April 25, 2008
Back in the day when we could eat the Girl Scout cookies that we ordered, instead of donating them to the troops, we always loved to eat Peanut Butter Tagalongs. Because of my husband's deep fondness for all things peanut butter, I always made sure we had a box in our order. For those who aren't familiar with the Tagalong, it is a shortbread style cookie with a dollop of soft sweetened peanut butter on top and then dipped in chocolate. A great cookie for peanut butter and chocolate lovers, the Tagalong has been missed at my house since going gluten free.
The idea to try and create a gluten free Tagalong, developed when I added Candy Making for Dummies, by David Jones, to my cookbook collection. For contained within these pages is a delightful recipe for Peanut Butter Meltaways, a candy center made of peanut butter and peanut butter flavored chocolate. Now that I had the topping figured out, then the bottom could be a peanut butter shortbread and I'd glaze it with a nice dark chocolate. The shortbread was inspired by the Peanut Butter Shortbread and the Chocolate Melt Aways recipes at Argo Cornstarch. To coat the cookies, I used melted chocolate chips with a little shortening added.
I had been thinking about making this cookie, when Nick of Peanut Butter Boy mentioned that he was hosting the first ever Great Peanut Butter Exhibition with the theme of cookies. There you go, this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at making these cookies and to include them in the Peanut Butter Exhibition event.
If you are interested in other gluten free version of Girl Scout cookies, you can find my recipe for the peanut butter oatmeal sandwich cookies (Do Si Do) here and my recipe for the chocolate mint cookies (Thin Mints) here.
1 1/2 oz white chocolate, chopped fine *
2 1/2 Tb creamy or chunky peanut butter
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup + 1 Tb sweet rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 tsp chia seed meal
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
4 Tb vegetable shortening (or 2 Tb vegetable shortening, 2 Tb coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips **
1 Tb vegetable shortening ***
1. Set out 3 silicone muffin cups on a plate or small cookie sheet.
2. Place the chopped white chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and melt them on high for approximately 50 to 60 seconds. Stir the chopped chocolate a various intervals, so that the chocolate melts evenly.
3. Dump the peanut butter and salt in to the bowl and stir together. Use the back of your spoon to work out any unmelted peanut butter until the consistency is creamy.
4. Pour the liquid into the muffin cups and then set in the refrigerator to cool. Note: Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you may also need to store these in the refrigerator as they will become quite soft if left out.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch cookie pan with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, dump in the vegetable shortening and peanut butter. On medium speed, blend until creamy. Then add the brown sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating.
3. In a medium sized bowl, pour in the flours and chia seed meal. Stir together making sure to thoroughly incorporate the chia seed meal with the flour. Note: If the chia seed meal isn't incorporated well, then you will have bits of gel in your cookies once the flour is added to the liquids.
4. Slowly add the flour to the mixing bowl and beat until the dough forms a ball.
5. Place the dough into the cookie pan and using your hands press the dough out. Chill the cookie dough prior to baking.
6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then cut the cookies into squares. Note: These cookies are delicate and don't take a lot of handling well. Leave them in the pan until ready to assemble the cookies.
Note: Make the glaze in two or three batches so that it stays melted while you are working.
1. Place 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and 1 1/2 tsp of the vegetable shortening into a microwave safe bowl. Place in the microwave and cook for 45 to 60 seconds. Stir at various intervals to make sure the chocolate is melting evenly.
2. Remove the coating from the microwave and using a spoon stir until it is thoroughly blended and there aren't any little bits of chocolate left.
Assembling the Cookies
1. On a cutting board, unmold the peanut butter meltaways and cut into slices 1/8 inch thick. Then cut those slices in half, so that the slices will fit on top of the cookie and not hang over the edges.
2. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on your work surface. Taking a knife, slide it under the cookie and lift it out and onto the parchment paper.
3. Place several little pieces of the peanut butter meltaway in the center of the top of the cookie.
4. Then lightly spoon chocolate coating over the cookie, until it is totally covered.
5. Leave out on the counter for several hours for the chocolate to cool and set up. Makes 1 dozen cookies. Note: Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you may need to store these cookies in the refrigerator.
1. You can substitute 1 tsp of xanthan or guar gum for the chia seed meal in this recipe.
2. You can use 1 cup of gluten free flour mix (with xanthan gum) instead of the various flours.
* White Chocolate - To make this recipe dairy free and vegan, you can use White Chocolate Chips made by Oppenheimer. You can purchase them at the AllergyGrocer.com. (I used Valrhona White Chocolate Medallions (Ivoire Feves) purchased from Whole Foods. In my local Whole Foods they are located near the coffee bar and the candy bar.)
** Chocolate Chips - I used Enjoy Life! dairy, gluten, casein free, vegan and kosher chocolate chips.
*** Vegetable Shortening - I experimented with both vegetable shortening in the melted chocolate and cocoa butter. The cocoa butter gave a harder more brittle coating, while the vegetable shortening gave a softer chocolate coating.