For Martha Stewart, the Secret Is Routine

The New York Times recently posted the article below on Martha Stewart’s beauty and makeup regime. For a woman of 72, Martha looks pretty spectacular. Her secret surprised me. She uses a lot of oils and serums. I was stunned to find out that a lot of the products she uses are relatively affordable. Now the same routine doesn’t work for everyone, but as you age, piling on the hydration is key to preventing wrinkles and signs of aging. Go Martha!  

The Martha Stewart Beauty Regimen: Fitness, Skin Care and Diet

JAN. 8, 2014

Karsten Moran for The New York Times

It turns out that the Bedford, N.Y., bathroom cabinet of Martha Stewart, 72, is as well stocked as its gardening shed. The many products help prime Ms. Stewart for on-air appearances like her show, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School,” which began airing its third season on PBS last week.

SKIN CARE

I get up a couple hours before I’m supposed to leave in the morning and I’ll put on a mask. I like the Yon-Ka Gommage 305 or the Susan Ciminelli Hydrating Gel Mask right now. Or I’ll use the collagen mask from Mario Badescu or the Chanel Correction Lift, a firming mask, which works great for me. I’ll do this about five days a week and I don’t repeat the same mask two days in a row. I’ve always done this — well, basically since I discovered masks. I have to wear makeup for photo shoots, television and appearances, so I have to make sure my face is extremely clean in the morning. Then I shower and I wash it all off.

I slather myself with serums. First, it’s a toning lotion. Right now it’s either the Yon-Ka Lotion or a more specific spray, like the rose spray from Mario Badescu. I spray my whole face and body and then its Susan Ciminelli Marine Lotion from head to toe. I use the same products on my body as I use on my face. I don’t think there’s really any difference between the two, so the more moisturizers and serums you use, the better off you are. Then I might use a vitamin B or SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum. I’ll also put on Clé de Peau or SkinCeuticals moisturizer. With all of these serums, I find I don’t have to put on an eye cream, although my facialist insists I put one on. Sometimes, I will and the Clé de Peau is good or Caudalie has one — it’s the fancy one from their high-end line — and it’s very good, too. At the end, before any makeup, I use SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense. If I’m not going to use foundation, I’ll use the tinted version, or if I use foundation, it’ll be the white one. Otherwise, I do my best to stay out of the sun. That’s very important. I do a lot of outdoor activity like gardening and I try to cover up and do SPF. Actually, I just bought a new sun hat that goes over your riding helmet. It’s pretty ugly, but it works.

‘I slather myself with serums.’ But first, a toning spritz or two.

If I’m traveling that day, I’ll be sure to have my Yon-Ka Lotion with me, which is a spray. On a recent plane ride to L.A., I sprayed myself five times. It’s hydrating, so I don’t look like a prune after flying.

I never go to bed with makeup on. First, I steam my face with a hot washcloth and then I use the AmorePacific or Shu Uemura cleansing oils. Johnson’s baby oil works really well, too. I use those as cleansers and they’re also excellent makeup removers. I like oil because it keeps my skin very moist, and it works for me. I don’t get clogged pores.

MAKEUP

I was told years ago by my daughter, Alexis, that I shouldn’t leave the house without makeup on. You’ll pay for it if you don’t because somebody will be there with a camera snapping away and you’ll look awful or just plain. I put on a light foundation, usually the AmorePacific tube called the Moisture Bound Tinted Moisturizer or the Clé de Peau Refining Fluid Foundation. I really like the YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch stick, which is fairly new I think. Then it’s Bobbi Brown bronzer. For mascara, I use Clinique High Impact mascara or I just got a new one from Givenchy. It has three little balls almost — it’s very cute. I got it from a makeup artist at John Barrett, when she did my eyes for the ballet. It’s a little short mascara but it makes your eyelashes look elongated. Also, I’ve used Latisse and it’s really helped. People should try that. It really works. I use a gloss on my lips. I use Buxom — I like the Samantha color — or a little bit of a lip pencil. I stick with nude colors, and maybe at night I’ll wear red and it’ll really stand out.

