Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tagalongs: You Can Make Your Own GirlScout Cookies?!?! Heck YES!

For some reason, the idea of making my own version of the infamous girl scout cookies never entered my brain as... allowed. Or perhaps even possible. 

I have no idea why but, I figured that the confections created by girl scouts were only magically possible by their chain abilities. Plus, cute vested zest.

But, no! One can create cookies on their own time that are easy and taste identical, if not better! then the girl scout brands!

I was craving a tagalong as I saw the girls in my college town making deliveries, I myself being a broke student, could not afford to splurge on a 9$ box of, what, 12 cookies?

Yeah, such luxuries are provided by my parents. Once a girl scout myself, the cookies used to litter our house when I couldn't make my sales goal and my dad would buy 20 boxes on the sly. Having cookies in every crevice of the cupboards never seemed to upset my siblings or I though. 

In any case, having been a cheap cookie Scrooge, I found myself wishing for a tagalong, (my favorite girl scout cookie, feel free to refute), and decided there had to be something I could do about it. A quick google search landed me this lovely food blog called Baking Bites. She had these pages of recipes for all the girl scout cookies! Including, this one here, for Tagalongs!

Success! I compiled the ingredients, thankfully most of which I already had, and set about making the cookies. As I had feared, as a clutzy cook, the part in which I had to dip the cookies in chocolate became an epic battle of me vs. chocolate coating and my kitchen surfaces were a casualty of the war. However, I ended up triumphing with these delicious cookies which quenched my Tagalong craving and then some! My roommates and my friends all ate them with passion as well and within a few days of their making, the cookies were gone.

I hope you have such luck while cooking these yourself. Perhaps you'll have a flair with dipping them in chocolate so you don't end up with coated fingers, forks, spoons, and counters as well. If anyone has such pointers so I can become less of a catastrophe even if the results are delicious, that'd be pretty stellar. 

Make and Enjoy :)

Plus, think of all the boxes and money you'll have saved! Sorry, girlies.

Self-Made Tagalongs:
-1 cup butter, soft
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbsp milk

-1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
-3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
-generous pinch salt
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-8-oz semisweet chocolate* (I used semisweet but, I want to make these again with milk just to get that more creamy girl scout traditional tagalong. The semi is good but, it's got that tiny little bite.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Prep the cookies first. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt at low speed, once mixed, add the vanilla/milk. The dough should be a delicious butter gall that you can manipulate into flattened discs on your cookie sheets. (Baking Bites said to line them with parchment paper. I can't afford fancy papers but, Non stick pans seemed to hold their own! Yay!)

Make the cookies about 1/4 inch thick discs. They don't really expand like a typical cookie so, shove them nice and close on the trays. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes. AS SOON AS YOU TAKE THEM FROM THE OVEN- take a spoon and gently but firmly make a depression into the center of each cookie. This is where the peanut butter shall reside. Now, let cookies cool completely and work on your filling.

Whisk together all ingredients. Heat in the microwave until it is soft. I heated mine for 30 seconds and then stirred and heated again for 15 and it worked out nicely. Put the hot filling into a pastry bag (or in my case, a gallon ziploc with the tip cut off) and pipe a dome of peanut butter deliciousness into the indents on the cookies. Once you've filled each cookie up, chill the cookies for 20-30 minutes or just until the peanut butter is firm. I ended up freezing mine overnight which was perfect. 

Melt your chocolate (I did mine on the stove, whenever I try the "microwave intervals" method, I immediately proceed to overcook the chocolate), and then dip your cookies!

Once you have found your successful method to dip, (which having not found, I can not post), place cookies on wax paper and let them set. If you put them in the fridge, the hardening process will go much faster.

Serve with a glass of milk and enjoy having triumphed over the girl scouts!

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