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!
JoJanuary 21, 2008
FYI – Girl Scout cookies do NOT have any trans fat anymore. Check it out: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17299077/. Maybe that’s why they don’t taste as good. =)
JEPJanuary 21, 2008
I think your term “dangerously addictive” may be right on!
NicoleJanuary 21, 2008
Jo – Actually, they do still have trans fats, they just have no more than .5g per serving, which is the maximum amount they can contain and claim to have “Zero trans fats per serve” per the FDA. Partially hydrogenated shortening is still the fat that they rely on to produce their cookies.
homikusJanuary 21, 2008
God, they look like… like… like I’m gonna make them as soon as possible :] Thank You!
Sarah NJanuary 23, 2008
I just made these and found them too salty. Did you use unsalted butter?
NicoleJanuary 23, 2008
Sarah – Yes, I used unsalted butter. I find it most reliable to use unsalted butter in recipes. Since this recipe includes peanut butter, the salt content of that can affect the taste of the final cookie, as well. I imagine that with salted butter and salted peanut butter, those sensitive to salt might find these to be salty. That said, I think I actually used less salt than the original recipe called for (as well as less salt than many other cookie recipes) and, because the filling is quite sweet, I’m surprised that you found your batch to be salty.
ValerieApril 13, 2008
I found them to be salty as well but since you didn’t state unsalted butter I defaulted to regular salted. With that much butter used I would imagine it was just too much. The base taste (under the salt) is quite good so I will try it again with unsalted.
AlisJanuary 25, 2009
Have you ever tried making these with Sunbutter (sunflower seeds) or SoyNut butter? My daughter is allergic to nuts. I wonder if they would turn out the same, or just as good. We love PB cookies, and are looking for a good substitute.
LucyFebruary 12, 2009
Is your peanut butter hydrogenated? I use Adams peanut butter and have problems with cookies tasting/acting like I feel like they should. I think its because Adams doesn’t have all the sugar that the most popular commercial brands include. Do you have any suggestions for recipe modification using a non-sugar, non-hydrogenated nut butter?
StephanieFebruary 18, 2009
FINALLY! A food blog friendly to my non-hydrogenated oil lifestyle!
AnnieFebruary 25, 2009
OK, I don’t usually leave comments about recipes, but I really had to put my 2 cents in about this one. Maybe that’s all it’s worth, but I really feel that this recipe needs to be adjusted to suit not just my tastes, but everyone’s. Before more hapless bakers waste their time and ingredients, please read this comment.
First off, it’s true the abundance of leavening in this recipe makes for its unique texture, and also adds to the Girl Scout look-alike appeal. However, it adversely affects the taste of the cookie. While two cups of sugar should be plenty to sweeten any cookie recipe, this cookie is barely sweet, and has a slightly bitter flavor. How can the flavor be improved without risking the holey, tender-crunchy, Girl Scout-y texture? Can the leavening be cut slightly? Or perhaps more sugar added?
Another thing I wanted to point out is the filling. The recipe has *got* to be a misprint. 1/4 cup powdered sugar is not nearly enough to sweeten the filling. Maybe the writer meant 1 and 1/4 cups instead? With only 1/4 cup powdered sugar, it tastes like buttery peanut butter.
Lastly, not that this is necessarily a bad thing (unless you just made a huge batch of bad tasting cookies), but the recipe makes a tremendous amount MORE than 48 cookies. One recipe makes more than double that, and that’s making the cookies on the slightly hefty side.
If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on how to improve this recipe, your input would be greatly appreciated. I was greatly disappointed after seeing how cute the cookies looked, only to sink my teeth into one and discover the taste was far from what I expected. Please understand, the cookies aren’t horrible, but they can be so much better with some adjustments.
EmilyMarch 4, 2009
way to much baking soda tasted like baking soda had to throw out remaining dough. a real waste
Kristine JMarch 7, 2009
just in regards to the number of cookies made, i think the total final might mean once they are made up as sandwich cookies (would would use 2 baked cookies) – so in that regards – double the number of baked cookies would leave a correct number of finished sandwich cookies.
AnnieMarch 9, 2009
OK, I have an updated recipe that I based on the above recipe. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed. For anyone not familiar with baking abbreviations, To address Kristine J., the recipe makes more than double 48 sandwiched cookies.
Here is my version if I may be so bold:
2 C flour
1 T soda
2 t powder
2 sticks butter
3/4 C peanut butter
2 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C oats, chopped up
1 C peanut butter
1/2 C butter
2 C confectionary sugar
1 t vanilla
2 T milk
AnnieMarch 9, 2009
sorry, abbreviations: T=tablespoon, t=teaspoon
ScoutMomMarch 13, 2009
But please buy Girl Scout cookies anyhow, even if you just donate them to a charity. Scouting benefits greatly from the proceeds.
Thanks for your time.
Unsalted ButterMarch 21, 2009
Who the hell would use salted butter as a default for baking? Am I taking crazy pills?
BakersNewMarch 25, 2009
so the only sugar used is confectionersâ€™ sugar? Also Im not really a baker so what type of oats should I be looking for? Any brand suggestions?
Mary W.March 29, 2009
I made them as-is and liked them, but made a few alterations and found them to be more like the real thing…at least in my opinion.
