Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tagalong With Me

It's been said that there are two inevitable things in life - death and taxes. I'd like to add another thing to the list. Girl Scouts selling cookies. Every March, there they are. Cherubs on the doorstep, cute as buttons, stumbling through they're pre-practiced speech with Mom or Dad off to the side coaching them, peddling essentially the same selection of cookies they've had since I was a girl, although for much higher prices and in smaller quantities. I envision the day when they'll be $10 a box for 4 cookies, probably not too far in the future.

My husband is a sucker for the Thin Mints. Who isn't? He'll surreptitiously buy a couple of boxes from a co-worker and try to hide them in the freezer. Of course, they're always found and hoovered. Everyone loves Thin Mints. Thus I was truly excited to find a make-it-yourself recipe for them at 101 Cookbooks. They look delicous, but I must confess that I have yet to whip up a batch. My baking to-do list is long indeed. And it got longer when my daughter conned me into buying a box of Tagalongs, her favorites, saying, "Mom, you need to figure out how to make these and then you could blog about it!"

OK, I fell for that line. We bought the cookies. We critically munched, savored, analyzed, and then the search began for recipes. Online - zero recipes for Tagalongs. So then it was how to reproduce it from scratch. The tricky part was the base - a crumbly textured wafer. Then I hit on it - Vanilla Wafers! I found and adapted a recipe for vanilla wafers and the rest fell into place.

If you love the Girl Scout version, try these. I think you'll be pleased. They'll tide you through the rest of the year till the girls show up on your doorstep next March. Leave me a comment and you won't even owe me $5!

Tagalong Doubles

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder

Peanut butter
2 cups good quality milk chocolate chips

~ Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

~ Cream together sugars, shortening, egg, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.

~ Add the flour and baking powder. Continue mixing until dough forms a ball.

~ Roll dough into small balls, about 3/4 -inch, and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten with the palm of your hand to between 1/8 and 1/4-inch and then make an indentation with your thumb in the center.You want a thin base and the cookies will puff a bit as they bake. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown.

~ Cool on rack.

~ When completely cooled, heap peanut butter in center of cookie, making a generous mound and spreading it to the sides of the cookie. Put on parchment paper covered baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes, till the peanut butter is firm.

~ In a microwave safe shallow dish melt the chocolate. Heat in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in between. When the chocolate is glossy and loses its shape when stirred, it's done. Stir until it's smooth. If you keep cooking beyond this point you can scorch the chocolate.

~ Working with a few cookies at a time, storing the rest in the freezer, dip one at a time in the chocolate, using a fork to help turn and coat the cookie. Scrape excess chocolate off the bottom of the cookie and then place the cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining cookies and then place the baking sheet in the refrigerator till the chocolate has hardened.

The cookies can be stored at room temperature, but don't leave them in a warm, sunny spot.


Anonymous said...

Mom these cookies were so good I wish I could just gobble them right up but of course, their all gone!
And thats because someone else got to snork them up before I could get their and snork them up myself!

Anonymous said...

So amazing mom. I think they needed MORE peanut butter, but aside from that, two thumbs up.

Unknown said...

Lynn, what do you think of the idea of allowing a guest entry on your site? My granddaughter Emily knows how to bake an angel food cake from scratch - how special is THAT? With Grandma's coaching (but not assistance), she has baked one for my last two birthdays, and yummy things they were. If you like the idea, perhaps you could discuss it with Emily. With Grandma's recipe card and two cakes of experience under her belt (and a little coaching from you), I bet she could make a sweet contribution to your blog.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Serena and Sarah - I love making cookies for you. So enthusiastic and appreciative.

Joe - What a fun idea. I'd love to see Emily do her own blog. They're easy to set up and it'd be a great opportunity for her to practice her baking and writing skills! Homeschooling rocks!

Anonymous said...

Lynn, I can't blog, but as for you...
you are really good! Nice try Grandpa Joe! I can be a guest on Lynn's, but no way am I doing my own!!!!

SteamyKitchen said...

OMG...these are my husband's FAVORITE cookies from Girl Scouts!!!!

Every year we order 5 boxes of them. And he hoards them all in his office in a locked drawer!

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo these look really good! I've never heard the Girl Scout tagalongs but I know I want to try your version!