Tagalongs (or Peanut Butter Patties as I knew them in my Girl Scout days) were always my favorite. There's just something about peanut butter and chocolate that only a cookie can make better. Or ice cream. Wait, that gives me an idea. . . .
What was I saying? Right! Girl Scout Cookies are awesome. But it's not always GSC season! (see what I did there?) So now you can make your own, at home, any time of year. And since it uses the same recipe base as Trefoils and Samoas, you can turn your kitchen into a cottage industry of cookie goodness!
Step 1: Ingredients
Just to have it handy, here's a repeat of those ingredients:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 115g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 250g (2 cups) all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (peanut allergies? try almond butter!)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8-oz milk chocolate - you may notice my picture includes semi-sweet. Mistake! In fact, for an even more copycat type chocolate coating, use this one.
Step 2: D'ough
Prepare the dough as according to the shortbread recipe. Use a round cutter to cut the shapes.
Bake your batches of cookies one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet 180 degrees, halfway through baking. This ensures that all the cookies turn the same color instead of getting browner in the hotter parts of your oven.
Using a spoon, scoop, or your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. This is your well for peanut butter filling goodness. Do it before they cool!
Step 3: Filling
In a microwavable bowl, sift the powdered sugar into the peanut butter and mix well.
Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until very melty.
Stir in vanilla.
Step 4: Top Them Cookies
With a spoon, piping bag, or plastic bag with the corner cut off, pile your filling onto your cookies.
As you might deduce, I used a piping bag with a star tip. It was the only one I had, and it made me sad because they looked so weird.
But then the peanut butter filling held its shape after being coated in chocolate, and I decided to embrace and appreciate the weirdness.
Sadly, before I opened my heart to the differently-shaped tagalong toppings, I squished out their uniqueness from most of the cookies before dipping. Next time I will leave it in.
Step 5: Dip
The final step to these tiny masterpieces is the chocolate coating.
Melt your chocolate with tiny zaps in the microwave (you know how by now, yeah? - 30 second intervals, stir frequently, etc etc).
Since we'll be constantly lowering the temp of the chocolate each time we dip a cookie, you may prefer to use the double-boiler method. Otherwise, keep your bowl in another bowl with a bit of hot water in it, and be prepared to re-zap the chocolate in the microwave whenever it gets too firm to work with.
Just remember - the less you heat your chocolate, the better. (that's not a technical measure or anything, just a good thing to keep in mind)
Dip your cookies in the chocolate with a fork, give that fork some healthy taps on the side of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate, and place cookies on waxed paper to cool.