Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Mock Girl Scout Cookies: Peanut Butter Patties

Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies, from the traditional thin mints to the sophisticated cranberries and white fudge. With a dozen varieties, there's something to satisfy every taste bud. I know. I sold over a thousand boxes during my green-uniform-wearing years.

But what do you do when you get a craving and the cookies are out of season???

You make them yourself, of course! 

Homemade Peanut Butter Patties a.k.a. Tagalongs
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature               3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar                                                                            1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg                                                                             1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract                                              2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat until smooth. Add in egg and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl, if necessary. Add in vanilla. Beat until smooth. With mixer on low, add in salt and flour. Mix until completely incorporated and dough is uniform. Shape dough into a cylinder with a diameter of about 2-3 inches. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze for at least 25 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into 1/8 inch disks and place on baking sheets, about a half inch apart. Once you have made 30 cookies, wrap up the cookie dough, freeze, and save for another time. Bake for 8 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
3. Mix together peanut butter and powdered sugar. Form into small disks and press onto cookies. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 30 second intervals, and mix well after each interval. Coat cookies completely in chocolate and lift out with a fork. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let set, or freeze to speed up the process.

Most of the time, I let the kids help me measure the ingredients, but other times, I prepare everything before calling them into the kitchen. This time, they were playing "store" in the boys' room, and I couldn't bring myself to interrupt them. I arranged everything before we started.

The making of the cookie dough was pretty uneventful. Dump. Beat. Pour. Blend. Empty. Mix. Scrape.

Meet Jacob. This is the boy who wears jeans and long-sleeves in the heat of summer and naught but his undies in the frigidity of winter. Anyone else think this is odd???

I questioned the 2-3 inch diameter written in the directions, but promptly obeyed. By the time the cookies were done baking, they were exactly 2.5 inches. Much too big, in my opinion. The real peanut butter patties are 1.75 inches in diameter.

I started mixing the peanut butter and powdered sugar with a fork. Once it was mostly incorporated, I finished combining it with my hands.

The kids had fun playing with the edible "dough." They flattened it, rolled it, and sneaked a few tastes. Along the way, they happened to make a couple rounds for the cookies. Completely by accident, I'm sure. They were having too much fun playing to worry about finishing the cookies. That's where I took over.

Since the cookies were huuuge, I had to make more peanut butter filling. I used another 1/3 cup of each ingredient. We ended up with a tiny bit left over, which we rolled into little balls and popped them in our mouths. Didn't want it to go to waste, ya know!

Can you see how thick this chocolate is? That was even after I added 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to thin it a bit. I almost had to frost the cookies in order to cover them with the chocolate. Then, I had to scrape off the excess. This step was very frustrating and time consuming. I suggest adding more oil to make the process easier.

Again, I had to melt more (1 cup) to have enough to cover the bigger cookies.

I'm sure you can see the difference between the real Girl Scout peanut butter patties and our mock cookies. Ours are big, dark, and look homemade. The packaged ones are small, light, and more uniform. Both are melting in the extreme heat.

But how do they taste???

As expected, Jake liked the Girl Scouts', Alyssa liked the mock ones, and Zac gobbled them both up.

The chocolate was the distinguishing factor. The semi-sweet chocolate was much richer than the "real" cookies. I think milk chocolate would be a better match.

Both varieties are yummy. I may try this recipe again with the above modifications.

If you get the urge to try them yourself, let me know how they turn out!

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