A recent declaration by some Minnesota Girl Scouts that they would refuse to participate in the annual cookie fundraiser because their council sold off four beloved summer camps got our attention. Sure, we love the delicious cookies, but we loved summer camp too, and we're game to show our solidarity by making our own versions of popular Girl Scout cookies this year.
A little Googling and you can easily find a number of different versions of popular Girl Scout cookies like the caramel-coconuty Samoas, shortbread Trefoils and the oatmeal-peanut butter Do-Si-Dos. But the two cookies we'd miss the most in the event of a full-on boycott are the Thin Mints and Tagalongs, so those are the recipes we tackled.
Homemade Thin Mints 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1/4 cup cornstarch 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 1/3 cup milk (any kind) 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl and cream together the wet (butter, sugar vanilla, peppermint) separately. Gradually add in the dry ingredients to the wet until it forms a dough. Shape the dough into two logs -- they're going to look like big turds -- about 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze for at least a half hour so they'll be easy to slice into cookie form. Preheat oven to 375F. Slice dough into 1/4 inch thick cookies and bake for 13-15 minutes. While the thin mints cool, move on to the Tagalongs:
Homemade Tagalongs 1 cup butter, soft 1/2 cup sugar 2 cups all purpose flour 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp milk
Filling 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (natural or regular) 3/4 cup powdered sugar generous pinch salt 1/2 tsp vanilla extract about 8-oz semisweet chocolate
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar, and then add the flour, salt, baking powder, milk and vanilla. The dough will form an easily removed ball. Scoop a tablespoon onto a cookie sheet and flatten it into a 1/4" disk. Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes, and after removing from the oven immediately use your thumb or a spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie (future pb holder!).
Mix together the pb filling, and blob a dollop into the depression in each cooled cookie. Because both the Tagalongs and the Thin Mints get a chocolate coating, we made a giant batch of chocolate in a double boiler (we took the suggested 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate and one stick of butter and doubled it so we could use the chocolate for both sets of cookies).
Submerge the Thin Mint cookies in the chocolate, digging them out with two forks, and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. For the Tagalongs, we coated the peanut butter dollop in chocolate and called it a day. Throw all the chocolate-covered cookies in the refrigerator to harden and you've got yourself some DIY Girl Scout Cookie madness.
The result? The Tagalongs were every bit as rich and gooey as the patties you buy from your neighborhood scout -- the flavor is also strikingly similar, even though our shape wasn't. The Thin Mints also don't look *exactly* like the minty discs we've come to know and love, but biting into them offers the same crunchy snap and minty aftertaste.