Homemade Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)
You’d think that come girl scout cookie season, there is not much you can do to avoid buying a box or two. I’m sure in most neighborhoods, brownies run rampant, and it’s not like you can say no to a sweet face and the promise of even sweeter treats.
But if you live in a building where the children are scarce, and the few that are around are still far too young to be hocking cookies, then getting your hands on a box or two of Tagalongs is no easy task. To get a box, we’d have to make the extra effort to scout a girl scout. So instead of braving the neighborhood mega mart on a Saturday afternoon (that is where they all congregate, isn’t it?) I figured, why not just make my own?
The final result is quite delicious. Although it’s been two solid years since I’ve had a real Tagalong, I can honestly say I don’t really care anymore. These are a damn good substitute for the real thing. And this chocolate covered peanut butter and shortbready goodness will satisfy your tagalong cravings all year round.
They are surprisingly easy as well, so don’t let the multiple-step process fool you. Yes, you bake cookies. Yes, you make a filling, and yes, you then dip the entire thing in chocolate. It may be messy, but that only adds to the fun.
I couldn’t figure out how to dip the ENTIRE cookie in chocolate. So I grabbed the very edges of the cookie, inverted it, and submerged as much as I could (including the fingers holding the cookie) in the melted chocolate coating. You can’t linger in the chocolate too long or the peanut butter will melt. Dip it and get out quick. I just barely had enough coating for all the cookies, otherwise I probably could have come back after and done a second dip or spread of chocolate on the bottom.
Peanut Butter Patties
Makes about 3 dozen. Recipe adapted from Baking Bites.
1 cup butter, room temperature
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 (natural or regular)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
generous pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
about 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 oz cocoa butter OR 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
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 arrange them fairly closely together.
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.
To make filling, whisk together peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla in a small microwave-safe bowl. When the mixture has come together, heat it in the microwave (in short intervals, stirring frequently), until it is soft. Working carefully with the warm 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 filled cookies for 20-30 minutes, or until the peanut butter is firm.
Melt the chocolate and cocoa butter in a small, heat-resistant bowl placed over a small saucepan filled with simmering (not boiling) water.
Dip chilled cookies into chocolate, let excess drip off, and place on a sheet of parchment paper to set.