Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs

Tagalongs, or Peanut Butter Patties, seem to be one of the less remarkable Girl Scout cookies. Everyone likes them, but no one ever seems to call them out as their favorite. My feeling is that these cookies are very reminiscent of candies like peanut butter cups and I think we can all agree that they are a hard act to follow because the combination is such a good one.

So, while I don’t think that this homemade version of Tagalongs is going to replace classic peanut butter cups, they are still really good cookies. The cookie is crisp and a bit plain, although the hint of vanilla in it highlights the peanut butter filling. The chocolate is best in a thin layer, holding everything together in a neat package. I got the ultra-smooth cut in the photo above by using a hot knife; the filling does have a bit more texture to it than that pic might lead you to believe, especially if you use natural peanut butter.

The cookie base for these is the same one that I used to make my homemade Samoas: a tender and crisp shortbread-type cookie. The cookies are about the same size, although since they don’t have a hole in the center, they do need a tiny bit longer in the oven than the other cookies did. I shaped all of these by hand, but you can certainly use a cookie cutter to make them. By hand, simply take a tablespoon-sized ball and flatten it into a 1/4-inch thick disc on the baking sheet. To use a cookie cutter, simply opt for a 1 or 1 1/2 inch round and cut circles on rolled dough. I actually prefer the hand-shaped cookies for these because I felt they had a better shape. The edges spread ever so slightly and the center rose a small amount, too, creating a nice target for the “thumbprints” (the hole for the peanut butter created by pressing a thumb or the back of a spoon into the still hot-from-the-oven cookies).

I used the same peanut butter filling that I used for my homemade peanut butter cups, substituting all creamy peanut butter for the crunchy. It is a stiffer filling than I used for my Do-Si-Dos and works much better in this cookie. These would be nice with crunchy peanut butter, but are somewhat more authentic without it. I increased the amount I used in this batch and did have a bit of peanut butter left over, but the beauty of leftovers with this recipe is that you actually can make the peanut butter cups with leftover chocolate and filling. I wouldn’t want to deprive anyone of that pleasure, so being extremely precise wasn’t a huge concern of mine. Besides, you can always pile up the peanut butter in your cookies if you want to improve on the GS version. Chill the peanut butter filling before dipping the cookies in chocolate to prevent it from softening and losing shape.

The only problem I encountered with these cookies was that the chocolate coating turned out to be quite thick, somewhat overwhelming the flavor of the peanut butter when I used dark chocolate. Semisweet produced a better contrast and, if you like milk chocolate, you might want to try half-and-half. Also, keep the melted chocolate in a glass or pyrex bowl so that it can be set on top of a pan of hot water (like a double boiler) while you work on dipping the cookies. This will keep the chocolate very fluid without the risk of burning it and will enable you to get a nice thin coating.

Homemade Tagalongs (a.k.a. Peanut Butter Patties)
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, 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. 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 cookie cutter, as described in the post above).
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

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.
Melt the chocolate in a small, heat-resistant bowl. This can be done in a microwave (with frequent stirring) or on a double boiler, 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. 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.

107 comments

  1. “Everyone likes them, but no one ever seems to call them out as their favorite.”
    I know more people who consider tagalongs their favorite girl scout cookie than any of the other (though I am a thin mint girl, myself.) I sent this page to a friend of mine and her response was “Oh. my. god. This is the end as we know it.”

  2. This is the recipe I’ve been waiting for since you started your Girl Scout cookie series. These are my favorite! I can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks :)

  3. Thanks for all the “inside tips” on how to make this a successful Tagalong!

  4. Those look amazing! Tagalongs are one of my favorite girl scout cookies.

  5. Can you beleive that here in Canada we have only 2 types of Girl Guide cookies?? Thin mints and then the oreo style chocolate and vanilla ones. When I was a kid I rememeber selling maple walnut ones..whatever happened to those??

  6. I used to LOVE these! I was a girl scout, but never sold cookies. I’ll have to try these out on my sorority sisters and see if they recognize what I’m channeling.

  7. I must admit tagalongs are my favorite because of the chocolate and peanut butter combination, but you don’t get as many as, say thin mints. I haven’t had GS cookies since I’ve sold them myself (about 3 years ago), so I can’t wait to start baking my own.

  8. I think it’s crazy they quit making the lemon coolers cookies. I loved the lemon flavored cookie with the powder sugar on the outside. I refuse to buy girl scout cookies until they bring them back!

  9. I just gave this a shot last night, and they turned out great! I also had a difficult time getting a thin chocolate coating, but it’s probably lack of skill on my part. I used semi-sweet chocolate as you recommended, so (thankfully) there is no overwhelming chocolate taste.

    These definitely tasted like the real thing to me, and I can’t thank you enough for coming up with the recipe! Having to wait 11 months out of the year to get some Tag-a-longs is always so painful!

  10. I just stumbled upon this. My comment to my husband was “Oh gawd, now she’s done it.The other week it was caramel delights… now this.” My 9 month pregnant self is now desiring HOMEMADE GS cookies, and my bedrest precludes this from happening!

  11. I just made these last night and they taste amazing. I had no trouble with the chocolate coating. I used milk chocolate for baking from the grocery store to coat them. I will definately make these again. I will also only use 1 cup of peanut butter next time, since I had a lot of filling left over. Thanks for the recipe!!

  12. i just made them and they were absolutely scrumptious! thank you so much – i’m linking your post to my blog!

