MORE Knock-off Girl Scout Cookies (Tagalongs)

Our Girl Scout Cookie order arrived this week. The darling little neighbor girl toddled over and dropped off what I had requested a good month ago. Thin mints, and of course Samoas (you can tell I'm obsessed with those) but unfortunately for me, and hubs, there were no Peanut Butter Patties, also known as Tagalongs, in my order.

The beloved Tagalong
I don't know what he was thinking, since I do KNOW they are hub's favorites, and I don't think they are half bad either.

So there is was.. 10 minutes after the cookie order arrives in the house, a sleeve of Thin Mints already down for the count and no Tagalongs to be had. Fortunately, I knew just where to turn. Once again, Nicole at Baking Bites was able to hook me up with a homemade recipe and so of course I had to give it a shot.

I did modify the recipe a little bit (since the cookie itself is in fact the same as the Samoa base I used before and I knew it was too moist when I prepared it last time. My recipe was:


1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Mix, roll and cut (although next time I would make them smaller and thicker for a better cookie to peanut butter ratio)


While still piping hot out of the oven. I dented them with the back of a serving spoon (again they were too wide and flat to do this well) Many of them cracked when I smooshed the spoon in, but they were still so soft and hot that I could easily push the crack together and they solidified just fine.


After allowing them to cool a good while, I mixed up the peanut butter filling, again with a small modification to the original recipe.


1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
generous pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

This turned out to be way too much filling. I would only use 1 cup of peanut butter if I was going to do this again. I used a zip top bag with the corner cut of to add a dollop of the mixture to each cookie. Now, if the cookies were smaller in diameter and had a deeper well I think this would have gone better. Instead they sorta looked like a blob of {edited since we are going to eat these things} on top of a cookie.

I then set up my make shift double boiler (a pyrex bowl on a 4 quart pot) and melted down an entire bag of Hershey's Kisses. (This was because clearance Valentine's day milk chocolate candy was way cheaper than milk chocolate chips)


There aren't any pictures of the actual dipping stage because there was no way I could deal with scortched chocolate coated fingertips and my camera at the same time.

To cover up the fact these were lumpy little cookies (and the fact that I didn't have enough chocolate to cover all of them), I thought I would accent them with dark chocolate drizzle. I microwaved dark chocolate chips in a zip top bag. I stood the bag up in the microwave inside a beer glass so that the chocolate would all stay down in one corner.


My tip for this step is cut the TEENIEST hole in the bag that you can. That chocolate runs out of there fast and a thinner, finer stream is much easier to work with.


I allowed these to harden for a few hours and here is what we ended up with:


They aren't really impressive until you cut those babies open:



OH YUM! I ended up once again with 3 dozen.

The cost breakdown for these came out to:
Clearance bag of Hershey's Kisses: ($.49)
Extra chocolate chips, half a bag ($.99)
Peanut Butter, half a jar ($.75)
Butter: ($1.25)
Flour/Sugar/Baking Powder/Milk/Vanilla/Salt: (~$3.50)

Total:$6.98

The Girl Scouts are selling them for $4 a dozen (I was wrong in my last post, this year the sales price in my area is $4/dozen), or $12.

Not bad, I came out $5 ahead.

Fun Stuff: Knock-off Girl Scout Cookies



Mmmmm.. Samoas (aka Carmel DeLites) Girl Scout Cookies! If you haven't had them (and a lot of you coconut haters out there probably haven't) let me describe them to you. Chewy caramel coconut goodness smeared on a delicate cripsy shortbread cookie which has been layered in chocolate and then the whole sha-bang is drizzled with additional chocolate.

How can you not resist?

I saw this post on Blog-her by Caitlin of A Bicycle Built for Two about how to make a homemade verstion of the Samoa Girl Scout Cookies and was inspired to give it a shot.

Now this isn't to say I have heard that this recipe may end in disaster, but I was really craving the caramel coconut chocolate delight. (I also was thrilled with the idea that I could save a couple bucks by not having to shell out big bucks for the original cookies from those little Girl Scout extortionists.. but that didn't really work out. More on that later.)

It turns out Caitlin got the recipe from Mari at Once Upon A Plate who got the original recipe from Nicole at Baking Bites (fantastic cooking website by the way.) Between those folks who had gone before I figured I had all the tips I needed to make sure they turned out great.

Eh. Sort of.

I did end up with FANTASTIC cookies:

And Caitlin's pictures of the process are pretty much what my endeavor looked like, but I do have a couple of tips to add if you are going to try these yourself:
  1. Toast the coconut first. Then, if you melt the caramels while the cookies are baking, you can go ahead and add the coconut right away. Because i needed to use the same cookie sheets to toast the coconut, I had to take a long break between after the cookies came out of the oven and when the coconut was ready to mix into the caramel. By then the caramel had re-solidified. If you toast the coconut first, you can melt the caramel and mix in the coconut while the cookies bake. By the time the last batch of cookies is done baking, the first batch is cool enough to start spreading the coconut/caramel mix.
  2. Give up the dream about them being donut shaped. Making the hole in the center was a giant pain in the ass. You couldn't spread the coconut mix around it and it just wanted to fill in with chocolate. I ended up just making them round. More cookie for your money!
  3. Keep your caramel/coconut mix warm. If you don't keep it warm (I just kept reheating it in the microwave for 30 seconds) it will start to solidify and you will end up breaking the cookies as you try to spread it on.
  4. Hold back some of the chocolate chips. When you go to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies at then end, don't melt all the chocolate and add it (already melted) to a piping bag. Instead melt only half the chips to dip the bottom of the cookies and put the remainder of the chips in a ziplock bag and microwave THAT. Then cut a tiny corner off the bag and use it to pipe the chocolate. SO MUCH LESS OF A MESS. I also was able to use milk chocolate on the bottom of the cookie (which I prefer the taste of) and dark chocolate on the top (so the contrast against the color of the caramel was better.)


Needless to say, they came out pretty well.

And to put it in perspective, I ended up making 3 dozen cookies. I needed to buy chocolate chips ($1.99), caramels ($2.39) and coconut ($1.89.) The rest of the supplies I already had in the pantry (Butter: $1.25, Flour/Sugar/Baking Powder/Milk/Vanilla/Salt: ~$3). So it cost me about $10.25 all in.

The Girl Scouts are selling them for $3.50 a dozen, or $10.50.

Uh, yeah. I saved 25 cents and have about a weeks worth of dirty dishes to deal with. I think I better go eat a cookie.