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February 27, 2014

Review: Gluten Free Girl Scouts Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

As a Celiac with the opportunity to try the highly anticipated gluten free Girl Scout cookie that launched this year, I feel it is my duty to the gluten free community and to the Girl Scouts foundation to provide feedback. I first blogged about the possibility of the Girl Scouts launching a gluten free cookie in June 2012 HERE and am excited that progress has been made!

First and foremost I would like to thank the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for acknowledging those with a gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance and/or Celiac Disease. Speaking on behalf of the gluten free community, we are excited for the opportunity  to order a box of Girl Scout cookies, just like everyone else.

From ABC Smart Cookie's website

The Cookie: Gluten Free Goodness
Since it’s estimated that three million people have problems when they eat foods that contain gluten*, ABC and our council partners expect this cookie to be a huge success. Our new bite size Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie:

  • Made with real chocolate chips and real butter
  • Does NOT contain artificial flavors, colors,
  • high fructose corn syrup, palm or hydrogenated oils
  • Available in a 5 ounce resealable foil pouch with
  • 12 pouches per case

The cookie is made of rice and tapioca flours, as well as "real chocolate chips and real butter" and cane sugars. "They contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high fructose corn syrup, no palm oil, and no hydrogenated oils," the website says. Four bite-sized cookies have 130 calories.

I would be doing a disservice to both parties if I were not to provide my honest opinion, so here we go! Being a Celiac, I do not want to settle. The gluten free world has made huge strides over the years, so why stop now?

  • Size: Score- 7/10 about the size of a quarter. I don't know about you, but for some reason being a Celiac my gluten free options tend to be half the size of their gluten filled counter part, whether it is sliced bread, muffins or in this case cookies, I am not sure why some manufactures cannot produce a cookie that is a "normal" size

  • Quantity: Score 8/10 20 cookies/package, literally just like the movie- Gone in 60 Seconds!
  • Flavor & Texture: Score 9/10 I have to admit I could eat the whole bag, because they are a "pop in your mouth" kind of size, but they were dry compared to my favorite cookie brands. The chocolate chips are big, which I love but the shortbread a little too crumbly
  • Packaging: Score 7/10- again, not wanting to be singled out here, but why can't these be packaged like all other Girl Scout cookies? The packaging resembles a heavier plastic bag (similar to a chip bag, HALF full!)
  • Price: Score - 6/10 $5.00 for 20 cookies (All other Girl Scout cookies are $4.00/box). I am a firm believer that just because something says "gluten free" doesn't mean it has to cost more!
  • Availability: Score- 7/10 Although I am happy I was able to try these because I live close to Orange County, CA, I wished more people across the US were given the opportunity to try them as well. I can only hope that others throughout the country will be given the same opportunity some day. Test market list HERE
Total Score: 44/60- C-

Overall, I applaud the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for including over 3 million Americans who are on a strict gluten free diet, although like any product, there are a few areas that need improvement.

American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2001, 2006; University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, Celiac Disease Facts and Figures, CeliacDisease.net.

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