Gluten-Free Tagalong Cookies (Copycat Recipe)

It’s officially Girl Scout Cookie season around here, and all of the sudden I find myself craving my childhood favorites, like Thin Mints and Tagalongs (also known as Peanut Butter Patties). I’ve already satisfied my craving for Thin Mints with my Peppermint Fudge Bars, a recipe found in my cookbook, so today I want to focus on my other favorite– Tagalongs.

vegan-tagalongs

If you’re not familiar with Tagalongs, they feature a crisp shortbread-like cookie topped with a layer of creamy peanut butter, and then the whole thing is covered in chocolate. It’s basically a chocolate-covered peanut butter cup with a crunchy cookie added in the middle. In other words, perfection.

When I started working with grain-free baking a few years ago, I thought it was nearly impossible to create a “crispy” cookie using almond flour, but that was before I discovered arrowroot starch. I still don’t work with starches too often and try to use them sparingly, but in this case just a little bit of starch creates a cookie with the perfect crunchy texture for a knock-off Tagalong. Topped with peanut butter (or almond butter or sunflower butter, if you prefer) and a coating of dark chocolate, I don’t miss the traditional Girl Scout cookies one bit.

healthy-tagalong-recipe

Of course, this doesn’t mean we won’t still support my nieces’ Girl Scout troops year… I just think my version tastes better. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Gluten-free Tagalong Cookies 
Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients:

For the cookies
1 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca starch
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter*
Pinch of fine sea salt

Peanut Butter Layer
1/4 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Pinch of salt

Dark Chocolate Coating
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used 70% dark chocolate)
1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter*

*This recipe is vegan if you use coconut oil, however the coconut oil does impart a slight coconut flavor to the final cookie. If you don’t need a vegan recipe, real butter also works well without adding the coconut flavor. 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To prepare the cookies, combine all of the cookie ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir well to create a sticky, uniform dough. Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop the dough into 12 mounds onto the lined baking sheet, then use your fingers to shape the dough into 2-inch circles about 1/4-inch thick. (You can get your hands wet to help prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.) Press your thumb into the center of each circle to create a well for the peanut butter. Bake the cookies at 300F until the edges are lightly golden, about 18 minutes, then set aside to cool completely while you prepare the peanut butter layer.

To prepare the peanut butter filling, simply stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt until smooth. Drop a teaspoon of the mixture onto each cooled cookie, and then use your fingers or a spatula to spread the peanut butter over the top of the cookie.  Place the peanut butter topped cookies in the freezer to set while you prepare the chocolate topping.

how-to-make-tagalongs

To prepare the dark chocolate coating, simply melt together the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil or butter in a double boiler. (I use an oven-safe bowl that fits over a small sauce pot filled with about an inch of boiling water.) Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the cookies from the freezer and spoon the melted chocolate over the top of each cookie, making sure to coat the sides.

Once all of the cookies are coated, place them back in the freezer to set until the chocolate is firm. Serve immediately, or keep them chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. (The chocolate may melt at room temperature if your room is too warm. Since it’s currently winter, my kitchen has been cool enough lately to store them at room temperature without them melting, and I do prefer the texture of the shortbread cookie at room temperature when it’s possible.)

peanut-butter-patties-recipe

Note: If you’d like to coat the bottoms of the cookies in chocolate, simply remove them from the freezer once the chocolate tops have set, flip them over, and spoon more chocolate over the bottom. Place in the freezer to set the bottoms, and then serve. My husband and I both preferred the batch of cookies I made without the chocolate bottoms, so I recommend skipping that extra work!

