It’s Girl Scout season and who doesn’t love a good Girl Scout cookie?! They are delicious! But being an avid baker, I know how easy it is to bump the flavors up to make a much more rich and intense cookie than what comes out of the box. The other day, I had a hankering for a Tagalong and realized that I could make a Tagalong Girl Scout Cookie Copycat Recipe (but better!) of this delightful peanut-butter-filled morsel with what I had on-hand.
BTW: Go support your local Girl Scouts! This version of their cookie is down right delicious, but nothing can ever replace those traditional boxed cookies.
My sister, mom and I are shortbread cookie lovers. Shortbread is so rich, buttery, delicious, and best of all…easy to make! Shortbread ingredients are also the most basic and can usually be found in most fridges/pantries: butter, brown sugar, and flour.
My plan to recreate a Tagalong, but make it better (at least in my eyes) was to make a shortbread cookie, make a malleable peanut butter layer and coat that in chocolate. So, let’s get into it! First step, make the cookie.
Make Shortbread Cookies
To make the shortbread cookie dough, you only need 3 basic ingredients: butter, flour and brown sugar. Start by creaming your butter and brown sugar on high for about 5 minutes. You want the mixture to lighten in color and become fluffy. Mixing it this long also helps dissolve the sugar into the butter.
Once your butter and sugar are fluffy, add in your flour and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix here or else your cookies will become tough. The dough will look a bit dry. Dump it onto a flour surface to knead it. Kneading the dough for a couple of minutes helps incorporate the dry floury bits.
Your dough will be quite stiff, but that is what you want. Form it into a ball, then roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Tip: If you only wanted the shortbread cookie without the extra dressing up (we are about to do to turn it into a Tagalong), this cookie is absolutely delicious on its own! For plain shortbread cookies, roll your dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut it into whatever shape you like and poke the middle of each cookie with a fork. If you do this, the baking time increases quite a bit, but just keep checking on the edges to become a golden brown.
Since a traditional Tagalong cookie is fairly small, I found a piping tip with a ~1 inch diameter to act as a cookie cutter. If you have a cookie cutter this size, great! Use that! If you don’t look around your kitchen, because I bet you have something this size. A shot glass could even work if you dip it in flour before punching out each cookie (to prevent sticking).
Space your cookies about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Next, put your cookies into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. This is so important! I used to skip this step when making shortbread, however, it helps the cookie hold its shape while baking. If you skip this step, your dough will likely have thin edges from melting before it was able to bake in the oven.
Bake your cookies for 15-17 minutes, checking on them regularly at the 15 minute mark. They should have lightly golden edges and golden bottoms.
Make the Peanut Butter Dough
To make the peanut butter layer, simple mix natural peanut butter (made from only peanuts and salt…no added sugars or preservatives) and powdered sugar in your stand mixer. You want a dough that is just dry enough to be able to squeeze and it sticks together. I wanted mostly peanut butter, but the powdered sugar gives it the consistency it takes to roll out into a sheet of peanut butter.
Roll your peanut butter dough out on a powdered sugar surface and cut out circles using the same cutter you used to cut your cookies.
Once your cookies are completely cooled, place each peanut butter circle on top of each cookie. The cookie and peanut butter won’t really stick to each other, but adding the chocolate will act like the glue.
Coat in chocolate
This is the last step in making your Tagalong Girl Scout Cookie Copycat Recipe (but better!). This part is tedious and a bit tricky, because the cookies are so small. I used chocolate chips to coat my cookies, because I wanted a rich chocolatey taste. I melted my chocolate chips inside of a piping bag in the microwave in 15-second intervals. I made sure to move the chips around between each blast of heat to prevent them from scorching and becoming unusable.
Once the chocolate was melted, I piped it around the edge of the cookie, allowing it to fall down the sides, then squirted some chocolate on top. Using the back of a small spoon, I smoothed the tops out as best I could. I did not coat the bottoms of the cookies.
Tip: Do not pipe the chocolate on your cookies if they are cold. The chocolate will harden too quickly and you won’t have time to smooth it out. Make sure your cookies are at room temp.
Side note: If you want something that is less finicky, you could use candy melts to coat the cookies. Candy melts will make the cookies taste a bit more artificial, but they will still be delicious! The candy melts will also give a much more polished finish.
These cookies are a labor of love, a little tedious and pretty messy to make! They don’t have a factory perfect finish, but Katie says they look rustic (LOL). If you are up for a small challenge this cookie packs a big flavor punch!
Tagalong Girl Scout Cookie Copycat (but better!)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup all natural peanut
- 1/2-3/4 powder sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Make your shortbread. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer, cream your softened (NOT melted) butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add the flour, mix until combined. Your dough might look dry, but that’s ok.
- Dump your dough onto a floured surface. Knead until just combined. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using an inch round cookie cutter, cut out your dough laying the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Keep cutting cookies, reforming the remaining dough and rolling it out to create more cookies, until you have used up your dough. You will get about 55 cookies.
- Chill you dough in the freezer for 10 minutes, until the dough is solid. Then, place in the oven for 15-17 minutes. Check for light browning around the edges and a browned bottom.
- While cookies are baking, combine peanut butter and powdered sugar. Mix until it forms a thick dough. Add more powdered sugar as needed to make a pliable dough.
- Roll your peanut butter dough out on a powdered sugar surface, about 1/8 -1/4 inch thickness. Using the same cookie cutter, cut out peanut butter rings.
- Once your Tagalong Girl Scout Cookie Copycat Recipe (but better!) are room temp, place the peanut butter circles on top of each cookie.
- Melt your chocolate in the microwave. You can dip each cookie, or pipe the chocolate onto the cookies, smoothing it with the back of a spoon.
- Let the chocolate set and enjoy!
Tagalong Girl Scout Cookie Copycat Recipe (but better!)