looking at me for what felt like a really long few seconds.
As I left the toy store, I drove past the grocery store that shares the same parking lot. A Girl Scout and her mother were standing out front with a small table and many boxes of cookies. I started shrieking to myself, threw the car door open violently, and ran out to them. I pointed at the boxes and babbled incoherently until they handed me four boxes.
I trembled in the car and said to myself, “Dannis Ree, you have found what appears to be a Girl Scout Cookie simulator at the toy store, you rapidly blossoming creep. You have actual Girl Scout Cookies now too. You must see if the simulated cookies are as good as the real thing. This way you may actually be able to eat them all year.”
I looked at my glistening, bloodshot eyes in the rear view mirror, and promptly ran over your mother by accident, as she too, was making a beeline for the Girl Scout Cookies.
I purchased four cookie kits at the toy store as well as their corresponding real life versions: Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas, and Do-Si-Dos.
For those of you reading this outside the U.S. (or those of you who need a refresher), Thin Mints are chocolate cookies dipped in mint chocolate, Tagalongs are chocolate-dipped cookies filled with peanut butter, Samoas are shortbread-like cookies with caramel, chocolate, and toasted coconut, and Do-Si-Dos are peanut butter sandwich cookies.
I learned recently that Gordon Ramsay is disgusted by Girl Scout Cookies, but oi, everyone knows that that ginger-bollocked son-of-a-bitch is a wanker and fancies a piss into some risotto. Did I do my English impression correctly?
I let Cricket sniff the box to ensure it was safe for me to use.
I do not sniff your mother’s box because we all know it is not safe for me to use.
These are the eyes of a girl who has seen some shit.
I mean, look at that expression. It’s like she’s staring right through you into the dark burning spheres of Hell, where all evildoers go to dance in the searing flames of Lucifer’s delight. She must be a real hoot at parties.
Even though the box doesn’t actually say that this is an Easy Bake Oven, this is totally an Easy Bake Oven.
The Girl Scouts are trying to pull some shit on you. If you have an Easy Bake Oven you do not need to buy this. You just need to buy the cookie ingredient kits and use the Easy Bake Oven instead. I can’t believe I got scammed by children. Now I own an Easy Bake Oven and some bullshit Girl Scout version. This just gets worse by the minute.
I’d say my favorite thing about this kit, other than that part where you’re being scammed by a children’s organization, is the syringe they include for you to measure water with.
It’s like they’re not even hiding the fact that people are addicted to Girl Scout Cookies. They’re showing children that intravenous syringes are fun to play with, and you can use them from a very young age to feed your raging demons.
The instructions for simulated Girl Scout Cookies are very complicated.
Harvey and Mr. Bee are there for scale. This is a crazy amount of information for what amounts to six puny cookies. And Ol’ Dead Eyes is in the packet too, in case you needed to be reminded of that thousand yard stare again.
Each cookie recipe mainly involves rehydrating a packet of powder using a very specific quantity of water from the syringe.
In the case of these Thin Mints, it’s nine milliliters of water. Oddly, this is the exact dose of baby laxative your mother likes to mainline between her toes. Baby laxative gives her the confidence of smooth, infant-sized bowel movements.
Nine milliliters of water isn’t much, but eventually the dough comes together.
This is an extremely small quantity of dough. If I had to guess, it’s about three or four tablespoons. Cookie serving sizes are getting really small these days.
This tray is about the size of a cell phone.
It’s a perfect-sized tray if you are into cookies the size, color, and taste of my testicles. My sad, lonely, testicles.
Yes, the cookie lumps look like poo, I know.
As you all know, I’m a poo expert. I’m considering starting a blog called The Poozle.
After just under 10 minutes, the cookies need to be cooled off.
All of the cookies involve the same process of rehydrating the batter and then baking, so I won’t go into the boring process of recapping every single cookie for you. This is a lot of work for the smallest cookies I’ve ever seen.
Three out of the four cookie kits I purchased included chocolate as part of the recipe.
You’re supposed to melt the included miniature chocolate chips with a warming station located on top of the oven. It’s actually a really interesting feature that uses the residual heat from inside the toy.
Too bad it’s a total piece of shit.
According to the directions, the chips are supposed to melt in five minutes. It took almost 15 minutes. After 10 minutes of waiting, I had a rage-drink and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet.
There’s no easy way to frost these little cookies, so you’re going to make a mess no matter what.
Perhaps the nimble fingers of crying children are more suited for this task. The same nimble fingers that are good at pickpocketing you in your sleep. Also, don’t pay attention to my creepy baby fingers.
After the chocolate on the cookies set up in the refrigerator, I tried the Easy Bake Oven Thin Mints next to the real thing.
But how were they?
Shockingly, the Thin Mint cookie kit turned out to be a pretty good approximation of the real thing.