5.0 from 10 reviews
Gluten-Free Tagalong Cookies (Copycat Recipe)
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
An easy gluten-free and grain-free alternative to one of my favorite Girl Scout Cookies!
Ingredients
For the Cookies
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter*
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
Peanut Butter Layer
  • ¼ cup all-natural creamy peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
Dark Chocolate Coating
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used 70% dark chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter*
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To prepare the cookies, combine all of the cookie ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir well to create a sticky, uniform dough. Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop the dough into 12 mounds onto the lined baking sheet, then use your fingers to shape the dough into 2-inch circles about ¼-inch thick. (You can get your hands wet to help prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.) Press your thumb into the center of each circle to create a well for the peanut butter. Bake the cookies at 300F until the edges are lightly golden, about 18 minutes, then set aside to cool completely while you prepare the peanut butter layer.
  2. To prepare the peanut butter filling, simply stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt until smooth. Drop a teaspoon of the mixture onto each cooled cookie, and then use your fingers or a spatula to spread the peanut butter over the top of the cookie. Place the peanut butter topped cookies in the freezer to set while you prepare the chocolate topping.
  3. To prepare the dark chocolate coating, simply melt together the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil or butter in a double boiler. (I use an oven-safe bowl that fits over a small sauce pot filled with about an inch of boiling water.) Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the cookies from the freezer and spoon the melted chocolate over the top of each cookie, making sure to coat the sides. Once all of the cookies are coated, place them back in the freezer to set until the chocolate is firm. Serve immediately, or keep them chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. (The chocolate may melt at room temperature if your room is too warm. Since it's currently winter, my kitchen has been cool enough lately to store them at room temperature without them melting, and I do prefer the texture of the shortbread cookie at room temperature when it's possible.)
Notes
*This recipe is vegan if you use coconut oil, however the coconut oil does impart a slight coconut flavor to the final cookie. If you don't need a vegan recipe, real butter also works well without adding the coconut flavor.

Also, if you'd like to coat the bottoms of the cookies in chocolate, simply remove them from the freezer once the chocolate tops have set, flip them over, and spoon more chocolate over the bottom. Place in the freezer to set the bottoms, and then serve. My husband and I both preferred the batch of cookies I made without the chocolate bottoms, so I recommend skipping that extra work!

Substitutions:

I think it’s fair to say that this recipe will work with any other nut butter you like, such as almond or sunflower butter, but I haven’t experimented with any other flours to make the cookies nut-free. Coconut flour does not make a good substitute in almond flour baking, but perhaps ground sunflower seeds could work? As always, please leave a comment below letting us know what has worked or not for you, so we can all benefit from your experience.

Happy cookie eating!

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie? Austin’s favorites are the Peanut Butter Sandwiches (I don’t get it) and the Samoas– which I agree, are delicious.

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

26 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Tagalong Cookies (Copycat Recipe)

  1. Laura ~ RYG

    I really wish you could convince the Girl Scouts to make these cookies, (your much healthier spin and no doubt tastier) and sell them instead!! These look absolutely fabulous. My favorite!

    True story. We have about 8 girls who go to my church who sell Girl Scout cookies and they wear the shirts that say “See what a Cookie can do” and I’m thinking to myself….exactly….these girls are all about 30-50 pounds overweight many of them actually look pregnant their bellys are so big and it’s so sad! I wish the Girl Scouts would train a bit more in nutrition although I think they are a wonderful organization.

    But if they made these homemade and even charged a bit more, I’m game! As it is, we buy their cookies and throw them right in the garbage. If you look at the ingredients in there, you wouldn’t eat them. Who would? I don’t even let husband take them to work for his co-workers because why give people such bad food?

    Reply
    1. Colleen

      I totally agree with you Laura, except here in the Ohio Valley it seems people can’t get enough of their conventional garbage foods, you should see my dad’s kitchen, a tower of snack cakes and mini candies and everything popular name-brand dead foods. I don’t think he’s heard of the word organic. My husband and I stick to ourselves because around here if you try to eat healthy it’s like you have two heads! As soon as I get one of these starches/powders Megan I am making these!

      Reply
  2. Natalie

    For those who may not have these ingredients, I made these with regular all purpose flour and ground flax meal about half and half, as well as cornstarch in place of tapioca or arrowroot. The dough was a bit dry so I added milk slowly until it was moldable. I also added some vanilla to the cookies as I love vanilla. The cookies turned out perfectly crisp without being dry and the finished product is marvelous. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  3. Shanna

    I made these yesterday and grudgingly shared with some coworkers today. Everyone loves them. My husband didn’t want me to share. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Reply
  4. Colleen

    These are the best copy-cat I’ve tried, I did use non-gmo cornstarch in place of the tapioca and Amish butter in place of coconut oil. I am giving up the coconut oil after a few bad moldy batches and feeling sick the next day plus my heart was starting to ache so I am giving that pricey ingredient up, hopefully a lot of your recipes taste as good with butter instead.

