Updated for 2014! ~ Some of you may try to argue me (read on for the reason why), but yes, there actually are dairy-free Girl Scout cookies. In fact, these gems are labeled as egg-free and vegan too (with the exception of one flavor, see the notes below).
I know what you are thinking, “Sure, they have one measly tasteless wafer cookie, right?” Au contraire, this infamous cookie collection now has five cookie varieties that are made without milk or egg ingredients!
An email from my sister soliciting purchasers for my nieces’ girl scout troupe, peeked my curiosity and prompted me to do a little research (By the way, since when did Girl Scout Cookie season start as early as January?). For years I have been able to politely turn down those cute little requests to purchase cookies in front of the grocery store without a pang of guilt, but it seems my milk-free excuse might have run dry …
The following Girl Scout cookie varieties are made without milk and egg ingredients (But read on after the list for some important information!):
To make room for the Cranberry Citrus Crisps in the dairy-free Girl Scout cookies 2014 line-up, the Mango Crèmes were discontinued. The Mango Crèmes replaced the short-lived Belgian-style Shout Outs!, which were discontinued in 2013. Note that the gluten-free cookie introduced in 2014 (Chocolate Chip Shortbread) does contain dairy ingredients.
There are two Girl Scout cookie manufacturers, both of which list the cookie ingredients on their websites. The above mentioned cookies are produced by ABC Smart Cookies (interestingly enough, the core corporation behind ABC Smart Cookies also runs a company called Norse Dairy Systems, frozen dairy dessert equipment and manufacturing, but that is another story).
The other manufacturer, Little Brownie Bakers, does not produce any Girl Scout cookies without milk ingredients – this includes the Thin Mints! Both companies produce Thin Mints, but only the ones manufactured by ABC Smart Cookies are made without dairy ingredients. Also, this is a relatively new development. All Thin Mints (by both companies) used to contain whey, but “a recent change removed whey from ABC’s Thin Mint cookies.”
Since my sister’s list of cookies available included all of the Little Brownie Bakers selection and none from ABC, this leads me to believe that the two companies split up who they supply to either by region or troupe. Sadly, this means your local troupe may not have ABC’s dairy-free Girl Scout cookies selection. If you absolutely must partake in the Girl Scout cookie frenzy, check places like Ebay – I did spot a few troupes selling them on Ebay (is that in the rules?). Also, I am not sure, but perhaps if your child is in a troupe you may be able to request who the cookies are ordered from or at least which cookies you would like them to sell; just a thought.
The above mentioned cookies, produced by ABC Smart Cookies, are certified kosher OU-D. They are made without milk ingredients, but the “D” typically means that they are processed on shared equipment with other milk-containing cookies (the producer notes that peanut cross-contamination is also a concern). If you are dealing with a severe milk allergy or intolerance (or if you are concerned about cross-contamination of ingredients during the manufacturing process for any reason), then you should certainly double check with the company to see if their processes are “safe” for your needs. Milk Allergy Mom weighed in on her own experience, but every person could be different.
As another option, you can bake your own Dairy-Free Girl Scout Cookies! Here are two delicious recipes from my kitchen:
Unfortunately these boxes of “American tradition” contain some not-so-traditional ingredients. All of the varieties mentioned above contain hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and some sort of artificial ingredient. While I hesitate to actually recommend them from a health perspective, I do recognize the importance and symbolism of Girl Scout cookies for so many!