Quench time: The sea, Vitamin C and New York spa line Susan Ciminelli.

FRAGRANCE

I’ve been wearing Fracas since I was 19. I’ll put fragrance on three times a day. I’m thankful every day that they haven’t altered their formula. Although, I did just discover a new one by Hermès called Jour d’Hermès. It’s lovely.

HAIR

I use different shampoos. For me it’s like with skin care: I try to use a variety. I have to wash my hair almost every day because I have to have it done for pictures and stuff. Frédéric Fekkai Ageless shampoo and conditioner and Shu Uemura, the green line, are my two favorites. For styling, I don’t like a lot of mousse. I do use Sally Hershberger’s Texture Blast, which is like a hair spray, but just at the roots. I have really good hair and I don’t like to plaster it.

Robert Piguet’s classic Fracas and Yon-Ka lotion are some staples.

Parvin at John Barrett has been my colorist forever. She’s the blond expert. I think she’s the busiest colorist in New York. I like her because she does it in an hour so you don’t have to spend all day sitting there.

For cuts, I’m not fussy. I’ve been to Kevin at Frédéric Fekkai in the Mark. I’ve gotten my hair cut twice at Sally Hershberger recently, and they’re fabulous, too. There are so many fantastic haircutters in the city. Everybody’s hair looks much better than it used to.

Otherwise, Daisy Schwartzberg does my daily makeup and styling. Kevin from Fekkai will do styling for photo shoots, and Katsu from John Barrett does my blowout. They’re all good.

SERVICES

I’ve been going to Mario Badescu for 45 years for facials. I try to go at least once a month. For brows, Julia Haaland at John Barrett does them when I get my hair done. Luda, also at John Barrett — where else in New York can you get everything done at once? — does my nails almost exclusively. And she’s the best massager in the world. I stand, walk and hike and I still have good feet, and I thank her for that.

FITNESS AND DIET

Exercise is a necessary part of the day. I went to the gym this morning. I have a really great trainer in the city. We’ve worked together for at least eight years. Or I do yoga with James Murphy. I like to spin, but I don’t have enough time to do it. I also have a green juice that I drink every single morning. It’s very important. You can be the most beautiful person on earth, and if you don’t have a fitness or diet routine, you won’t be beautiful.

Score a Rock-Solid Core

I love variety, especially with a workout regime. Too quickly do I get bored and tired of the same old routine. This is when my workout begins to slacken and I get bored and distracted. In order to keep it fresh, fun, and invigorating, constantly add new things. Try Zumba or crossfit. Bounce around to various gyms. I often go where the deals are. I check Groupon and Living Social regularly for fitness deals and switch it up every few weeks. I also check out articles such as the one below for new workouts to incorporate. 

Here are some awesome core workouts that are super effective and full of variety. They come from yoga, Pilates, barre, crossfit, among others. The following text and images are courtesy of Shape. Sweat on! 

The Best Abs Exercises from Every Type of Workout

Combine these 14 moves for a truly hard-core routine that’ll flatten your belly in a flash.
Score a Rock-Solid Core

Confused whether Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, CrossFit, or something else entirely is the best way to work your core? That’s probably because they all include some amazing abs-toning exercises. Combine the best from every discipline to strengthen and chisel from every angle for a truly hard-core workout.

How it works: Do a 3- to 5 minute dynamic warmup. Complete each pair of exercises back-to-back with little to no rest between, then repeat the pair for a second set. Rest 30 to 60 seconds, and move on to the next pair, again performing two sets. (You can also add any of these exercises to your own routine.)

You’ll need: Yoga mat, kettlebell (5 to 15 pounds, depending on your level)

1A: Bob and Weave

1A: Bob and Weave

Though it’s usually used in kickboxing to maneuver around an opponent’s punch, the bob and weave move is also a killer way to work your obliques and abdominal wall (in addition to your legs and back)—all while keeping your heart rate up for a greater calorie burn.

