By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Apr 02, 2015 at 10:02 AM

Girl Scout cookies have become an annual tradition.

The sale of cookies began as early as 1917 when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project.

But, never before has there been a recipe contest celebrating the nation's favorite cookies.

But, this year, for the first time ever, Milwaukee’s Taste of Home, the nation's leading food magazine, has teamed up with Girl Scouts of the USA to sponsor the first National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest.

Girl Scout Cookie enthusiasts were encouraged to create and submit their favorite dessert recipes using the iconic cookies as ingredients. 

Recipe entries were accepted in four categories: cakes, pies and cupcakes; cookies, brownies and bars; pudding, ice-cream and gelatin desserts; and candies.

The Taste of Home Test Kitchen experts have reviewed and tested the recipes, selecting the top 16 – four from each category – based on taste, visual appeal, creativity, and crowd appeal.

And now, it's up to the public to decide which recipes are the winners.

From now through April 14, you can vote for your favorite finalist recipes at girlscouts.org/recipecontest.

The recipe with the most votes in each category wins. Three category runners-up will receive $250 and the category grand prize winner (the recipe with the all-around most votes) will win $500 plus a spotlight in a print and digital edition of Taste of Home.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.