Years ago I had a sign on my door that read “NO SOLICITING (except for Girl Scout cookies).” One day, a Girl Scout came up to my door. She stared at the sign for a few seconds, confused, until her mom coaxed her to knock. We bought cookies from her.
Girl Scout Cookies remain one of the great sweets of our time, and one of the few direct sales pitches most people don’t mind. It doesn’t hurt that the cookies themselves are good. The best — or at least best-selling — Girl Scout Cookies are Thin Mints, described as “crisp, chocolate cookies dipped in a delicious mint chocolaty coating.” Thin Mints rarely last long in our house, regardless of how many boxes we buy.
They rarely last long on the market, either. Girl Scout Cookie season typically runs from about January to April, and once the last deliveries have been made, it’s game over until next year. To fill the gap — and get in on the market — a few companies have taken to selling Girl Scout Cookie imitations. Dollar General, for example, offers Thin Mints and Tagalongs knockoffs under its Clover Valley brand. Dollar Tree also sells a Thin Mints imitation.
We believe in supporting the Girl Scouts, but we also thought it worthwhile to look at what’s available when Girl Scout Cookies aren’t an option. Here we’ll look at the Dollar Tree take on Thin Mints.
Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies come in a 9-ounce box. They are sold at both Dollar Tree and, curiously enough, Big Lots. At the time of this post, the cookies cost $1 for the box, or 11 cents an ounce. For comparison, the Dollar General fudge mint cookies currently cost $1.50 for a 9-ounce box. These are as cheap as I can find for Thin Mints-style cookies.
The cookies are manufactured by Interbake Foods, a subsidiary of Canadian food processing company George Weston Limited. Interbake Foods specializes in cookies. Curiously enough, one of Interbake’s divisions is ABC Bakers, which makes … several kinds of Girl Scout Cookies, including Thin Mints.
That might lead you to think these are the exact same cookie. They’re not. Instead of a chocolate cookie center like Thin Mints, these cookies have a yellow or vanilla interior.
That means they’re not exactly like Thin Mints. They’re pretty good, though. I think they’re close enough to be a serviceable substitute out of cookie season. Certainly my family thinks so, since they exhausted the entire box before I could even sit down to pen this post.
Also of note: these are identical to the Dollar General Clover Valley Fudge Mint Cookies in virtually every way, from calories to carbs. The ingredients are also identical. That may mean Interbake also supplies DG with its cookies. I don’t know for certain.
As for nutrition? Well, they’re cookies, so expect plenty of calories and no small helping of sugar. On the allergen front, they do contain soy and wheat and may contain milk, peanuts, and coconut.
They’re not perfect impersonations, but Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies are a decent imitation of Thin Mints. At just a dollar — at least for now — they’re also incredibly cheap. If you need your fix, you might take a flyer on these the next time you step into a Dollar Tree. You can also find them at Big Lots.
I refuse to pay 4+ dollars for a box of cookies no matter what the cause is.
These taste better to me than Thin Mints anyways!
Didn’t Girl Scout thin mint cookies (whatever name they carried year-to-year) used to have the light (not chocolate) center? I don’t remember them being chocolate until more recent years.
Where I have lived in the Midwest, official Girl Scout Thin Mints have had a dark center at least since the 1980s. I’m not sure if it’s different in other parts of the country (there are a couple of different bakeries that make Girl Scout cookies, and there can be some slight differences) or if they had a different recipe prior to that.
There are only two suppliers and it’s up to each local org to decide what to order. This mentions ABC Bakers, which is ultimately owned by Weston. The other is Little Brownie Bakers, which is actually part of the same group as Keebler (which was sold by Kellogg’s to Ferrero in 2019).
Keebler actually has something sold in stores called Coconut Dreams, which is almost a dead ringer for Samoas.
Rachael, I am aware the cookies can vary around the country. I am also in the Midwest. My thoughts go back into the mid 50’s when I was a Brownie and selling them. (We already had a large “deep freeze” and my mother would buy probably a case of the mints and put them in the freezer.) Through the 70’s and early 80’s, the Girl Scout cookie drive often seemed to miss me, but at some point (by late 80’s), I seem to remember I noticed they had a chocolate center instead of white, but I can’t find any confirmation of this anywhere or from anyone! Driving me crazy! Thanks for your input!