How to: Stand with feet wider than hips, shift weight into left leg, and lift right heel with arms “on guard” (elbows bent in front of ribs, hands in fists at chest level). Quickly bob and weave from right to left by lowering into a low squat, tracing a letter U with upper body from the left to the right. Immediately repeat to opposite side, keeping abs pulled into spine the entire time. Do 10 quick alternating reps.

1B: Front Kick

1B: Front Kick

When done correctly, a front kick in kickboxing isn’t just a great move to sculpt powerful legs and fend off attackers, it’s also an effective way to synergistically work important core muscles like your abdominals, back, and hips.

How to: From a split stance with left foot forward and arms on guard, shift weight into left leg and bring right leg into a chamber (bending right knee up toward chest). Quickly extend leg, exhaling forcefully through mouth while kicking out from hip and leaning torso back slightly, pushing out through ball of foot. Return leg to chamber, then step right foot back into left split stance (arms remain on guard the entire time). Do 10 quick reps; repeat on the opposite side.

RELATED: 10-Minute Abs and Arms Workout Video

2A: Curl and Cross

2A: Curl and Cross

Great for developing strong, pulled-in, flat abs, the curl and cross combo often found in barre classes will definitely make you feel the burn!

How to: Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Inhale through nose. Keeping chin relaxed on chest and eyes straight ahead, exhale as you slowly curl upper back off the floor, drawing navel deep into spine and holding onto backs of thighs with hands. With shoulder blades lifted off floor and middle back pressed down, bring body up an inch closer to legs. Lower back an inch. That’s one rep. Do 20 quick reps then move into the cross curl by turning shoulders toward left leg and moving both hands to outside of left thigh. Repeat inching movement for 20 reps to the left, then 20 reps to the right.

2B: Pretzel

2B: Pretzel

Another barre exercise, pretzel is a killer core strengthener because it works the glutes, lower back, and obliques together, which forces you to use your abs to balance.

How to: Sit with right leg bent at about a 90-degree angle in front of body and left leg bent at 90 degrees behind you. Reach arms toward the floor in front of right leg, shifting weight slightly forward, lining up chest over right leg, and keeping spine naturally straight and abs engaged. Lift left leg off the floor as high as possible without moving torso, and bring hands to prayer, pressing palms together and shoulders down to hips. Pulse left leg up an inch or two higher, then back down an inch or two without touching the ground 20 times. Repeat on opposite side. (Too challenging? Keep hands on the ground during the movement instead of bringing palms to prayer.)

3A: Crow

3A: Crow

If you’ve ever attempted crow arm balance before, you know how much your abs (especially the lower region) have to work to keep your body up in this yoga posture. If you’ve never tried it, start off with the set-up version and then gradually advance into the full pose.

How to: Lower into a deep squat with knees wider than hips. Lean forward and place hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart, elbows bent. Round back and engage abs by pulling them into spine as inner thighs squeeze sides of torso, shifting weight into arms and lifting up onto balls of feet. Hold pose here if needed, with toes lightly on the floor, or try lifting feet completely, pointing toes, drawing heels close to tailbone, and balancing on arms for up to 1 minute.

RELATED: Step-by-Step Breakdown: Crow Pose

3B: Half Moon

3B: Half Moon

It may not look like your traditional abs exercise, but half moon will have your core muscles working like crazy to help keep you from falling over during this balancing yoga pose.

How to: From standing, fold forward, placing hands on the ground beneath shoulders. Keeping soft knees, transfer weight into right foot, then lift left leg high behind you. Keep right fingertips on the ground, open left hip on top of right, and turn torso to the left. Extend left arm straight up and look up toward left fingers. (If it’s too tough to find your balance at first, try placing a yoga block under the supporting hand to make this pose a little easier to master while building strength and flexibility.) Hold for up to 1 minute; repeat on the opposite side.

4A: Mermaid Side Plank

4A: Mermaid Side Plank

While all of Pilates is centered on the core, the mermaid side plank in particular does an amazing job of working your abs from every angle.

