Tagalongs Cookie Bars
I think that Girl Scout Tagalongs Cookies live in the shadows of Samoas and Thin Mints.
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 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. It’s 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.
Tagalongs Cookie Bars
I took the flavors in classic Girl Scout Tagalongs Cookies and made bars. Who can resist a buttery soft shortbread base, topped with creamy peanut butter, and finished with a satisfying layer of chocolate. It’s 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.
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.
- Shortbread Crust – 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.
- Peanut Butter 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.
- Chocolate Layer – 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 cracs. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week.
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