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Girl Scout cookies coming in this week

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By Greg Summers

The two month wait is over. A shipment of more than 35,000 boxes of Caramel deLites, Cinna-Spins, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot and Thin Mints arrived here late Saturday.

Eager local Girl Scouts from 25 troops and their leaders met a tractor trailer stacked high with some of America's favorite cookies at St. Luke United Methodist Church to unload them.

Nobody around town is happier about that than J.R. Snipes. For Snipes, it's cookie time.

The Crenshaw Oil Co. employee said he can't wait to see Michaella and Megan Oswald show up with his order. Together, with the help of their dad, Jeff, the Oswald girls sold 500 boxes of cookies and Snipes is one of their best customers.

"I'm ready to get 'em," Snipes said. "We just opened our last box from the freezer and we're down to the nitty-gritty for sure.

"Man, I'm telling you, late at night, a glass of milk and some Peanut Butter Patties is really, really good."

The initial ordering period is over, but local Girl Scouts will be selling cookies at booths around Lancaster until March 9.

Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since 1917 to raise funds.

Profits go to the local Girl Scout council and are used to pay for events and activities.

Some Girl Scout councils call it "cookie dough," but here – at the Girl Scouts of South Carolina –Mountains to the Midlands – it's called "Cookie Credit Cards." The credits can be applied to the cost of Girl Scout camp, swimming programs and regional, national and international events.

Last year, Michaella and Megan used their credits to pay for a trip to Washington, D.C., for the Girl Scouts 95th anniversary celebration.

"It's practically a national icon," said Lee Ann Maley, director of marketing and public relations for the Mountains to the Midlands council.

"Girl Scouts learn all kinds of skills and this is part of the entrepreneur's and business literacy programs," Maley said. "Each girl literally sets up her own small business and can learn life skills from budgeting to safety and customer service."

The girls can also earn achievement patches and prizes for their selling skills.

"Selling cookies takes time, but it is rewarding. They get to learn firsthand about importance of hard work to meet a goal and all about responsibility," Jeff Oswald said.

While many girls focus on selling cookies to relatives, friends and neighbors, they still work pretty hard, said Sharon Lalla, leader of Girl Scout Troop 2241, which is sponsored First United Methodist Church.

"They hit up everyone at the places their parents work," Lalla said.

Yasmine Robinson, 11, and a fifth grader at North Elementary School, sold more than 500 boxes this year. In her fourth year of Girl Scouting and a member or Troop 2241, that number has become Yasmine's annual goal.

"It pays for me to go to Girl Scout camp in the summer," Yasmine said. "I get a lot of support and help from my family and I try to sell at least 500 every year."

The girls are also participating in "Cookies for Soldiers" program where people can buy cookies that will be shipped to members of the armed forces stationed overseas.

"Girl Scout cookies are one of the most requested items by our service personnel," Maley said.

Cookie varieties

Girl Scout cookies are made by two companies in the United States.

One is The Little Brownie Bakers in Louisville, Ky. The Little Brownie Bakers is actually owned by cookie giant Keebler, which is owned by Kellogg's.

The other company that makes Girl Scout Cookies is ABC Bakers in Richmond, Va. ABC Bakers is owned by Interbake Foods.

The cookies that come to South Carolina are baked by ABC Bakers, said

Janet Lawrence, public relations manager for the Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to the Midlands council.

But having two companies make cookies can be confusing since each one of them calls the same cookie a different names.

For example, a Tagalong is the same thing as a Peanut Butter Pattie; a Do-si-do is the same thing as a Peanut Butter Sandwich and the Caramel deLite – with its vanilla cookies drenched in caramel and sprinkled toasted coconut and laced with strips of cocoa – is also called a Somoa.

Trefoils are also called Shortbread.

"It can get confusing, but it's really the same cookie," Lawrence said.

Then some cookie varieties change from year to year.

None of them have trans fats, but with consumers being more health conscious – a new cookie 100-calorie pack Cinna-Spins was added this year.

But Snipes has no interest in the Cinna-Spins.

"I just wish they'd bring back those Strawberry deLites. Now that was a good cookie," he said.

Crumbling cookies did not come here

Maley said when some customer around the Charlotte area recently opened their Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, to find a box full of crumbs.

That problem was traced to a leaky roof at an ABC Bakers warehouse in Tennessee that left certain batches either too dry or too soft and made them fall apart.

While the cookies were distributed to some troops across the Southeast, including areas in North Carolina, none of them came here.

"None of those lot numbers were delivered here," Maley said. "We shouldn't have a shortage at all unless everybody sells out."

Cookie available at booth locations

For those who missed ordering cookies, you can still buy them from Girl Scouts at cookie booth locations through March 9.

Cherie Ellis, Girl Scouts Community Development Manager for Lancaster, Chester and Fairfield counties said that booths will be set up at Wal-Mart in Lancaster, Bilo at Lancer Center, the Catawba Fish Camp, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Fort Lawn, Dollar General Store in Fort Lawn, Chick-fil-A, and the Front Porch Restaurant in Richburg.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients

1 box Peanut Butter Patties, crushed

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 package (3.5 ounce) vanilla pudding

1 1/2 cups milk

1/3 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

shaved milk chocolate (optional)

Directions

•Combine crumbs with butter to form pie crust. Press into a 9-inch pie plate. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

•Combine pudding and milk. Mix in peanut butter and using mixer, beat at high speed for five minutes. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate until ready to serve.

•Garnish with shaved milk chocolate, if desired

–Adapted from baking.about.com