How to: Begin in a side plank position with right hand directly under shoulder, left arm extended to the ceiling over shoulder, left leg crossed over right, and edges of feet pressed into the floor. Engage abs and press away from the floor with right side of body. Inhale and look up to left hand. On exhale, reach left arm under and behind body, bracing abs in tight to spine, lifting hips up (body resembles an upside-down letter V), and pivoting on balls of feet. Return to the starting position. Do 6 reps; repeat on the opposite side.

4B: Teaser

4B: Teaser

The signature Pilates teaser is so much harder than it looks, so be patient. Don’t forget to use your breath to maximize your abdominal strength and control with every rep.

How to: Lie faceup with knees bent at a 90-degree angle over hips, arms extended by ears, abs drawn into spine, and ribcage flat (avoid letting ribs pop open with arms overhead). Inhale and begin to roll up through spine, lifting head and shoulders off the floor, reaching fingertips toward feet as legs extend straight and lower about 10 degrees toward the floor. Exhale and draw abdominals in deeper to spine to continue rolling up, lowering legs a little further, until body is in a full V-sit position, balancing on sitz bones. Hold for 1 count. Reverse movement to lower back to the starting position with control. Do 6 to 8 reps. (Make it more challenging by starting with legs extended straight on the floor and rolling up into the full V-sit from there.)

5A: Que Te Mueve

5A: Que Te Mueve

This oblique-targeting, hip-swiveling Zumba move‘s name means “what moves you.”

How to: Stand with feet together, arms by sides. Take a wide step to the right, pivoting on feet to turn right toes out and lift left heel off the floor as hips swivel left and arms swing to the left of shoulders with elbows bent and hands in fists. Quickly step left foot into right, turning hips back to front and swinging arms to the right. Take two quick steps to the right, then immediately reverse to the left. Repeat for at least 30 seconds.

5B: Merengue Out and In

5B: Merengue Out and In

Keep bumping up your heart rate without any impact on your joints while continuing to work your obliques with this simple and fun merengue out and in Zumba step.

How to: Stand with feet together, arms by sides. Shift weight into left leg as right foot steps out to side slightly wider than hips, pushing left hip back as right hip rotates slightly forward and left arm swings in front of body and right arm back with elbows bent. Immediately step left foot out to repeat the movement. Repeat again with right foot, this time stepping foot in, doing the same with the left until feet are back together. Move quickly to an out-out-in-in rhythm, keeping weight toward balls of feet to make it easier to shift side to side at a fast tempo. Repeat for at least 30 seconds.

6A: Windmill

6A: Windmill

The very nature of kettlebell training typically engages your abs with almost every move, and the windmill is killer for your obliques, cinching in your waist.

How to: Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, left toes slight turned out and right toes turned to the right, knees slightly bent. Holding a kettlebell in left hand with bell behind hand, extend left arm to the ceiling, keeping wrist straight. Engage abs and reach right hand to inside of right thigh, looking up to kettlebell, shifting weight into left leg. Hinge at hips, lowering torso as right arm slides down to inside of right calf or ankle, extending left arm in line over shoulder. Press back up through left side of torso to return to the starting position. Do 6 to 8 reps; repeat on opposite side.

6B: Turkish Get-Up

6B: Turkish Get-Up

A functional kettlebell move, the turkish get-up is a popular one because of how effective it is, engaging your entire body while working your core during every second of the move.

How to: Lie faceup with legs extended and hold a kettlebell above chest with a straight right arm. Extend left arm out to side and bend right leg so foot is flat on the floor. Engage abs and use left hand to sit up while keeping right arm extended overhead. Push hips off the ground using right leg and left arm, and quickly swing left leg under body to end in a kneeling position with right foot forward and left knee on the ground. Still holding right arm overhead, stand up, quickly stepping left foot about hip width from right. Stand tall while holding weight in extended arm. Reverse the move and return to the starting position. Do 3 reps; repeat on opposite side.

RELATED: The Best Yoga Poses for OM-My-Gosh Abs!

7A: Hollow Rock

7A: Hollow Rock

The hollow rock may sound innocent enough, but don’t be fooled—it’s a dynamic core CrossFit exercise that will have your abdominal wall working overtime.

