Tagalongs are one of the most popular Girl Scout cookies. The Girl Scout cookie recipe for Tagalongs marries the buttery shortbread cookie with basically a peanut butter ball – peanut butter mixture covered in chocolate. While the Girl Scout Tagalongs are good, these Ultimate Tagalongs are out of this world extraordinary!
Tagalongs versus Peanut Butter Patties
In a lot of ways, Tagalongs and peanut butter patties are the same Girl Scout cookie flavor. However, the names are dependent upon the bakery that makes them. Little Brownie Bakers called its cookies Tagalongs while ABC Smart Cookies called its cookies Peanut Butter Patties. The reason for the differences is that these bakeries have different distribution deals with the Girl Scout organization.
One of the main differences between Tagalongs and peanut butter patties is that Tagalongs have more peanut butter inside the cookies than peanut butter patties. Another major difference is that peanut butter patties are vegan whereas Tagalongs contain milk products. Both however, are a favorite Girl Scout cookie.
It’s generally at this time of the year that the Girl Scout cookies go on sale. Either we missed the sale, or the cookies aren’t yet available, at least in our area. Therefore, I decided to make my own!
Shortbread Cookie Base for Tagalongs
For the shortbread cookies, I used the following ingredients: Unsalted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and all-purpose flour.
To make the shortbread, I started by creaming the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed. I only beat the mixture for about a minute until it was creamy. The reason was that I didn’t want to incorporate a lot of air into the dough.
Then, I added the flour and beat the dough on low just until everything was combined. Next, I transferred the dough to a gallon-size Ziploc bag. I placed the bag on a flat surface. Then, leaving the top open, I rolled the dough into a ¼-inch thick rectangle that completely filled the bag. I sealed the bag and placed it in the freezer overnight.
The next day, I slit open the Ziploc bag, and turned the firm dough onto a piece of parchment paper that I had sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. I cut the dough into round cookies using 2-inch cutter, making sure that I cut the cookies as close together as possible. By keeping the cutouts close, I was able to get 25 cookies in the initial cut.
Then, I transferred the cookies parchment lined baking sheets. I gathered up the scraps and continued cutting 2-inch cookies until I had used up all of the dough.
I baked the cookies in a preheated 325° F oven for 23 minutes, until they just started to show some color around the edges. When they were done, I removed the cookies from the oven and transferred them to a wire rack to cool.
Making the Peanut Butter Filling
When I tasted the Girl Scout Tagalongs, I thought that the peanut butter filling tasted pretty much like plain peanut butter. I asked Susan whether she thought that the filling for the Ultimate Tagalongs should more closely resemble plain peanut butter or the filling for the peanut butter balls. She chose the latter. Therefore, I used the basic filling for my peanut butter balls, but with creamy peanut butter as opposed to extra crunchy. I really prefer the extra crunchy peanut butter for the peanut butter balls. However, I didn’t think that it would work that well for the Tagalongs.
I used the following ingredients for the peanut butter filling: Creamy peanut butter, unsalted butter, and confectioners’ sugar. For the chocolate coating, I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate melting wafers.
First, I beat together the peanut butter and butter until it was smooth and creamy. Then, I added the confectioners’ sugar and beat the mixture until everything was well combined.
Finishing the Ultimate Tagalongs
Being the nerd that I am, I weighed the peanut butter mixture, and used ½ an ounce for each cookie. I rolled the mixture into a ball (about the size of a quarter), and flattened it onto the cooked shortbread cookie.
Then, I refrigerated the cookies for about 20 minutes.
While the cookies were in the refrigerator, I melted the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. When the chocolate was melted, I dropped one of the cookies in it. I used a fork to turn the cookie to the other side and lifted it out with the fork. Before transferring the coated cookie to a piece of parchment paper, I let the excess chocolate drip off.
As a finishing touch, I drizzled some of the melted chocolate over the Tagalongs.
I ended up with 33 totally incredible Ultimate Tagalongs. No offense, but they made the Girl Scout Tagalongs taste a bit blah. So, next time you have a craving for Tagalongs, you should definitely try these Ultimate Tagalongs. Yum!
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
Peanut Butter Mixture
- 1 cup (9.5 ounces) creamy peanut butter (See Note 1)
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 3 cups (18 ounces) Chocolate melting wafers
- Place butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat together on medium speed until the mixture is very smooth, about 1 minute. Do not beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix on low speed only until the flour disappears into the dough, about 1 minute. Don't work the dough much once the flour is incorporated.
- Using the spoon or spatula, transfer the dough to a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Put the bag on a flat surface. Leaving the top open, roll the dough into a ¼-inch thick rectangle that completely fills the bag. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so that it doesn't cause creases. Seal the bag, and place in refrigerator or freezer for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Put the Ziploc bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough onto a parchment lined board or counter; discard the bag. Cut into round cookies using 2-inch cutter. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets leaving 1-inch between cookies. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. (See Note 3)
- Bake at 325° F for 20 to 25 minutes. (See Note 4). Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 33 cookies
Peanut Butter Mixture
- Beat together the peanut butter and butter in a bowl on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add confectioners' sugar; beat on medium speed until well combined. If mixture is crumbly, knead with hands until the consistency of Play-Doh. Form into ½-ounce balls (about the size of a quarter) and place on cooked cookies. Flatten with hand. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Melt chocolate wafers in a double boiler over simmering water. Dip cookie into melted chocolate; turn to coat on all sides. Remove with a fork allowing excess chocolate to drip off; place on parchment paper to harden.
- Drizzle excess chocolate over cookies. Yield: 33 Ultimate Tagalongs. (See Note 5)
Chula's Expert Tips
- I used Jif Creamy Peanut Butter. I don't think that extra crunchy would work here.
- I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers.
- The cookies will spread just a bit when they cook, so be sure to leave around an inch between them.
- The cookies will be pale with just a hint of brown around the edges.
- If you have any peanut butter mixture leftover, use it to make peanut butter balls!