It turns out that most of the flavor in Thin Mints comes from its outer coating of mint chocolate. The miniature cookie itself is a little soft and almost stale-tasting, but the mint chocolate exterior is dead on. You could put these melted mint chocolate chips on your mother’s used pantyhose and they’d taste like Thin Mint cookies too. The ratio of chocolate is wildly off; the chocolate exterior on the small version is extremely thick, but that distracts you from the cake brownie-like texture of the interior.
Is this a good substitution for an actual Thin Mint? Not at all. But children are generally unwise and probably would not know the difference. I mean, we have to forcibly prevent kids from eating clothing detergent pods, so I would not trust their culinary preferences.
The Tagalongs involve the exact same baking process as the Thin Mints.
They even look similar to the miniature Thin Mints with the exception of the pale yellow cookie color. I took a bite of the shrinkydink version of the Tagalong, which has a very strong artificial buttery smell and a sugar cookie-like texture.
That’s when I noticed it was missing something: The peanut butter. I went from curious to angry in a matter of seconds. The peanut butter is key to a Tagalong.
I took a bite of the genuine Tagalong for comparison; the peanut butter is more dominant than the chocolate, so I knew I wasn’t off. I pored over the packaging to see if I missed something. I looked through the ingredients for the simulated version and noticed that there are no peanuts in the ingredient list. Then I scanned through the instructions — which is where I discovered that you’re supposed to provide your own peanut butter.
This is horseshit! What kind of peanut butter cookie mix doesn’t come with peanut butter? Guys, I’m here to fight for the children. And to fight actual children. My guess is that there’s no peanut butter in the chocolate peanut butter cookie mix for the sake of avoiding allergens on the manufacturing line, but good job on putting that on the package, dickfaces.
Samoas are my favorite Girl Scout Cookie.
Out of all the Girl Scout Cookies, Samoas are easily the most complex-tasting due to its mix of caramel, chocolate, and toasted coconut. But they’re also really distinct-looking since they come in the shape of a ring. It is not easy to make a ring out of a cookie that is the size of a quarter, so I just stuck a chopstick into the shortbread dough and felt like a bad Girl Scout. I don’t deserve my sash.
The real version of the cookies are covered in caramel before they’re topped in shredded coconut.
The Easy Bake version somehow manages to mix the coconut in with the caramel, but there’s no real coconut bits to be seen in the powder. Interesting.
As you can see, I did a wonderful job making these baby Samoas look miserable.
They do not taste anything like their namesake. The shortbread base has this intensely fake butter flavor that isn’t very good, and the caramel topping has these very strange coconut candy bits in it that have the gritty texture of pretzel salt. It’s hard to see, but I did dip the bottom of the cookies in chocolate like you’re supposed to, but whatever. I was still cranky about the peanut butter thing from earlier.
Good thing the last cookies I made were the peanut butter sandwich cookies.
My rage would not die. Again, there was no mention of the lack of peanut butter in the mix on the packaging on these either. I had to find that information in the instructions in very small print. At least I figured that out earlier.
I was near the four hour mark in the kitchen making food from children’s cooking equipment, and all I had to show for it were these mangled attempts at Harvey and Mr. Bee tea party-sized cookies. I found solace by motorboating your mother’s buttcheeks.
The filling in this cookie is the self-provided peanut butter mixed with a sugar and cornstarch packet.
Adding extra sugar to the peanut butter was a little perplexing to me, but hey, the Girl Scouts sell addiction, so what do I know?
These sandwich cookie packets only yield two sandwiches per batch.
At least they’re about the size of the actual Do-Si-Dos. They look kind of like if a banged up Donnie Wahlberg cookie stood next to a Mark Wahlberg cookie. You clearly can’t tell the difference. Anyway, the fake version has a soft oatmeal cookie texture that is fairly mealy, thanks to the bits of oatmeal floating around in the dough. The normal version of the cookie is crisp and crunchy and not soft whatsoever.
The peanut butter filling between the two, however, has the identical flavor. So if you guys want to recreate the Do-Si-Do experience at home, just make some better peanut butter cookies, and for the filling, mix creamy peanut butter with sugar and a touch of cornstarch.
Here’s the lineup again.
They look pretty funny all next to each other, don’t they? What’s really hilarious is that a jobless, single, nearly 35-year-old man, baked cookies with a children’s toy for over four hours, and is presenting them in front of stuffed animals. And he’s still angry about some dumb unmarked peanut butter thing.
But my conclusion is that you can’t recreate these at home, even with the official Girl Scout Cookie oven. This artificially drives up demand and makes Girl Scout Cookies the McRib of the packaged food world. These enterprising children are culinary and economic terrorists.
Wait a second.
Oh, for crying out lou —