How to: Lie faceup with arms extended overhead by sides of ears and legs pressed together and extended out straight at about a 45-degree angle from hips. Engage abs and lift head and shoulders off the floor, bringing body into a slight C curve. Gently rock forward, maintaining curve, lowering legs closer to (but not touching) the ground, then rock back toward shoulders, keeping head slightly off the floor (arms remain extended by ears and legs extended the entire time). Do 8 to 10 reps.

7B: Burpee

7B: Burpee

We know you love to hate burpees (we do too), but they are not only super effective for sculpting your abs, these CrossFit staples burn a lot of calories to help blast off fat faster so you can see the results of your hard work sooner.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides. Squat and place hands on the ground under shoulders. Keeping abs tight to spine, jump feet back into plank position and immediately lower into a pushup. Extend arms back to plank and jump feet back into hands, landing in squat position. Quickly jump straight up, reaching arms to the ceiling. Do 5 to 10 reps as quickly as possible with good form.

500 Followers Giveaway

Oh wow! Look at that! I have FINALLY reached 500 followers. This marks the halfway mark for my Bucket List goal of 1,000 followers. As such, a giveaway is in order! A set of three lip balms from Herbivore Botanicals. These are 100% natural, vegan, and are smooth and luxurious.

Lip Balm Set of 3. Large 1 oz tins. Gift Set. 100% Natural. Vegan. Lip Butter Set.

To enter, please leave a comment below with contact information, phone number, email, anything I can reach you by. Winner will be chosen on March 20th. Good luck and please share my blog with your friends to help me reach my Bucket List goal of 1,000 followers.

Lupita Nyong’o Speech on Black Beauty Essence Magazine Black Women In Hollywood Award

Best speech I’ve heard in a long time. Very touching and equally upsetting. I’m sure this has made the rounds already, but watch, listen, and learn. It is so important for young women and girls to have confidence in themselves and the way they look. While beauty should not be the most important thing, it does have an immense impact on our self-confidence and in turn can affect our success and quality of life. Everyone is beautiful, some in different ways than others, and it is important for individuals to recognize this within themselves.

DIY Moss Shower Mat

I absolutely LOVE this idea! Any way to get nature indoors and I’m all for it. This is such a fun project and its exciting to see it grow and transform. The bathroom is a great place for tropical plants as well. They thrive on the humidity. The following text and images are courtesy of eHow. Have fun and enjoy!

How to Make a Moss Shower Mat

By Chelsea Hoffman

Bring a forest wonderland right to your bathroom with moss mats.

If you want to do something creative and eco-chic, creating your own moss bath mat is an enjoyable craft project. A moss shower mat utilizes live moss to provide cushion and grip for stepping out of the tub or shower. Knowing how to make your own gives you the opportunity to design your green moss bath mat into any textured design that pleases your bathing environment.

Things You’ll Need

  •  Plastazote foam roll
  •  Scissors
  •  X-acto knife
  • Stencils
  • Hot glue gun
  • Assorted moss plugs

Instructions

  1. Measure and cut two sheets of plastazote foam from the roll at 24-by-12 inches each. This plastic-foam material is what is used in making commercial moss mats, and is ideal for wet-dry use.
  2. Lay one of the sheets of plastazote in front of you and place a large stencil in the center. It can be of any shape you want, but simple geometric shapes are ideal for beginners. Trace the shape with a white crayon, since the plastazote material is dark in color.
  3. Cut around the shape tracing with an X-acto knife. Cut down through the entire depth of the material, and push out the cutout shape, leaving a perfect hole in the shape of the stencil. Do this as many times as you want on the material. Place smaller stencils around the large cutouts and repeat, as you please.
  4. Squeeze a line of hot glue along all four edges of the second sheet of plastazote material. Layer the sheet with the holes over it evenly, pressing the edges together. This creates a single mat of about 2 inches thick. The top layer features perfect molds for filling with moss.
  5. Moisten the top layer of the mat after it has dried for an hour. This gets it primed for the moss. Spray it with a fine mist of water from your shower head or a spray bottle.
  6. Fill each “mold” in the top layer of the mat with your own selection of moss plugs, which can be purchased online or from specialty nurseries and gardening stores. Irish moss, Spanish moss and some forms of live sphagnum moss thrive well in these living eco-shower mats.

