There are few things as delicious as a Girl Scout Tagalong. Admit it to yourself, admit it to everyone: those prepubescent, sash-wearing females know the meaning of a good cookie.
Tagalongs, with their unbeatable combination of buttery shortbread, creamy peanut butter and rich chocolate are the best of the best. The classic milk chocolate is great, but it’s time the basic received a grown-up upgrade with bittersweet chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt.
And so, grown-up Tagalongs are born.
Keeping within the confines of tradition, I dipped half of the batch in milk chocolate; the other half, though, was dropped into the bittersweet chocolate and a mature sprinkling of salt was added. Because what screams adulthood more than sea salt (seriously, it’s so much classier than table salt). Either way, both versions will bring you right back to the days you either were a Girl Scout and ate all the cookies or were not a Girl Scout but still ate all the cookies.
Prep Time: 60 – 80 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: about an hour and a half
Servings: 32 cookies
1/2 cup confectioner sugar
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioner sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
3/4 cup bittersweet morsels (I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate, but anything that has a 60% cocoa content or more is a good option)
1 tablespoon shortening
Sea salt for sprinkling
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together confectioner sugar and room-temperature butter until smooth and creamy.
2. Add vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
3. Add salt then slowly add flour until combined. Dough should be crumbly but not over-mixed.
4. Press cling-wrap gently onto surface of dough then refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
5. As dough refrigerates, preheat oven to 350ºF.
6. After 20-30 minutes of chilling, form dough into a large ball then place onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.
7. Use a a 2-inch round cookie cutter (or if you lack such a thing like me, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup) to cut out the cookies and place rounds 1/2-inch apart on a baking sheet. Re-roll leftover dough and continue to cut out until all dough is used.
8. Place cookies into preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until just beginning to brown around the edges.
9. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
10. As the cookies cool, heat peanut butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches the consistency of a thick milkshake: it should be liquified but not runny.
11. Reduce heat to low and add confectioner sugar, butter and vanilla to saucepan. Stir to combine.
12. Remove from heat and using a knife, spread approximately 2 teaspoons of peanut butter mixture onto each cookie. Try and spread it out as smoothly as possible so the surface is even for dipping in chocolate.
13. Place peanut butter-topped cookies in the refrigerator for the topping to set (approximately one hour).
14. To melt the chocolate for dipping, start by combining the milk chocolate morsels and shortening in a microwave-safe container.
15. Microwave on half power for 30-second intervals, stirring after each time until chocolate has completely melted.
16. For dipping, place cookie peanut-butter side down into melted chocolate.
17. Submerge into chocolate so that the edges are completely covered and the chocolate begins to get on the bottom of the cookie (but do not completely dunk the cookie).
18. Remove from the chocolate and continue to hold cookie upside down so excess chocolate drips down back into the bowl.
19. Flip cookie over and place on baking sheet or large, flat surface lined with wax paper.
20. Continue dunking in milk chocolate until half of the batch of cookies are coated.
21. For the second half, melt the bittersweet chocolate with shortening following the same method as the milk chocolate.
22. Once the cookies have been dipped in the bittersweet chocolate, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on each.
23. Place all cookies in the refrigerator and chill until chocolate coating sets!
24. Choose your side: milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate. Or just eat them all.