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Girl Scout Cookie season is here — and there's a brand-new cookie this year

Step aside, Samoas and Thin Mints!
New Girl Scout cookie
New Girl Scout cookieCourtesy of Girl Scouts
/ Source: TODAY

Girl Scout Cookie season is one of the best times of the year — with scouts all over the country finding creative new ways to sell cookies. Even celebrity moms like Jennifer Garner join in on the excitement.

Starting Wednesday, cookie fans will have yet another reason to celebrate.

For the first time since the year the Girl Scout S’mores cookie joined the sweet lineup, cookie lovers will have a new option to add to their orders of Thin Mints and Samoas: Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies.

The new cookie, which will officially be released in 2019, is gluten free.
The new cookie, which will officially be released in 2019, is gluten free.Girl Scouts of the USA

On Jan. 2 (the official start of the Girl Scout Cookie-selling season), the new treat will be available in select areas across the country.

The chewy treats are made with caramel and semisweet chocolate chips, and boast a hint of sea salt in every bite. Instead of traditional wheat flour, the cookies use oat flour as the base. The new recipe is also gluten-free, making it the second gluten-free option in the collection, following the returning Toffee-tastic. Other favorites coming back include the ever-popular Thin Mints, Girl Scout S'mores, Caramel deLites/Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs, Shortbread/Trefoils, Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles and Thanks-a-Lots.

Girl Scout cookie season starts on Jan. 2, 2019.
Girl Scout cookie season starts on Jan. 2, 2019. Rob Hainer / Shutterstock / Rob Hainer

"We’re excited to announce the new Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie as part of the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie lineup," Stewart Goodbody, senior director of communications and external affairs, Girl Scouts of the USA, told TODAY Food. "The flavor is on-trend: Chocolate and caramel cookie flavor combinations are increasingly popular among consumers." He also cited the popularity of gluten-free options among millennial consumers as a big factor in the new flavor's release.

On Wednesday, Carson Daly sampled the new flavor. Hoda Kotb, who recently gave up sugar for her New Year's resolution, watched as her co-host dug in.

"Well, they're dense," Carson admitted, before being told that the cookies were gluten free. "I mean, it's OK. It's not great ... but you should still support your local Girl Scouts! It's a healthy cookie."

He continued to chew thoughtfully before adding, "It could be a dog biscuit but, like, a really good one."

Even though the new gluten-free addition may not be to everyone's liking, plenty of cookie fans are already excited about the start of another selling season.

Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since 1917, and, according to Goodbody, the program helps girls learn skills including "goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics."

Cookie sales also help fund troop activities like outdoor trips, community service projects and field trips that provide valuable learning experiences for the organization's members.

A version of this story was originally published on Aug. 14, 2018.