Tips & Warnings

Place the mat near your tub or shower as you would any other shower mat. Simply shower and step out on it. The soft, plush moss will absorb the water dripping from your body as you towel off on it. This, in turn, provides the moss with enough moisture to thrive.

Girl Scout Cookie Recipes

Girl Scout cookie sales have recently drawn to a close, but have no fear! Your Girl Scout cookie addiction will continue to be satiated with these delicious home made Girl Scout cookie recipes. There are a few in here I was not previously aware of, but they all sound delicious! Enjoy!

The following text and images are courtesy of Kitchen Daily and The Daily Meal. The article can be found here and slideshow of recipes here.

HOW TO MAKE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AT HOME

The Girl Scouts began selling their famous cookies in 1917, and these baked treats have become an American icon ever since. When the Girl Scouts started their cookie-selling program, troop members baked the cookies in their homes, and sold them door-to-door. This practice taught troop members invaluable lessons in business, and also helped fund troop activities. Since 1936, the task of baking these cookies has been outsourced, but the national affection for them has never stopped. Over the years, a number of different cookie variations have come and gone, but some favorites have lasted throughout the decades.

Do-Si-Dos Recipe

These peanut butter sandwich cookies with a peanut butter filling are the perfect treat.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

For the peanut butter filling :

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oats and cook, stirring, until toasted, around 4 minutes. Be careful, as oats begin to toast quickly. Spread oat mixture onto a plate and let cool.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together remaining ½ cup butter, granulated and brown sugars. Add peanut butter and mix until well combined.

Add oat mixture and flour mixture; mix until combined. Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick over the upper parchment paper. Transfer to a refrigerator until chilled, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove top layer of parchment paper. Cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets; sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until golden, rotating baking sheets at 5-minute mark, halfway through baking, 10 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets.

For the peanut butter filling :

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer on medium speed.

Assemble the sandwich cookies:

When cookies have cooled completely, use a spatula to spread peanut butter filling onto half of the underside of cookies. Top with other half of cookies to make sandwiches.

Lemonades Recipe

These tasty Girl Scout cookies are shortbread cookies with a lemon icing filling.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the icing :

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 inch-diameter logs. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the dough logs into ¼-inch-thick pieces and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, around 18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets, then transfer to cooling racks.

For the icing :

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick icing. Spread the icing onto half of cookies, and sandwich with other half of cookies.

Samoas Recipe

These popular coconut and chocolate cookies are fun and easy to make at home.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coconut topping :

  • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 15 ounces store-bought or homemade soft caramels
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the chocolate drizzle :

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In 3 increments, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, making sure that all the batter is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined. The dough should come together in large pieces.

Divide the dough in half, pressing it together into 2 disks. Wrap the dough disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut out cookies using two round cookie cutters: one 2-inch, and the other smaller to form donut-like shapes. Place the cutout cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at 5-minute mark until the cookies are pale golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the coconut topping :

Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the coconut for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven until toasted, stirring frequently for even browning. Be careful: coconut can burn easily. Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set aside.

Melt the caramels, milk, and salt by placing all 3 ingredients in a medium sauce pot set over a large pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring, until mixture is fully melted. Remove the sauce pot from heat and combine ¾ of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl.

Spread the remaining ¼-cup of caramel onto the cooled cookies and then press on a portion of the coconut mixture with hands or a spatula. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes.

For the chocolate drizzle :

Melt chocolate in the microwave. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate and place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the tops with chocolate, using a fork. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully.

Savannah Smiles Recipe

You don’t have to be a Girl Scout to love these lemon cookie with powdered sugar.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar. Mix in lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking power and baking soda with the flour. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients with the wet mixture. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl. Roll the dough into a log, and wrap it with plastic wrap to place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice ¼-inch cookies, and shape into half-circle “smiles.” Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for around 9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Dust the cookies with icing sugar before serving.

