Tagalong Cookie Bars — Say hello to year-round Girl Scout cookie season with these delish bars! All the flavors of the classic cookies in easy bar form!!
Copycat Tagalongs Recipe
I think that Girl Scout Tagalong Cookies live in the shadows of Samoas and Thin Mints. But since I’ve already recreated fast, easy, DIY versions of both Samoas and Thin Mints, it’s time to bring Tagalongs into the limelight.
After all, who can resist a buttery soft shortbread base, topped with creamy peanut butter, and finished with a satisfying layer of chocolate?
Rather than making individual cookies, which would include rolling and cutting out shortbread and then dipping each cookie individually in chocolate, I took the flavors in classic Girl Scout Tagalongs and made bars. Bars are so much faster, easier, and less labor-intensive than cookies.
I adapted my own Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars recipe by simply omitting the caramel. Love it when the answers to my recipe prayers are already in my own archives! This is a no-mixer recipe that comes together quickly and easily.
The melt-in-your mouth shortbread is the perfect base for the salty-and-sweet peanut butter, and there’s just enough chocolate to satisfy your chocolate cravings. I don’t necessarily know if it’s a good thing to be able to have year-round Girl Scout cookie season with so much ease right from your kitchen. But let’s go with counting it as a good thing.
What’s in Tagalong Cookie Bars?
To make these copycat Tagalongs Girl Scout cookie bars, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Creamy peanut butter
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Vegetable shortening
How to Make Tagalong Cookie Bars
You’ll first need to make the shortbread dough and press it firmly into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake the crust until barely set, then set aside.
Then, make the creamy peanut butter filling (the best part!). Simply stir together the filling ingredients, then smooth over the still-warm shortbread crust.
To make the chocolate topping, melt the chocolate chips and shortening. Stir to smooth out, then spread evenly over peanut butter layer.
Lastly, cover pan with a sheet of foil and allow bars to cool and set up for at least 4 hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving.
Can I Use Natural Peanut Butter?
No, both natural and homemade peanut butter are too runny for this recipe. You want to use a creamy peanut butter from a brand like Jif or Skippy.
Tips for Making Tagalong Cookie Bars
When baking the shortbread crust, you’re looking for it to set up but you don’t want it to become overly golden.
To prevent the chocolate topping from becoming too hard, I added a little shortening to the melted chocolate. The shortening is optional, but recommended.
Lastly, you can pop these Girl Scout Tagalong cookie bars into the fridge to speed up the cooling process. However, you’ll then need to allow them to come to room temperature for a few minutes before slicing into them so neither the crust nor the chocolate cracks.
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Tagalongs Cookie Bars
Say hello to year-round Girl Scout cookie season with these Tagalong cookie bars! All the flavors of the classic cookies in easy bar form!!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, extremely soft (1 stick)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Filling
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter (not homemade or ‘natural’, it’s too thin and runny)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 1 heaping cup (about 8 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, optional but recommended so chocolate doesn’t set up overly firm and crack upon slicing
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter or two forks until until a sandy, crumbly mixture forms.
- Turn crumbly mixture out into prepared pan and using your fingertips or a spatula, hard-pack the crumbs to form an even, flat, smooth crust layer. Pierce crust with a fork in a dozen places so steam can escape while it bakes.
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until crust has just barely set. It should not be golden or browned and should still be white, but crusted over and set. While crust bakes, make the filling.
- Add the butter to a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
- Spread filling over crust using a spatula, knife, or offset knife. Crust does not have to be cool, and spreading filling while crust is still warm is beneficial to help it smooth out more easily; set aside.
- Add the ingredients to a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Stop to check and stir, and heat in 15-second bursts until mixture can be stirred smooth.
- Pour chocolate over peanut butter and shake the pan a bit to help chocolate slide and disperse. Then smooth it very lightly with an offset spatula, knife, or offset knife.
- Cover pan with a sheet of foil and allow bars to cool and set up for at least 4 hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving.
- Alternatively, place pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to help expedite the cooling process, noting that sometimes chocolate becomes a bit dull-looking (cosmetic only and doesn’t effect taste) if refrigerated. If bars have become very cold, allow them to come up to room temperature for a few minutes before slicing so neither crust nor chocolate cracks.