  13. I do not just love Tagalongs. I am ADDICTED to Tagalongs. I think it may become a problem now that I have access to them more than once a year! Thanks for the recipe… And for making me fat. ♥

  14. I DID NOT HAVE SUCSESS JUST TO LET YOU GUYS KNOW. THREE PROBLEM.

    1. Dough was weird
    2. Carmel was extremely hard to work with
    3. Chocolate was hard too

  15. PB Patties are my all time favorite GS cookie. They are amazing however I don’t think any other cookie can compare – not even these homemade look alikes – I’ll pay my $3.50 a box and have them delivered to my door – well worth it so I don’t have to go shopping, make them, and have to clean up… plus the money goes to a good cause.

  16. If your chocolate is too thick try adding a small amount of shortening. It will thin it out so you can dip cookies easily. Also if you want to keep chocolate warm while dipping do what I did when I used to make shaped candies…put your bowl on a heating pad turned down low.

  17. Tagalongs are by FAR my favorite. I crave them year-round.

  18. Tag-a-longs are MY favorite!

  19. PB Patties are my favorite! Put them in the freezer, they are 500x better!

  20. Mm, my very favorite. My sister’s favorite too, and my cousins’…

  21. Tag-a-longs are my favorite! They are the best Girl Scout cookie by far!

  22. PB Patties are the BEST. For the record…

  23. just for friendly advice do NOT add milk to the chocolate to thin it out..it will turn into instant fudge…fml

  24. These look amazing! Tagalongs are my family’s favorite. My brother pretty much revolted when I took the last box to school with me (not my fault they ate about 3 other boxes!). They’re even better when you keep them in the fridge. I’m going to try these this weekend, hopefully, so I can do a side-by-side comparison. Thin Mints will be next- this is going to be lethal! Thank you so much, you’re amazing!

  25. Tag-a-long cookies are my boyfriends absolute favorite. He always eats them up the first day and then scrambles to find more which can sometimes be difficult. I can not wait to try out this recipe and impress him. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  26. i always wanted a recipe for this. I will have to try this over the weekend.

  27. i always wanted to bake these cookies myself. I am glad i foundt his recipe. i will have to try it.

  28. Oh my … how could you say, “no one ever seems to call them out as their favorite”? I LOVE them! They are my favorite. Since it is off-season for GS, I will happily try this recipe.

  29. Tagalongs – I am glad i foundt his recipe. i will have to try it.

  30. Wow… such a good idea! And I guess I’m in the minority, but tagalongs are totally my favorite!

  31. This recipe was great. I omitted the cocoa powder, as the cookies I sold in the 80’s were white on the inside. Dough sliced easily. I added more extract to the dough, and added extract to the melted chocolate. Served at a party last night and they disappeared within minutes.

  32. Номер не пройдет!

  33. Oh, our family it seems the lack of sugar, I have to go to the supermarket to buy some of the evening, the kids will certainly be very surprised.
    Happy Halloween!

  34. Ahh! I have always wanted to make these myself! It seems like forever waiting the year for the girl guides to sell them again! I can’t wait to try them!

  35. All the time, Girl Scout cookies is very different to me for its taste. Now i can say, Peanut Butter Patties will be the latest recipe of my food list.

  36. I think it’s crazy they quit making the lemon coolers cookies. I loved the lemon flavored cookie with the powder sugar on the outside. I refuse to buy girl scout cookies until they bring them back!

  37. Peanut Butter Patties or Tagalongs, whatever you say,had never been on my food list but I have heard a lot about Girl Scout cookies from others and their responses were pretty positive.So I will definitely try to make it on my own as per the recipe direction and see what I really get.

  38. Tagalongs are by far my favorite Girl Scout cookie and usually the only ones I buy! I can’t wait to try to recreate them!

  39. Theses are actually my husband’s favorite GS cookies but I hate them so I will have to try these homemade versions (they looks supremely better!) and see how they rank with him.

  40. Tagalongs – I am glad i foundt his recipe. i will have to try it.

  41. Tag-a-longs are MY favorite!

  42. It’s not very healthy but looks so tasty!

  43. i made these cookies and, i’ve got to say, SO SO SO AMAZING!

    thank you so much for posting and sharing. these were simply astoundingly delicious and had me blogging them myself, although I lack your flair. thanks so much again! here’s my post if you’re interested http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com/2010/04/you-can-make-your-own-girlscout-cookies.html

    thank you so much again! love you and love your blog!

  44. Those are just delicious…

  45. I have tried all kind of cookies in this blog.. everything worked both taste and easy…

  46. Looks so tempting and Yummy. Thanks for sharing.

  47. I just made these yesterday & the recipe is terrific. I do have a few recommendations, though. 1) I used a #70 disher/scoop for the the cookie dough & for the peanutbutter filling. It worked really well. 2) I needed closer to 16 oz. of chocolate to cover the whole batch. I also used 2T & 2t of vegetable shortening in the chocolate, so I didn’t need to temper it & it looks great. 3) Fleur de sel is a fabulous salt to use in these. 4) There’s nothing like dark chocolate! The problem with manufactured peanut butter patties is that they almost always use milk chocolate, which is often dull tasting (to me, obviously). Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I’m sure I’ll be sharing it with many :)

  48. Wow, so glad I tried these. I will test them again using Shelli’s suggestion about adding vegetable shortening to the chocolate. It was too think so I ended up just spreading it on the top and leaving the bottoms plain. Tasted great but they didn’t look pretty.

  49. Tagalongs are my absolute favorite!! Something about the soft peanut and the crisp cookie really do me in, but i tried making my own homemade ones with a recipe similar to this. Sooo good, possibly better than the real ones?

  50. I made these today, and they came out great except that I ended up with a lot of leftover peanut butter filling.

    A bit of advice for others like me, who don’t have a microwave – heat up the peanut butter on the stove and get it all melty before you add the powdered sugar.

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