Tagalongs Recipe

If you love peanut butter and chocolate together, try making these Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties at home.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

For the chocolate dip :

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 4-5 tablespoons warm water

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

Place ½ cup powdered sugar and butter in a medium bowl, and cream with an electric mixer on medium until light and creamy. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla and flour, and beat until combined. Wrap dough in plastic, and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, shape cookies. Create a medium-shallow well with the back of a spoon (it will later be filled with peanut butter). Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Place peanut butter with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in a saucepan and heat on low until it becomes soft. Stir to combine. Watch the peanut butter so it doesn’t cook or burn.

For the chocolate dip :

Place the chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Slowly stir to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until mixture becomes pourable. Set aside.

Assemble the cookies:

Spoon the peanut butter filling into shallow cookie wells. Place the cookies in refrigerator for 1 hour for peanut butter filling to harden.

Remove cookies from refrigerator. Pour chocolate on the top of each cookie, or use a spatula to spread.

Thanks-a-Lots Recipe

These Girl Scout cookies are shortbread cookies with a layer of chocolate on the bottom.

INGREDIENTS

For the shortbread cookies :

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Pinch of salt

For the chocolate dipping sauce :

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

DIRECTIONS

For the shortbread cookies :

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, mix and scrape down the sides of the bowl. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. With the mixer on low, begin adding the flour to butter mixture. Keep mixing until dough just comes together. Wrap dough into a disc and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly flour a clean surface and roll dough out dough until 1/8 inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to form cookies.

Place cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bake cookies for 20 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

For the chocolate dipping sauce :

Melt chocolate in the microwave or in a double-boiler. Dip one side of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, chocolate side up. Allow chocolate to set, about 1 hour.

Easy Thin Mints Recipe

It’s easier than you think to make these popular minty cookies at home.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the chocolate coating :

  • 10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt until combined. In a separate large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With an electric mixer on low, add milk and both extracts. Mixture should look curdled. Gradually, add flour mixture until fully incorporated. Shape dough into 2 logs, 2 inches in diameter, and wrap in plastic to freeze for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice dough into ¼-inch thick rounds and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate coating.

For the chocolate coating :

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to parchment paper to set for 30 minutes, or until chocolate is firm. Reheat chocolate as needed to keep smooth for dipping.

Trefoils Recipe

These classic Girl Scout cookies are a simple shortbread cookie with a hint of vanilla flavoring.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar, then add the vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then add to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Transfer onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic to place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place the cookies on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar. Optional: press with a cookie stamp of your choice.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until they to brown.

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Today, two licensed bakers make Girl Scout cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. Regardless of which baker makes the cookies, they turn out looking and tasting very similar. What does change, however, are the names of the cookies. To give you an example, one troop may be selling Samoas, and another Caramel deLites, but they are in fact the same cookie.

Eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies are produced every year, and each troop is required to sell three favorites: Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, and Trefoils. All three cookies were introduced in 1951 and remain their best-sellers today. The other five varieties are decided upon by the bakers and by Girls Scouts of the USA.

Savannah Smiles, a half-moon lemon cookie with powdered sugar, is one if the latest cookie variations to be released. It was created to honor the 100th anniversary of Juliette Gordon Low founding the Girl Scouts. Most of the cookies, including Samoas, Tagalongs, Lemonades, and Thanks-A-Lots, are shortbread-based. They vary by either adding a combination of caramel, coconut, and chocolate, or by simply dipping the base cookie in fudge.

Girl Scout cookies have been such an integral part of American culinary history that there are even hundreds of recipes for desserts that use Girl Scout cookies as an ingredient. We want to share how to make Girl Scout cookies at home, just like they were made in early Girl Scout history: in the kitchens of young troop members. The most popular cookies sold today include: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles, Thanks-A-Lots, and Trefoils.

While we recommend buying these cookies from your local Girl Scouts, you can also make these classic treats at home whenever the craving strikes.