Girl Scouts to offer gluten-free, vegan cookies

Junior Girl Scout Samantha Salstein, 10, left, smiles at potential customer Sophia Juhasz, 7, right, sampling a Thin Mint cookie Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Girl Scout cookie sales are set to begin this month in South Florida. MARSHA HALPER MIAMI HERALD FILE

Junior Girl Scout Samantha Salstein, 10, left, smiles at potential customer Sophia Juhasz, 7, right, sampling a Thin Mint cookie Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Girl Scout cookie sales are set to begin this month in South Florida. MARSHA HALPER MIAMI HERALD FILE

Love Girl Scout cookies but can’t eat them due to a gluten allergy?

Relax. The two South Florida Girl Scout councils are rolling out a new gluten-free cookie this month, called the Toffee-Tastic, a buttery cookie with toffee bits.

And the popular Thin-Mint cookie is also now vegan. Ansley Ross, director of development and communications for the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, said the cookies “still taste delicious,” adding the organization takes in feedback from customers and volunteers each year to improve existing cookies and develop new ones.

The troops also will sell Rah-Rah Raisins this year, a new oatmeal-raisin cookie with Greek yogurt-flavored chunks.

In addition to the new cookie flavors, the scouts have taken their cookie sales online for the first time. The new system, called Digital Cookie, gives customers the option to buy cookies via the Web and have them delivered to their doors. Participating Girl Scout members are given a digital account through which people can buy cookies using a personalized website. The scouts also will sell cookies the traditional way.

Cookie sales in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties start Tuesday and will run until Feb. 16. Ross said there will be a big push to sell cookies in the area beginning this weekend. For those in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, cookie sales will begin Jan. 22. Each year, the troops sell cookies to raise money for troop and service projects. The experience helps scouts develop business and leadership skills.

The Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida council will kick off the cookie selling season Thursday with its first annual Cookies Cocktail Challenge. The event will be from 6-8 p.m. at Crave Restaurant in the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, 4250 Salzedo St. It will be an adults-only fundraiser.

“We’ve invited bartenders to come,” Ross said, “and they’re going to create cookie-inspired cocktails.”

GIRL SCOUT COOKIE FACTS

Cost

$4 per box (except the Toffee-Tastic cookies cost $5).

Cookie types

There are eight cookie varieties being sold in South Florida this year: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Rah-Rah Raisins, Do-Si-Dos, Savannah Smiles and Toffee-Tastic.

When

Cookie sales begin Jan. 13 in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Cookie sales begin Jan. 22 in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.

New this year

▪ Toffee-Tastic — a gluten-free buttery cookie with toffee bits

▪ Rah-Rah Raisins — a whole-grain oatmeal-raisin cookie with Greek yogurt-flavored chunks

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article6165291.html#storylink=cpy

About the Author

Rebecca is a social services reporter at The Frederick News-Post. She graduated from Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and political science. She served as Managing Editor, Summer Editor-In-Chief and Campus Editor at The Daily Northwestern and previously interned at The Miami Herald.