Ah, love and friendship and a hint of spring are in the air, right along with… Girl Scout Cookies! Yes, it’s that time of year, when your adorable and friendly neighborhood Girl Scouts show up at your front door or outside your favorite grocery store, inviting you to buy some delicious cookies to help support her troop. As someone with a major weakness for sweets, AND as a new Girl Scout mom myself, it creates an intense test of my willpower on an hourly basis to not buy 5 boxes of every flavor.
I truly hope your willpower is stronger than mine. But if you’d like to indulge in these once-a-year cookies maybe just a little bit (or a lot bit), we have a great party idea for you! Whether it’s just a fun evening with a group of friends, or you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day or Palentine’s Day, or the end of Girl Scout Cookie season (because wow, it’s a lot of work, isn’t it, fellow Scout parents?!), we have a SUPER fun party idea for you: a Girl Scout Cookie & Wine Pairing Party!
A friend of mine hosted a party like this a few years ago, and I had to share with all of you, to give you some fun inspiration to host your own cookie-wine-pairing party!
As it turns out, there are a lot of different ways to have this kind of a party–I’m sharing a few of them so you can decide what approach would work best for you and your crew. You may want to have lots of pairing options or just a few, and you can splurge on wine and decor or keep it simple. Whatever you do, I’m sure your guests will have a great time at your fabulous party!
Want to skip the details and go right to a few pairing suggestions? Check out our Pinterest board! (FYI: We’ve mostly been using Pinterest for private boards for clients, so this one is the only one you’ll see for now. But trust us, Pinterest is our happy place for great inspo for everything from party outfits, to cute dessert and snack ideas, to party decor and more!)
Party Cost Estimates
As you may have already guessed, this party could get a little pricey, but I’ve got some budget-friendly tips for you! If you are inviting close friends, you could ask each person to bring an assigned bottle of wine to help cut down on costs. Don’t have enough wine glasses? Borrow some from friends, or just use regular drinking glasses! You can also save on wine and cookies by not pairing EVERY cookie flavor with a wine. See Big Tips #1 and 2 below!
Big Tip #1 – Cookies: There are NINE different flavors of cookies, but you really only need 1-2 cookie of each per person (so, for a semi-intimate sized party, one box of each is more than enough). AND, you absolutely don’t have to buy all 9 flavors. You can choose just a few to pair with a few bottles of wine, and you’re all set!
Big Tip #2 – Wine: This is less about ‘”fancy wine” and more about the experience, so don’t feel like you have to splurge on the wine. I’ll share a great link below with wine suggestions that are all $10 or less (well, one is $10.99, but several are $6, so it all evens out ;)). But of course if your budget allows, or you really love more expensive wine, you may decide to spend more.
Big Tip #3 – Beer: Prefer beer over wine? I found a few lists that pair craft beers with the cookies for you, too!
- Cookies: 9 flavors, at $5/box (cost may vary slightly by location) = $45
- Wine: 7-9 bottles, at an average of $7 each = $50-60
- Additional Food & Drink: Whatever your budget allows/whatever you choose to spend
- TOTAL: $100 + any additional food
Edited update: Here’s a quick look at the nine flavors. Depending on which of the two bakers the troops near you use, you may be familiar with one of these names and not the other. Also, some of the cookies are actually slightly different depending on the baker (noted below). Want more details? Girl Scouts has you covered.
- Thin Mints: The classic crispy, chocolatey, minty fan-favorite
- Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties: Chocolate-covered peanut butter
- Samoas/Caramel deLites: Delicious coconut and caramel with fudge stripes
- Do-Si-Dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich: Peanut butter filling between two oatmeal cookies
- Trefoils/Shortbread: Traditional shortbread
- Thanks-A-Lot: Shortbread cookies with a chocolate fudge bottom (FYI these are retiring after this year, so if you like them, order a few and freeze them!)
- Lemon-Ups/Lemonades: Crispy lemon cookies / Shortbread with lemon icing
- S’Mores: Graham sandwich cookies filled with chocolate and marshmallow / Graham cookies dipped in marshmallow creme creme icing and coated in chocolate
- Toffee-tastic/Caramel Chocolate Chip: Gluten-free butter cookies with toffee bits / Gluten-free cookie with caramel, chocolate chips, and sea salt
Pairing the Wine + Cookies
I’m not a wine expert by any standard, so I did do a lot of research to find suggestions on which wines to pair with each cookie. Check out our Pinterest board for a few ideas if you want to play around and come up with your own pairings. If you’re less confident in pairing wines with sweets (hi there!), I’m working on a fun graphic that pulls everything together to make it easier for you, as well as a spreadsheet for those of you who are super-organized. Coming soon!
