Friday, March 4, 2011

Who needs the Girl Scouts, anyways?

We have visitors! In the Bean Town! This weekend! 

My parents have come to stay with us and explore all the cool, hip things to do here in the Bean Town. Of course they had to leave their precious little puppy at home. (Boo... our apartment doesn't allow animals.)

I rushed home from my teacher in-service this afternoon to get busy in the kitchen. Who has guests without any baked goods waiting for them?? Not this girl.

My mom had mentioned to me over the phone that she hadn't had the opportunity to buy any Girl Scout cookies this year. Hmm... I thought. It's been a long time since I've had Girl Scout cookies. I mean, I used to sell a boat-load of them every year when I was a lil' Scout, (think over 300 boxes!) but it'd been forever since I'd eaten any. 

So I set out to make my own. I thought about trying to re-create Thin Mints, but we had no mint extract and I didn't have the time to go to the store. So I settled on Peanut Butter Patties. (Or Tagalongs... what are they called where you are from? Back in Illinois, they were always Peanut Butter Patties. But I hear a lot of people call them Tagalongs, too? Either way, they're one tasty cookie.)

Now, I didn't quite get these finished before my parents arrived. They turned out to take a bit longer than I anticipated. (You have to let them cool before you can spread them with peanut butter and dip them in chocolate.) But, my mom didn't have any problems helping me finish making them! Baking is always more fun when you're baking with one of your best friends.

The base of the cookie is a simple shortbread dough, for that crispy cookie crunch in the center.

Don't be afraid if your dough isn't coming together all-of-a-sudden. I think it took my dough at least 5 minutes before it would hold together. So be patient! (And a hint of advice: Use your stand mixer, not your hand mixer. Your arm will probably get tired. Not that I know from experience. Looks like I need to start hitting the weight room. Or do all things that require muscle strength using my legs.)

About 1 minute in.

About 5 minutes in.
The dough is then rolled into balls, then squished flat with the bottom of a glass. And baked until golden brown!

The fun part begins after they've cooled. Spread each cookie with a bit of peanut butter. Choosy Moms choose JIF. But I'm not a mom (yet), so I choose the store-brand.

Just like spreading peanut butter on a PB & J.

This has to be healthy, right? Peanut butter is protein?

Then, comes the chocolatey goodness.

I used dark cocoa candy melts, but I'm sure semisweet chocolate chips melted with a tablespoon of vegetable shortening would work, too. I prefer working with the candy melts because they melt a lot more smoothly than chocolate chips.

I was afraid the peanut butter would just fall off the cookies into the chocolate, but it didn't at all! These were pretty easy to dip, and turned out pretty, too. Just let the chocolate set up for a few minutes in the fridge, or about an hour out on the counter.

Yum! These were great. They tasted like the real thing, minus all the preservatives. 

Tasty, delicious, luscious, scrumptious, and "better than the real thing" were all words escaping my parents' and Business Man's mouth when describing these cookies.

After some quality-control (cookies make good running fuel!), I headed out for a run and my parents headed out for a walk while we waited for my Business Man to get home from work.

After the grand ole' tour of the Bean Town, we ended up at our favorite place for dinner. Any guesses?

We ordered a 20-inch pizza. Never in my life have I seen a pizza this big.

And it was so delicious. And even more delicious because it was shared with great company.

Tomorrow we are headed to Columbus for some S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G! Wooooo!

Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs)
Makes about 4 dozen.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
24-oz. dark cocoa candy melts (or equivalent chocolate chips)

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut butter into flour/sugar mixture with knife or by rubbing with your fingers. Using a mixer, beat in egg and vanilla until mixture comes together, about 5 minutes.

Roll into 1-inch balls, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness. Bake at 350*F 15-18 minutes until edges are golden. Let cool.

Spread each cooled cookie with a small amount of peanut butter. Melt candy coating or chocolate chips according to package directions. Dip each cookie completely in chocolate, and drain off excess. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet to let chocolate set up.

Enjoy with a glass of milk!


Victoria Elizabeth said...

I love those cookies but I hate spending $4 a box!!! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!!

Amanda said...

These look so simple and delicious! :)

Sara said...

@Victoria - Completely agree! And here you get more than just the dozen that come in the box. Thanks for reading!

@Amanda - Thanks! They were pretty easy.

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