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The start of the new year doesn’t just mean parties, champagne toasts and resolutions. It’s now Girl Scout cookie season! | Sun-Times file photo

Girl Scout cookies return and new this year, gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip

SHARE Girl Scout cookies return and new this year, gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip
SHARE Girl Scout cookies return and new this year, gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip

The start of the new year doesn’t just mean parties, champagne toasts and resolutions. It’s now Girl Scout cookie season!

The annual tradition officially kicks off on Wednesday, and those pint-sized, green-sashed saleswomen have a new cookie in their 2019 line-up to wow you with. Say hello to Caramel Chocolate Chip.

The new chewy treat, first announced in August, is made with semi-sweet chocolate chips, caramel and a hint of sea salt, according to the Girl Scouts. The last cookie to be introduced was the S’more for the 2017 sales season, though it actually debuted in 2016 on National S’mores Day, also known as Aug. 10.

The Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie also has the added advantage of being gluten-free. The Girl Scouts first introduced gluten-free cookies nationally in 2015.

The price of a box of cookies is set locally by each of the 112 Girl Scout councils.

A single serving, comprising three Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies, has 170 calories, 12 grams of sugar and eight grams of fat.

“Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, cookie customers help fund life-changing Girl Scout experiences while building the next generation of female entrepreneurs,” Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a statement. “And because all Girl Scout Cookie proceeds stay local to power year-round troop projects and activities, when you buy Girl Scout Cookies, you are making an investment in girls and in your local community.”

Traditional favorites include Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Samoas and Trefoils.

To buy the cookies, download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app or go to www.girlscoutcookies.org and type in your ZIP code. Some Girl Scout councils also sell online.

The iconic cookies have landed in the national spotlight twice in the last couple months of 2018.

In December, a report from the Pentagon inspector general revealed that an Air Force brigadier general was rebuked for selling Girl Scout cookies at the office and asking a subordinate to get the cookie boxes from a car and display them on the front desk of the office. And the month before, Congresswoman-elect Abigail Spanberger of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District — and one of her daughter’s troop leaders — drew attention when she questioned whether it was ethical for her to still sell cookies.

Cookie sales have been part of Girl Scouts history for over a century. The Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked their own cookies and sold them in their high school cafeteria as a service project in 1917, according to the Girl Scouts website. Other troops followed suit and 1934 saw the first commercially baked cookies go on sale.

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A group of Girl Scouts convinced President Obama to wear a tiara

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