To make the more crunchy….
omit 1 egg
omit baking powder
I used twice as much sugar…this seemed to more closely resemble the taste and texture of the real thing
Thanks for the recipe!
VoilaApril 12, 2009
I made these exactly according to the recipe and they are incredible. I’m not generally a fan of pb cookies unless they are out of the ordinary and these hit the mark. AND, my dh, who loves pb cookies and do-si-dos in particular, had 8 of them in a row. Thanks for the recipe!
KerriApril 17, 2009
I made these as printed (though I thirded the recipe just in case I needed to eat them all at once!) and I thought they were great. I used unsalted butter and pretty generic peanut butter. I don’t usually like overly sweet things so I thought these were very tasty. They were crispy (I baked them a minute or so longer than stated) and peanut buttery delicious. I added a little extra sugar to the filling, but that was more for thickness than for taste. For the people who thought this was a waste of a lot of ingredients and ended up throwing out their dough, maybe you should have just teamed back a little and thought about how to adjust. Baking may seem like a chemistry experiment to some, but if you understand what each ingredient does it is not hard to adjust on the fly to make a recipe suit your tastes. Unless you started with salted butter (which should never be your default butter when baking)I can’t think of any reasons these cookies should have flopped.
MariaApril 20, 2009
I just finished making these. I followed the recipe exactly, and I have to say they taste like baking soda. I would definitely decrease the amount.
polyJuly 21, 2009
I made them as-is and liked them, but made a few alterations and found them to be more like the real thingâ€¦at least in my opinion.
Thanks for your time.
LLAugust 1, 2009
I too found the baking soda after taste.
could there have been a typo in the amount?
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TLSeptember 12, 2009
I think the recipe for the cookie part is perfect the way it is. The only real change I made was to the filling and that was simply to add more powdered sugar to make it a little less buttery. Everyone loved these, and I’ll be taking them to the Christmas gatherings this year.
lizarose9September 18, 2009
so i have not yet made these cookies, but reading the comments it seems like there are several people who are having issues with the baking soda taste. the thing with baking soda is that it’s a base, in order for it to act as a leavener, and to get rid of the sort of soapy taste it needs an acid to react with. baking powder is baking soda plus cream of tartar (an acid). the baking powder takes care of itself, in that the acid and base are in the right proportions to react with each other, but the additional baking soda in this recipe stands alone without an acid. i would try either omitting the baking soda, and using just the baking powder, or try adding a bit of lemon juice or other acid to the recipe to balance it out.
AnonymousOctober 20, 2009
AnonymousOctober 20, 2009
Cartuse imprimantaNovember 4, 2009
I always wanted a recipe for this. I will have to try this over the weekend.
Casino ClubNovember 12, 2009
I imagine that with salted butter and salted peanut butter, those sensitive to salt might find these to be salty. That said, I think I actually used less salt than the original recipe called for (as well as less salt than many other cookie recipes) and, because the filling is quite sweet, Iâ€™m surprised that you found your batch to be salty.
EricaNovember 24, 2009
There are several different bakeries for Girl Scout cookies, and each uses a slightly different recipe.
At least one of the bakeries uses real butter. GS sales directors (professional staff, one at each council) know which bakeries use butter.
Having worked at a GS council office, I remember sweet-talking another council to send me cookies made from their regional bakery. Well worth the expense!!!!
Patio Umbrella LightsDecember 2, 2009
Normally I love ’em (and the Thin Mints) but this year I picked up a box of Do-si-Dos from a troop outside the Chevron at Ironwood & Ocotillo in Queen Creek-Pinal County. Surprised the cookies were $4.00/box, and even more surprised when they tasted stale!
mickelDecember 10, 2009
Cookies will really taste good. It is easy to be prepared.
AnnieJanuary 23, 2010
i love girl scout cookies but they are so much money $3.50 at my house my girl sells cookies
kristaJanuary 30, 2010
i made these a few days ago and everyone absolutely loves them. i mean LOVES. i don’t know if they were comparing them to the girl scout cookies, but still. i may try using chocolatey peanut buttery filling next time.
AnonymousFebruary 10, 2010
I think this is so sad… Please buy cookies from Girl Scouts.
EmbapEnlamyMarch 3, 2010
Hi, Awsome Site i hope be able help on here.
melMarch 10, 2010
Made these and loved them! I just had a thought for those having problems with the baking soda or powder – if you’re baking at high altitude (over 1000 ft), you’ll need to reduce the amount for the recipe to turn out. That’s it, and thanks for the recipes, Nicole!
Electronic CigaretteMarch 11, 2010
do si do oh yo hoe hello there. Lolll.
Your girl Mary 🙂
JimboMarch 15, 2010
After reading all of the comments here and I agree with lizarose9, there is no need for the baking soda other than the taste of baking soda. I decided to tweak the recipe and mine came out very tasty. Also, I make my own peanut butter.
Here is my version:
2 1/2 C cake or pastry flour
1/2 t soda
1 T powder
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 C peanut butter (chunky)
2 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C oats, chopped up
1 1/2 C peanut butter
1/2 C butter
1 1/4 C confectionery sugar