Option 1: Voting Party (Pair Each Wine with Several Cookies)
I love the idea of having friends vote on which pairings are their favorites, and there’s a few ways to do this. Buy a few bottles of wine and pair each one with 2-4 cookies. Have guests take small bites of a cookie for each pairing, or they’ll be downing LOTS of cookies throughout the party. (I mean, I wouldn’t judge anyone for eating 24 cookies in a sitting… I’ve probably come pretty close that myself, even without the wine as an excuse, haha!) For more details, check out this great post from Caitlin at cutsandcrumbles. I especially love how she used craft paper and black marker to organize everything!
If you take this approach, you can make little voting cards for each guest or keep it super simple by having guests mark their vote right next to where you’ve written out the pairings–whether that’s on a craft paper table cover, a slip of scratch paper, tent cards, whatever.
Option 2: Pre-Paired Party (Pair 1 Wine + 1 Cookie)
Choose a bottle of wine to pair with each cookie you’re serving. This setup is a little bit easier (you can just put the cookies right next to the wines you are pairing with them), and if you wanted to add voting to it, you could have people score each pairing, or just choose their top choice(s). I really like the setup my friend David had below.
Decor & Serving
For the wine, you can have guests use the same glass throughout the night to minimize waste, but if you prefer to use disposable clear cups or stemware those will obviously work, too.
For the cookies, you’ll need a few plates or serving platters, and some sort of way to label each flavor with little signs or tent cards. But if you’re going for super-casual, you could just serve the cookies straight out of the box. You’ll also need little dessert plates or napkins for guests to eat off of.
If you have a surplus of wine glasses on hand, you could put the cookies into a wine glass instead of on a platter or plate. I don’t know how practical this is (it seems like you’d need mini tongs to get the cookies out of the glass?) but seriously, how cute is it?!
If you have a limited supply of cookies or wine, you may want to pre-set plates and/or wine pours for each guest, like Holly from legallycraftyblog suggests.
You could get real fancy and have cardstock labels for stemmed glasses – either with the cookie to pair the wine with written on it (like above), or the type of wine that’s in the glass, or guests’ names. Pretty cute!
I also like the fun pairing guide (shown above) that gives guests a handy reference through the night.
- FOOD: It’s a great idea to serve some savory food midway through the party, or in conjunction with the cookies. You can either take a “tasting break” for some non-sugary foods, or have a few options out from the start so guests can self-break from the sweets. Cutsandcrumbles has some delicious suggestions.
- POURS: Remember, just like you’ll be eating–or at least tasting–lots of cookies, you’ll be drinking–errr, tasting–lots of wine, so aim for 1-ounce pours. That’s enough to try the pairing, enjoy the wine, and move on to the next one.
- DESSERT: “What?! Dessert?! I thought this whole party was basically dessert?” Well yes, yes it is. But when my friend hosted this party, he also included this incredible Samoas/Carmel Delights Trifle, and I feel compelled to share it with you. You know, just in case you want to offer a sweet besides straight-up Girl Scout cookies, but you still want to keep it “in theme” with the party :). Here’s a photo to entice you.
PS: Additional Resources
I found so many great ideas and posts out there in my research, I didn’t want to leave these great resources unshared. You’ll find them on our Pinterest board but in case you miss them, here they are!
- Are you really into wine details, like tasting notes, winemaking, and more? Check out the cookie-and-wine-pairing blog post from redshoesredwine.
- Looking for a totally honest, taste-tested critique of some of the popular recommended pairings? I loved this post from foodandwine.
- Want a non-alocholic take on this party? themodernbarista has some fun recommendations for pairing the cookies with different with Starbucks coffee blends! You could do this instead of or even alongside the wines at your party.
So, are you excited to host your own Girl Scout Cookie and Wine Pairing party? Let me know in the comments below what recommendations you have for pairings or making this party even more fabulous! Happy tasting!