Peanut Butter Filling
- Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 8g
More Peanut Butter Desserts:
Peanut Butter Brookies — These brookies are soft and chewy, with peanut butter and chocolate married together in every bite. All you need is two bowls, and no mixer is required!
Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars (almost no-bake) – Just like the classic candy bar that you can make at home and so easy!
Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars – Keep the napkins handy for these soft, gooey bars dripping with the best caramel-peanut butter sauce!
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars — Made with salted caramel PB (yes it’s a thing!) Soft, chewy, gooey and so irresistible!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars – Super soft bars that just melt in your mouth from all the PB! And all the chocolate!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars – The taste and texture of cookies, minus the work of making individual cookies. Soft, chewy, and loaded with chocolate chunks!
Nutella-Swirled Peanut Butter Chip Blondies – Easy one-bowl, no mixer. Super soft and gooey!
Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie Bars — Just like the classic cookies except made as cookie bars rather than individual cookies!
Triple Peanut Butter Monster Cookie Bars – Peanut butter used 3 different ways. Great for pantry odds-and-ends cleanout!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Nutter Butter Bars – Nutter Butters baked in along with PB and chocolate chips!
Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars – Peanut butter cups baked into soft, gooey, chewy bars!
Peanut Butter Comfort — My cookbook with 100+ Peanut Butter recipes!
I made these sugar free substituting Lakanto powdered monk fruit sweetener for the confectioner’s sugar and used Hershey’s Sugar Free chocolate chips for the top layer. They turned out so good!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad these worked out great with your substitutions you made!
I made these for a dinner party last night and they were a huge hit! Thanks!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!
Hey Averie, would like to thank you for the wonderful recipe! Just a small question, my peanut butter filling does not seem to stick well with the crust. The chocolate layer seems fine tho. What gives?
Glad you’re enjoying the recipe! As far as it not sticking well, not sure what to say because mine stuck fine but all brands of PB and ingredients do vary. I typically use something like Jif in this recipe.
My dad and sister loved these! They are so amazingly easy and quick, as long as you have the time to let them set. The one thing is that I made these in May, so it was hot and humid outside, so the chocolate still didn’t set after 4 hours so I put it in the fridge for about 1.5 hours and they cut beautifully! And just to be safe I’m storing them in the fridge too because we’re not using AC just yet. But great recipe! Tagalongs (or Peanut Butter Patties in my area) are my favorite!
Averies, I wonder if I can use only the section “Shortbread crust” to make Scottish shortbread cookies ? or is there one of your recipes you would recommend for buttery shortbread cookies ? thanks
I haven’t tried this crust in any other application so can’t say for sure if it would work with cookies.
I am personally not a fan of shortbread cookies (a little too boring for me, just being honest) so don’t have a recipe, sorry!
Amazing. Just amazing. I’ve been enjoying squares of these bars all week, only to be trumped tonight by your buttermilk vanilla cake recipe. The TJ’s milk chocolate bar worked well – I did not add shortening and it cuts perfectly after warming a bit from the fridge. These are far better than actual tagalongs :)
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Just read your comment about the cake, too :) Glad that’s a keeper! Thanks for saying these are better than actual Tagalongs…I agree :)
Tagalongs are my favorite!!! so these bars are perfect to me!
I cannot wait to cut into these suckers! They are currently chilling in the fridge after what seemed like an incredibly simple recipe for a 3 layer bar. I ended up using about 8oz of the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus milk chocolate bar instead of semi-sweet chips to stay true to the tagalong style…will let you know how they turn out. Thanks for another great recipe as always, Averie!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it was easy for you! Love TJ’s Pound Plus Bars…I always have about 10 on hand, not kidding :)
I made these cookies twice in the past week. They were so easy and such a huge hit with my family. I’m a big fan of your blog – not only because you have the best recipes but because it is clear you work so diligently to make your blog so amazing (and it is as a result). First, your recipes are always great and easy to follow (and when they’re not easy recipes you make that clear). Also, you always post great pictures to back them up. Finally, I don’t know how you do it but you reply to almost all the comments on your posts and you have alot of fans so you get alot of comments. (You’ve thanked me every time I posted that I tried your recipe and loved it which is so nice). Thank you for working so hard and providing such a treat for us dessert fans out there.
Thanks for trying the recipe (twice in 1 week!) and I’m glad it came out great for you!
