Get ready to enjoy Tagalongs (aka, Peanut Butter Patties) again with my gluten-free copycat version of this beloved Girl Scout Cookie. The shortbread cookie is light and crisp. The peanut butter is creamy. And the chocolate coating perfectly encases the entire cookie in one fell swoop. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
You probably dislike Girl Scout season if you gave up gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats. It reminds you of the yummy cookies you once enjoyed during your carefree eating days.
And while the Girl Scouts offer two gluten-free cookie options, including Caramel Chocolate Chip and Toffee-tastic cookies, they are a far cry from Thin Mints and Tagalongs, the two Girl Scout cookie varieties I loved the most.
And like usual, if you want to enjoy a nostalgic treat from your pre-gluten-free days, you’ll have to figure out how to make it yourself. And that’s precisely what I did with the help of my recipe developer Brianna.
These Tagalongs were a massive hit in our home. It’s been so long since I’ve had Tagalongs, so I can’t quite remember how they taste, but these are delicious, even if they’re not authentic.
Below you’ll find how to make a gluten-free version of Tagalongs that you can enjoy all year round.
What are Tagalongs (aka Peanut Butter Patties)?
Tagalongs, also called Peanut Butter Patties, are crispy vanilla shortbread cookies layered with creamy peanut butter and they’re completely enveloped in chocolate.
Some packages are called Tagalongs, and others are called Peanut Butter Patties. This is because each Girl Scout council contracts with one of two licensed bakers, ABC Bakers or Little Brownie Bakers, and the bakers’ recipes and ingredients slightly differ.
My copycat Tagalongs are gluten-free (with a vegan option) and taste nearly identical to the real thing. They’re slightly crunchy and ooze with creamy peanut butter and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. It’s no wonder they’re the third most popular Girl Scout cookie behind Thin Mints and Samoas.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need to gather the following ingredients to make my copycat Tagalongs:
Butter, vegan butter, or shortening for making the shortbread cookie base.
Granulated sugar for sweetness, a pinch of salt, and a splash of vanilla extract.
Gluten-free flour blend for the cookie base. I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour, which includes xanthan gum, and it worked well. You could use another gluten-free flour blend containing xanthan gum or, if your blend doesn’t contain it, add 1/4 teaspoon of it to the flour. This will help bind the ingredients.
Creamy peanut butter for the signature Tagalongs filling. Use creamy peanut butter; it doesn’t separate and spreads smoothly. I recommend Jiff or Skippy.
Powdered sugar to sweeten the peanut butter filling.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips for the decadent chocolate coating. You can alternatively use vegan chocolate chips from Enjoy Life. Mix vegan chocolate chips with a bit of coconut oil to get a smooth finish.
How to Make Gluten-Free Tagalongs
These cookies come together in three simple steps.
Step #1: Make the shortbread cookies
To create the shortbread cookie base, cream the butter or shortening and granulated sugar using a handheld electric or stand mixer until the dough is light and fluffy.
Add the gluten-free flour blend (with xanthan gum) and salt and mix until thoroughly combined, then add the vanilla extract and mix until you have a crumbly dough that resembles a pie crust.
Using your hands, squeeze the dough together to form a ball. If the dough is too crumbly, add water, one teaspoon at a time, until it forms a dough that holds together.
Form the dough into a ball and slightly flatten it. Place it between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Roll out the dough until it’s about ¼ inch thick, then cut the cookies using a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. These cookies don’t spread so they can be close together but not touching.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes in a 350º F oven until golden brown on the edges. The cookies will still be soft to the touch but they’ll set as they cool.
Step #2: Add the peanut butter filling
Once the cookies cool, it’s time to top them with the creamy peanut butter filling.
To make the peanut butter filling, combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl and cream the ingredients together using a handheld electric or standing mixer. The mixture will seem crumbly initially, but it will form into a dough as you continue mixing.
Form the peanut butter dough into a ball and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap until it is about ¼ inch thick.
Cut out circles using a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter, then place each round on top of each shortbread cookie.
If the peanut butter filling is a bit too soft and misshapes as you move it, chill it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, and it will be easier to handle.
Step #3: Coat the cookies in chocolate
Now it’s time to envelop the cookies in melted chocolate – the best part!
Place the chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips mixed with coconut oil) in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the mixture in 15-30 second increments, stirring between each increment, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let the chocolate slightly cool so it’s warm to the touch but not hot.
Place each cookie with peanut butter topping on a fork, then gently dip it into the chocolate, ensuring the entire cookie is either immersed in the chocolate or use your fork to coat the top with chocolate.
Set each cookie on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to cool and set. You could place the cookies in the fridge to expedite cooling.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days or a month in the freezer.
FAQs, Tips, and Troubleshooting
Is the Dough Too Crumbly? You might find the dough is a bit more crumbly if you use shortening. If this happens, add water, one teaspoon at a time, until you have a workable dough that comes together in a ball when you squeeze it. Add water judiciously.
Peanut Butter Filling: I recommend making the peanut butter filling thick so you can see and taste it in every bite. I made it thick in my recipe; you can adjust it to your preferences. If the peanut butter is too soft for rolling out and cutting, place it in your fridge for 15-30 minutes.
Melting Chocolate: If using vegan chocolate chips, I recommend mixing the chocolate with 1 1/2 teaspoons of coconut oil. It will make the chocolate smoother and easier to dip, and the chocolate will also set up better in the end.
Gluten-Free Flour: Make sure you use a gluten-free flour blend that contains a variety of rice flour, starches, and xanthan gum (for binding). You cannot use plain rice flour. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour (in the blue bag), which worked well.
Cookie Shortcut: If you don’t want to make the gluten-free shortbread cookie base, you can use gluten-free vanilla wafers instead. Top them with the peanut butter mixture, coat them in chocolate, and call it a day. You won’t get the same crispy cookie texture as homemade cookies, but you’ll save time!
Articles and Recipes You Might Like
- Which Girl Scout Cookies are Gluten Free? Nima Tested
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- Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Brownies
- No-Bake Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bars
- No-Bake Gluten-Free Cookies with Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oats
- Classic Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Gluten-Free Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)
- 1 Electric standing or handheld mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Rolling pin
- Parchment paper or plastic wrap
- ½ cup butter, vegan butter, or shortening
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cup gluten-free flour blend (185 grams) I used Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum omit if you are using a blend that already contains xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using a handheld electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum if using, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until you have a crumbly dough. It will look like a pie crust or breadcrumbs but should form a dough when you squeeze it together. If the dough still crumbles, add water, a teaspoon at a time, until a dough forms when the dough is pressed together. Gently form the dough into a ball.
- Place the gluten-free shortbread cookie dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll out until about ¼ inch thick. Cut the cookies using a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter.
- Place each cookie on the lined baking sheet. The cookies won't spread, so they can be close together but not touching.
- Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. The cookies will be soft to the touch and will set as they cool.
For the peanut butter filling:
- In a medium mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter and powdered sugar. It will seem very crumbly at first, but as you continue mixing, it will form a crumbly dough.
- Form the peanut butter filling into a ball and roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap until it is about ¼ inch thick. Cut it out using a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter. Place each round on top of a cooled shortbread cookie. If the peanut butter filling is a bit too soft and misshapes as you move it, chill it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, and it will be easier to handle.
For the chocolate coating:
- Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 15-30 second increments, stirring between increments until the chocolate melts. Allow the chocolate to cool (about 1 minute) before using it.
- Using a fork, gently dip each cookie topped with peanut butter filling into the chocolate, and set it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet to cool. If it is warm, you may need to put your cookies into the fridge or freezer to help the chocolate set.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days or a month in the freezer.