The other day, I expressed some concern over the fact that (a) Girl Scout cookies still have trans fats in them because they are made with hydrogenated shortening instead of, say, butter and (b) Girl Scout cookies don’t taste all that great any more – especially considering that the price per box has gone up and the size of the cookies seems to have gone down. I mentioned that I wanted to make my own Girl Scout Cookies and decided that I would go for it! This week, I’ll be featuring recipes for three of my favorites – these, Samoas and Tagalongs – and (if you’re lucky) I might throw in a bonus recipe, as well, though you can find a Thin Mint recipe in the archives if you want even more.
This is a recipe that comes from Best of the Best Vol. 8, a Food & Wine cookbook that I stumbled upon on an ultra-clearance table at some bookstore a while back. I doubt that the book cost more than a box of Girl Scout cookies (hurray for sale pricing!) and this recipe alone is more than worth it. It’s from Thomas Keller, a cookie recipe that is used at his Yountville, CA bistro, Bouchon. I’ve made them in the past and they’ve always come out to be very large and a bit chewy, but the overall idea is the same as the peanut butter sandwich Girl Scout cookie, so I figured it wouldn’t need too much tweaking.
The overall result from this recipe is a cookie that looks a heck of a lot like the Do-Si-Do, but tastes much, much better. The cookies are crisp and ultra-tender, the kind of cookie that crumbles into your mouth immediately when you bite into it. There is no misprint in the amount of leavening given in the recipe below; the baking soda and baking powder help to create this texture. The filling is very creamy with a sweet peanut butter flavor. The main differences between these and the GS cookies are that the cookies themselves are more delicate and the filling is softer. They are dangerously addictive if you like peanut butter and, to give fair warning, you may never go back to the GS version no matter how cute those kids look when they’re pitching them.
I made little holes in half of the cookies to get the same overall look as the GS cookies. Use a straw or the tip of a knife to carve a little hole when the cookies are hot from the oven, that way they’ll set up with the hole in place.
Homemade Do-si-dos a.k.a. Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant or regular)
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350F.
Start with the cookies. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and peanut butter. Beat in the sugars until fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in vanilla extract.
Working at a low speed, mix in the flour, followed by the oats (if you don’t have quick-cooking, pulse whole rolled oats in the food processor to chop them up a bit).
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, drop teaspoonfuls of batter (roughly 3/4-in. sized balls), leaving about 2 inches between each to allow for spread.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until cookies are a light golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, making small holes in 1/2 of the cookies (for the tops of the sandwiches) before they set up. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cookies have cooled, make the filling.
In a large bowl, cream together smooth peanut butter, butter and confectioners’ sugar until very smooth. Spread 2-3 tsp onto half of the finished cookies and sandwich with the remaining halves. If you chose to make yours with GS-lookalike holes in some of the cookies, use these as the tops of the sandwiches.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 48 sandwich cookies.
Note: Use unsalted butter with this recipe, as different brands of peanut butter can vary hugely in salt content and it’s possible you’ll end up with a too-salty cookie with the salted butter, salted peanut butter and added salt. If you must use salted butter and are using brand of peanut butter that seems a bit salty, you can always reduce or eliminate the added salt. Personally, I like the salty sweet combination with peanut butter, but it’s only fair for me to give a little warning just in case!