And thanks for ALL the amazing compliments! WOW, you just made my day, seriously!!! Thanks for noticing that I do try to respond to everyone and that I do put my heart and soul into my blog! Thank you for being such a great and loyal reader!!
I just finished making these, and I’m so looking forward to trying them!
We don’t have a microwave so I used a Pyrex bowl over warm water for both the peanut butter and chocolate.
I cooked the cookie just a couple minutes longer because I’m afraid the peanut butter (which tastes AMAZING!) would soak into the shortbread.
I put the pan into the fridge for a bit just to set it before adding the chocolate, which melted perfectly with the shortening.
Your recipe is super easy to follow, and it allowed me to practice things (double boiler, melting chocolate) that will help me hone my baking skills.
Tagalongs remind me of Tastykake Kandy Kakes, which I haven’t had in ages.
Thanks so much for creating this recipe!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you and that it’s helped you work on some kitchen skills and that it tastes like the Tastykakes you remember fondly :)
These are delicious. I am a Tagalong fan, and the filling is spot-on. In the chocolate layer I used coconut oil instead of shortening (I was out) and they do crack when cut cold, but still are delicious! I just have to keep “evening out” the rows! :) My one issue that affects “company” presentation is that the peanut butter/chocolate layer separates from the shortbread layer when cut–even when warmed up a bit on the counter. Any remedies? I don’t think I overbaked the shortbread-12 minutes-but maybe next time I will shorten that time?
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad you think the filling is spot on! Coconut oil behaves very differently when chilled compared to shortening so that’s why it likely cracked (use shortening next time; I love coconut oil but not in something like this)
The layers separating…hmmm, hasn’t happened to me with either this recipe or the recipe I adapted it from that I linked to in the post. Not sure what to say. I use PB that’s either Jif, Skippy or something similar. And I use King Arthur flour and Trader Joe’s butter. Nothing really too ‘unique’ but sometimes brands of ingredients can alter results so that’s what I used. But it sounds like it’s more of a cosmetic issue than anything. Maybe try 10 mins rather than 12 for the baking time, too.
I am overindulging left and right on peanut butter and chocolate lately so when I saw this recipe I immediately had to make it. It’s “setting up” right now but I’m not sure I am going to be able to restrain myself. When I sampled all the layers separately they were delish so I’m sure I’m going to be in heaven later when I try them together. Thank you for the yummy, simple recipe!
Thanks for trying the recipe! Glad all the layers tasted great on their own and enjoy the finished compilation :)
Tagalongs are my favorite! Can’t wait to try these!
Ahhhh those are my favorite Girl Scout cookies! Yea!
Ps the write up on your book insid for Hello Giggles is up today:
Great comparison and I would have loved to be there helping taste-test through all 3 peanut butters! Safe to assume you had some cookies on hand for awhile…then again, with PB cookies, they disappear way too quickly from here :)
Pffft peanut butter > than mint + coconut combined in my book. Taglongs are my favorite and these bars look like they’re be a new favorite in our house soon.
Tagalongs are the best! My sons and I love them! Samoas are second! I can see these making an appearance this weekend!
yum, yum, yuuum
These bars look perfectly layered and delicious! I used to think that thin mints are my favorite GS cookies, but I’m starting to love Tagalongs :)
I want all of them… now! Those all look amazing. Nice work.
I love that these are bars!! Ever since I first made bars, I hardly ever make cookies anymore… because, well, the faster I can get sweets in and out of the oven and into my mouth, the better. ;) And YES totally a good thing girl scout cookies all year round!!
IS It Ok If I Use Salted Butter
Yes I’m sure that’s fine.
You just made the wait for Girl Scout cookies that much easier! These will be the perfect thing to whip up tomorrow when it’s too cold to do anything other than bake away in a nice warm kitchen! You’re the peanut butter queen! Xo
I’ve never heard the term Tagalongs before. They look absolutely great! But you really killed me when I scolled down to the “Related Recipe-Section” and I saw the “Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars” AND the “Samoas Cookie Pie”… How can you do that to me… haha :))
Thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely try them out… ALL OF THEM. lol
Glad a few things caught your attention :)
I agree with you about Tagalongs living in the shadow of Samoas and Thin Mints. Now, I do love a Thin Mint…but come on, Tagalongs are like Reese’s Cups in a cookie! These bars look FANTASTIC.