    Reply
  5. Gia

    Girl Scout cookies are a major addiction- I can recall sitting down for an “ahhhhhhhh…I’m home at last for the night and want a treat after dinner” moment, intending to eat a serving size of these gems and consuming practically the entire box! Scandalous! Can’t wait to make these!:) And speaking of portion control, could you start to include servings and nutritional info/calories? It would be so helpful- for some of us, being healthy is not enough, we really need to get a heads-up or basic idea of nutritional info and serving sizes…thanks!😘

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      My new site design will include nutrition information in a hidden pop-up below the recipe. I’ve been informed by many of my readers that they can’t visit my site if the nutritional information is displayed because it’s too triggering for eating disorders. So, hopefully the new design will help everyone– but it’s still a couple months away from being ready to go!

      Reply
  6. Susan

    I live your recipes and this one looks amazing too! Thanks so much for another egg-free treat!
    Would you please add a Pinterest Pin button on your recipes for easy saving and sharing?!!
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      If you hover your mouse over any of my pictures, a Pinterest button should appear for easy pinning. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Isabella

    Delicious! I can’t believe how good these were. You sold me on almond meal. I ground peeled almonds in my vitamix. Couldn’t be easier. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Gina

    What are your thoughts about using vegan carob chips if someone doesn’t eat chocolate? I have not researched the carob chips, but I have used them in your Peanut Butter Truffle recipe which was delicious. Just wondering. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      Unfortunately, I don’t like the taste of carob so I haven’t tried using the carob chips. If they melt and solidify the way regular chocolate chips do, I imagine they’d work the same way.

      Reply
    2. Maegen

      Hi! Did you try using carob chips? I want to use either unsweetened carob chips or carob powder, I’m not sure which one would be better to solidify. I’d prefer to use carob powder (with coconut oil) as carob is the only ingrediant though.

      Reply
      1. Gina

        Yes, I use the carob chips for this recipe. I melt with coconut oil and it works wonderfully! I have not tried carob powder.

        Reply
    3. Suzy

      I used Carob Chips and they were FANTASTIC! I use a combo of two types of carob chips. Sunfields (Unsweetened) and Chatfields. Sunfields is more carob-y and Chatfields is sweeter. I put a 1:1 ratio in a bowl with coconut oil and stick it in the toaster oven for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then pull it out and mix it up. Viola! Melted yummy carob goodness. I’ve fed it to “non carob” eaters and they couldn’t tell it was carob at all! They thought they were eating chocolate. I’ve used it on the tag-a-longs and OMG…Soooo delicious!!

      Thanks Megan for such amazing recipes!

      I am hoping to use the shortbread base for something like Twix bars (maybe some pureed up dates on top) YUM!

      Reply
  9. Rebeca

    I made this tonight and we are eating them at this moment. They are delicious! My husband who doesn’t care about “vegan” stuff LOVED this. Super easy and quick to make. Will be a regular here. Thanks for a great recipe!! 🙂

    Reply
  10. Lisa D

    I made these this evening, guys. They’re fantastic! Not overly sweet, but the ratios and textures were very reminiscent of the Girl Scout version, and they completely satisfied my sweet tooth. I used 90% dark chocolate and sweetened it a touch with pure Stevia for the coating, because that’s what I happened to have on hand, which worked out perfectly. Now my freezer is stocked for when the cravings hit 🙂

    Reply
  11. Paula

    A couple weeks ago, I made my own (very similar) grain-free and vegan version of Tagalongs; but I wasn’t thrilled with the crust. Your addition of tapioca starch here, and using palm shortening instead of coconut oil, made the consummate crunchy base for these. I used the same base to make “Samoas”, with dates and coconut as the coconut caramel topping. I brought both to a party, worried that they would get melt-y sitting out on a table. I needn’t have been concerned: they were gone within an hour!

    Reply
  12. Gia

    OMG! Yes!!! These are absolutely delicious! I’m sipping some decaf coffee and dipping one in right this very minute- Girl Scouts, we love you and all, but eat your little pretty hearts out! Megan- you’re the best!❤️

    Reply
  13. Lisa

    Thanks for some vegan gf yummy cookies!!! They were sooo good and disappeared WAY too quickly!! I can’t wait for whatever secret projects you are working on to come out, I miss all your blog posts so much but trying to be patient!!
    Yum yum

    Reply

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