Last week, the Girl Scouts announced the upcoming release of a brand-new cookie tailored to the digital age. The Raspberry Rally, described in a statement as “a ‘sister’ cookie to the beloved Thin Mints®, infused with raspberry flavor instead of mint and dipped in the same delicious chocolaty coating,” will be available when Girl Scout cookie season starts up in early 2023.
Unlike every other cookie in the lineup, though, it can only be purchased online for direct shipment, a move intended to help the Girl Scouts learn about digital marketing and balancing both in-person and virtual sales. Sure, sure, that’s all well and good—but how do they taste? Are they worth the trouble? The Girl Scouts of the USA sent us a box to help us find out.
In fact, the Girl Scouts of the USA sent us not one, but two boxes. As we’ve explained before, the Girl Scout cookies distributed across the country are produced by two different bakeries, ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. These facilities make all the same cookies, but the formulas are slightly different, the names of some of the products diverge, and a cookie packaged in a cardboard box by one company might be packaged in a plastic-wrapped tray by the other.
When Girl Scouts of the USA sent us our Raspberry Rally samples, I was delighted to find that both a Little Brownie box and an ABC tray were included in the shipment (the manufacturer name is labeled on the package, in case you’re curious which you’ve been getting in your region).
Finally, a chance to see if these cookies actually taste distinct or the differential is just our collective imagination! Could one really be that much better than the other?
Since you so patiently sat through an explanation of regional cookie suppliers, I’ll cut to the chase: This cookie is awesome. Opening up the plastic sleeve, you’re hit with a strong whiff of raspberry flavor—artificial flavor, sure, but designed to evoke all the best aspects of the fruit-and-chocolate combo. Featuring a nice thick layer of chocolate(y coating) on the outside, biting into this cookie yields a buttery crispness inside that’s a pleasure to chew. The chocolate(y coating) and fruity berry notes are present in each bite, probably because of the strong link between smell and taste.
Unlike Samoas or Trefoils, the Raspberry Rally doesn’t have a flavor you necessarily want to eat in volume, but I find that appealing, too: You get 32 cookies in each $5 box, so it’s nice knowing they won’t get depleted too fast. One or two of them is plenty satisfying.
It’s a really unique addition to the Girl Scouts’ current lineup, using fruit flavor to enhance the richness of the cookie rather than dial up brightness or tartness like Lemon-Ups and Lemonades do. You’ll definitely want to add this to your order.
I’m sorry to say that a large contingent of the continental US is going to receive an undeniably inferior version of the Raspberry Rally, and I don’t even know which regions to warn about it. The interactive map cited by this article was created by the Los Angeles Times in 2015, but hasn’t been updated since; the ABC Bakers cookie locator page features a drop-down menu with a list of states that might hint at what your area receives. (Illinois, for example, is not on the list, which implies that since the 2015 map was produced, Little Brownie took over all operations in that state.)
So, yeah, sorry if you receive the ABC cookies, which just aren’t as good.
Everything about the ABC variation tastes more mass-produced. The chocolate coating on this cookie is thinner, lighter in color, and not as glossy. Biting into the cookie, you’re met with a resistant snap rather than a buttery crunch. The interior is a duller pink, verging on purple, and the whole thing is more brittle as you chew through it.
While both cookies have an artificial fruit flavor to them, one of our taste testers noted that ABC’s fruit flavor evoked Flintstones vitamins, and the relative graininess of the cookie only strengthened the comparison.
In either case, you should definitely make a point to order these cookies. Even the lesser of the two is a great new option for people who enjoy the combination of fruit and chocolate, and fans of Thin Mints will appreciate the texture. It’s undeniable that Little Brownie is churning out a better product, but perhaps if you hadn’t read this, you’d never have known what you were missing. For that, I offer you an apology from deep down in my former Girl Scout heart.