These look amazing! I love how huge they are and the layers look so perfect :)
I’m starting to think that all of the Jenny Craig’s and Weight Watcher’s kinds of businesses are paying you to come up with irresistible recipes so they can reap the benefits when we eat these goodies and then get on the scale and panic … even thinking about how good this must be is making my thighs grow …
Which is why I had to donate these babies, ASAP! They are thigh-growing food :)
I say Tag-a-longs are my favorite cookie, but I also love Thin Mints and Do-si-Dos; I really love them all! I’ve made Tag-a-longs before and they are a lot of work, love this bar idea!
The bars were SO easy and so much faster than cookies would have been!
FINALLY someone is giving love to the BEST girl scout cookie! All my siblings would fight over the thin mints and the caramel delites and I was just there, eating my uncontested peanut butter patties (i.e. tagalongs in WI) with a smile and the knowledge that I didn’t have to hide them or share them.
The peanut butter in them was so unique – not chalky like peanut butter cups, or creamy like JIF, but the perfect hybrid of the two.
I want them NOW. In bar form? YES YES YES!!!
That’s funny that you would go nuts for the Tagalongs while leaving behind the Thin Mints and Samoas! I guess you were a true PB lover from an early age :)
And yes the PB was so unique. I haven’t bought a box of the real thing in years because, well, I don’t need a box of GS Cookies with all my other desserts! But yes you are right!
I’ll only eat half the pan, girl scouts honor. :)
Look at those perfect layers! I’m sure I could easy eat 2 or 3 of these in one sitting :)
And I would have gladly donated the pan to you! I definitely don’t need anymore PB + Chocolate in my house :)
Tagalongs have always been my absolute favorite Girl Scout Cookie! I will definitely have to give these a try.
I love how you make your own versions of classic treats! This one looks great!
Tagalongs are my absolute favorite Girl Scout cookie. I feel like they usually don’t get the love they deserve…except for now! These bars look delicious and so un-fussy. A perfect combination for a clean kitchen and satisfied sweet tooth. I don’t go to Dairy Queen a lot anymore but they did have a really great tagalong blizzard awhile ago. Now I can just make these bars and add them to ice cream!
I bet these are even better than the cookie! That thick layer of peanut butter, girl. I’m smitten!
Oh, this looks delicious!!
Genius. By the way, you are QUEEN of the perfectly layered bar cookie!
Jon would love these–I think tagalongs come in slightly ahead of thin mints for him. I love copycat recipes–you never know when a craving will strike! Love your perfect layers–I bet these are spot on delish!
Oh how interesting that he would take these over Thin Mints. Wow, he really is a true PB lover! Music to my ears :)
I love these..obviously. :) Pinned!
Thanks for pinning and you can never have too many PB recipes, right :)
Tagalongs have always been my favorite Girl Scout cookie!!! (why do they come with so little in a box?!) These look FABULOUS!!! I usually avoid chocolate covered recipes because it’s too putsy so these are perfect! I don’t think I could wait 3 hours for these to set before digging in ;)
Putsy and fussy and just too much monkey-business is usually the norm – I agree! These are the opposite and so easy!
Happiness found!! OMG Averie these bars look fantastic!
Happy weekend, my friend! :)
I have NEVER had a tagalong! Back to my comment about Girl Scouts having different cookies in Canada.
Clearly I need to eat a whole pan of these to remedy what I have been missing out on right? ;) Pinned!
Crazy how different things are!! Tagalongs are sometimes called Peanut Butter Patties but rarely and everyone just knows them as Tagalongs. Well that’s an excuse for you to come to the US on an eating trip, right :)
Being able to make Tagalongs all year round…a dream come true! Thank you Averie for this recipe. The bar form of these cookies make the kitchen a lot less messy. Dipping things in chocolate usually results in a huge mess in my kitchen. I can’t wait to try these.
Huge mess in mine too and these are nothing of the sort! You just dump that melted chocolate on the big slab of bars, nothing individual to worry about dipping, and you’re done!
Averie, I love you. But I have some swear words coursing through my brain right now because I made something VERY similar to this for next week, and yep. The biggest difference is that yours are much better, because let’s face it, you’re you.
Thanks for recognizing the glory of the Tagalong! It’s my personal favorite GS cookie. They’re the best! And so are you. :)
You are too sweet and can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with! That’s usually my specialty…posting something right after someone else does. Well you can never have too many ways to eat PB :)