girl-scout-cookie-boxesJanuary. You've gained 6 lbs. from one-too-many servings of mashed potatoes, your excitement at the first snowfall has transformed into cursing at the 37th day of this God-forsaken slushy crap, and the dreaded February reminder of your really, really long period of singledom is right around the corner. Worry not -- there's a bright spot on the horizon.

It's GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SEASON. Just when things were looking downright bleak, those cute, cheery, matching-outfitted purveyors of boxed humanity appear outside your local grocery store to restore meaning to your life. (And, yes -- cookies = humanity around these parts.)

In celebration of our 10th anniversary of binge eating Samoas, we got in touch with the people over at Girl Scouts for some fun facts about those delicious baked goods.

Get your Girl Scout cookie trivia on, after the jump.

Did you know?

girl-scout-salesGirl Scout cookie sales began in 1917 in Muskogee, Okla., when the Mistletoe troop began baking and selling cookies in its high school cafeteria as a service project.
girl-scout-calendarIn 1942, Girl Scouts sold calendars in lieu of cookies due to sugar, flour and butter shortages during World War II.
sandwich-cookieCookie variety was limited to the Sandwich, Shortbread and Chocolate Mints in 1951 (now renamed the Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos, Shortbread/Trefoils and Thin Mints, respectively).
thin-mintsThin Mints are the biggest seller, making up 25 percent of all sales, followed by Samoas/Caramel deLites at 19 percent.
women-girl-scoutsAs of 2005, 71.5 percent of women in the U.S. Senate and 67.1 percent of women in the House of Representatives are Girl Scouts alumnae.

jennifer-sharpe-girl-scoutJennifer Sharpe, age 15, of Dearborn, Mich., holds the record for most cookies ever sold, with 17,328 boxes in 2008. Of the $21,000 her troop raised to go on a 10-day tour of Europe, $14,000 was due to Sharpe.
cookie-fundraisingDifferent types of cookies are sold in different regions at varying prices set by individual Girl Scout councils. And sometimes even the same cookies have different names.
do-si-doFor example, Do-Si-Dos, formerly called Gauchos, are also called Peanut Butter Sandwiches in other areas. Confusing, right? This is because there are two licensed bakers, ABC and Little Brownie, that get to propose and name the cookies that they bake.
cookie-boxes-girl-scoutAbout 200 million boxes are sold every cookie season; the Girl Scout cookie program has generated about $700 million per year since 1999.
thank-you-berry-munchNew cookies pop up every once in awhile and are continued based on their success. 2010's newest addition is Thank U Berry Munch, described as "hearty cookies with real premium cranberries, sweetened with creamy, white fudge chips."

Want to try the original Girl Scout cookie?
The following sugar cookie recipe was published in The American Girl magazine in July 1922 by a Chicago director named Florence E. Neil. The recipe was given to 2,000 Girl Scouts, and girls across America began to sell their homemade cookie packages from door to door for about a quarter a dozen.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired. Bake in a quick oven (375 degrees) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.

Tell us! Were you a Girl Scout back in the day? What years did you sell cookies, what kinds of cookies did you sell, and where?

Also: Find out when your local troop is selling here.

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