For all of those out there who have to sit out Girl Scout Cookie season due to a gluten sensitivity, I’m about to make your day. I grew up on Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Samoas. While I was never actually in the Girl Scouts, there was always somebody in the neighborhood selling them. I adore them. Thin Mints straight out of the freezer? Mmm-hmm. Yes, please. I could eat a box all by myself. But my love affair with Girl Scout Cookies was interrupted several years ago when I had to go gluten free. I’m not afraid to admit that once or twice, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind, suffer the consequences and eat the real thing anyway. (Note: The Girl Scouts have introduced a gluten free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie, but it’s only in test markets this year. Believe me, when they come to my town, I’ll buy them up.)
Breaking news: I don’t have to endure a gluten hangover anymore to enjoy my Tagalongs. I teamed up with Erin Gardner of Wild Orchid Baking to see if we could approximate a gluten free version of the classic chocolate-dipped shortbread and peanut butter cookie. And let me tell you, I don’t think I could go back to the real thing — our version is THAT good. Well, I say “our” version, but in reality, it was all Erin. My contribution to this breakthrough was to sit around her kitchen snapping pictures and taste testing.
My other contribution was a bag of Cup4Cup gluten free flour. I’ve tried every gluten free flour on the market, as well as mixing my own, and this is, hands down, the best thing on the market. Created in Chef Thomas Keller’s famed French Laundry by Research & Development Chef Lena Kwak, this stuff is AMAZING. If you’re gluten free, get your hands on some, pronto. OK, now down to the chocolate-y, peanut-buttery, crumbly cookie goodness.
DIY Gluten Free “Tagalongs”
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the C4C until just combined.
- Divide the dough in half. Place one of the halves between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough between the two sheets of paper until it’s 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the other half. Place the sheets of rolled dough onto a cookie sheet and chill until completely firm, about 15 minutes.
- Once the dough has chilled, cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cutter. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet spaced at least an inch apart. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until the cookies are barely brown around the edges. Let the cookie sheet come to room temperature, then place in the fridge for 10 minutes. Chilling the cookies will make them easier to handle while dipping.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream the peanut butter and confectioners sugar until combined.
- Roll the peanut butter mixture between two sheets of parchment paper until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. Place the rolled mixture onto a cookie sheet and chill for 15 minutes. Once the mixture has chilled, cut out circles using a 1 3/4-inch round cutter. Using the tip of a knife or a small spatula, lift one of the peanut butter rounds and place on top of one of the chilled cookies. Repeat with the rest of the cookies and place back in the fridge while you melt the chocolate.
- Place the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl. Melt the chips using a double boiler or in a microwave. If melting in a microwave, run at 30 second intervals on medium-high, stirring in between. Once melted, stir in the vegetable oil until smooth.
- Set one of the cookies onto a fork and dip into the melted chocolate. Once the cookie is fully coated, gently tap the fork onto the side of the bowl to shake off any excess chocolate. Place the dipped cookie onto a piece of parchment paper. Use the tip of a knife to help guide the cookie off of the fork. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
I can’t even explain how good these taste. The sandy cookie base is delicate and crumbly, the peanut butter layer is slightly sweet and very peanut buttery, and the whole thing enveloped in high quality milk chocolate is out of this world. My pal Erin Gardner, making gluten free dreams come true once again.
These homemade Girl Scout Cookies would make a great addition to a gift basket for your gluten sensitive pals. Get more DIY gift basket ideas here.