Tagalongs

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In my family, once Girl Scout cookie season rolls around things start to get a little bit tense.  Never mind that this year, I kid you not, we ordered two dozen boxes of cookies.  Yeah.  Twenty-four boxes.  My mom ordered one dozen from the little girl in kindergarten across the street, and then realized she couldn’t order more from the girl across the street than she did from her seven-year-old niece, and ordered another dozen.

Despite this fact, when I picked up the four boxes I requested one weekend, my brother almost mutinied when he realized I was taking the last two boxes of Tagalongs (aka peanut butter patties).  Never mind that we didn’t have the order from my cousin yet, so there were still another dozen boxes on their way.  His reaction is even more impressive when you realize how laid-back my brother usually is.  However, the other day Mike was over and tried to open my last box of Tagalongs, and, well, it could’ve gotten messy.  Once I hit that level of freakish cookie possessiveness, I knew I needed to give in and try the ones I’d seen on Baking Bites.  I actually made them over a three day span, since I was busy studying and didn’t really have that big of a chunk of time.  One day I made the cookies, then I stored them in a zipper bag overnight.  The next evening I filled them with peanut butter, put them in the fridge overnight, and the third afternoon enrobed them in chocolate.

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I creamed together the butter and sugar, then added the dry ingredients, and finished up with the milk and vanilla.  I thought this was a bit odd, but it worked out.  The dry ingredients were really crumbly, but after adding the liquids it was fine.

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I rolled the dough into one-tablespoon balls, then flattened them to about 1/4 of an inch.  And no, that’s not an engagement ring.

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Then baked them.  The recipe says 11-13 minutes, and I was definitely taking them out at about 11:30.

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I squirted the peanut butter on (three different times, actually, to get this much on there), and then chose to smooth them out with a hot knife to make the dipping easier.  I left one not-smoothed to see what would happen.

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I dropped them into my chocolate, which was on a double boiler, and covered them in chocolate.

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Then drained them on a fork over the chocolate before transferring them to a waxed-paper lined baking sheet.

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They took up way more space when they were covered in chocolate!

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And then… you know…

Oh, and the one I didn’t smooth out turned out pretty smooth because of the hot chocolate and me tapping the fork on the bowl to get the excess off.  I would still smooth them anyway, though, they looked better that way.

Tagalongs

from Baking Bites (my changes are in italics)

Cookies
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

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl (I did everything by hand), cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk. The dough should come together into a soft ball.
Take a tablespoon full of dough and flatten it into a disc about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough (I used an unlined, ungreased, non-stick sheet). Cookies will not spread too much, so you can squeeze them in more than you would for chocolate chip cookies. (Alternatively, you can use a 1.25 inch cookie cutter).
Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes, until bottoms and the edges are lightly browned and cookies are set.
Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, use your thumb or a small spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Filling
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (natural or regular)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar*
generous pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
about 8-oz semisweet chocolate (plus 2 tsp. shortening)

In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla. When the mixture has come together, heat it in the microwave (again in short intervals, stirring frequently), until it is very, very soft. Working carefully with the hot filling, transfer it to a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the tip cut off) and pipe a generous dome of the filling into each cookie’s “thumbprint”.
Chill cookies with filling for 20-30 minutes, or until the peanut butter is firm (I chilled them overnight, and they were fine).
Melt the chocolate in a small, heat-resistant bowl. This can be done in a microwave (with frequent stirring) or on a double boiler (what I did), but the bowl of melted chocolate should ultimately be placed above a pan of hot, but not boiling, water to keep it fluid while you work.
Dip chilled cookies into chocolate, let excess drip off, and place on a sheet of parchment paper to let the cookies set up (I used a fork to do all of this). The setting process can be accelerated by putting the cookies into the refrigerator once they have been coated.

Makes about 3-dozen

*You might need slightly less sugar if you’re using the conventional peanut butter, as it tends to be a bit sweeter. Taste the filling before using to make sure you like the sweet/savory balance.

End result:  These were really yummy.  Really, really yummy.  Mike said I could put the Girl Scouts out of business (don’t worry Natalie and Morgan, I think he was just being nice there).  I had a couple of issues with the recipe, though.  Next time I think I would make the cookies a bit smaller.  I used the recommended tablespoon in a rare OCD moment, but they seemed a bit big.  Also, I probably could have made half of the peanut butter filling recipe and been fine.  My roommate and I ended up eating the peanut butter for the next few days.  Finally, I ended up using twice the amount of chocolate (16 ounces total).  Also, for each four ounces of chocolate, I used about one teaspoon of solid shortening to make the cookies easier to dip, but that’s just what I do whenever I have to dip or enrobe something in chocolate or candy.

Ok, but despite the weird ratio issues, these were fantastic.  The select few guys in Mike’s fraternity who got to try them agreed.  I’ll definitely make them again.  I think next time I might make a double batch, because these aren’t going to last that long, and they took a long time to make.  Mike has also now encouraged me to make Thin Mints.  I have two recipes, so I’m not sure which I’ll try first.  Of course, he also seems to be all for me overthrowing the Girl Scouts- and as a former scout (seven years) and the niece of someone who used to work for the Girl Scout Council, I’m pretty sure I can’t do that.  That, and who can really resist an adorable eight-year-old in a Brownie uniform without her front teeth giving that sales pitch?  Definitely not me!

P.S. Yes, my kitchen needs to be cleaned and I need to do dishes.  Again, Finals Week.  But I just turned in my last project, so I’m free as a bird!!!  And… can do… dishes…  Shoot.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Tagalongs

  1. Pam

    Great recipe! My kids would LOVE these and so would I. They look really, really delicious.

  2. Wow, these look marvelous, used to be my fav. gs cookie, when I could eat dairy. Looks like a lot of work and well worth it.

  3. Sara

    Impressive! But I think Mike and I need to have a talk about the benefit of a true Girl Scout cookie :)

  4. Your cookies look very pretty (and I don’t even eat peanut butter). Great job!!

  5. Gorgeous gorgeous! The amount of peanut butter on each cookie is making my mouh water!

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