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Healthy Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs

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Homemade Healthy Tagalongs – they can be vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free and even grain-free!

Healthy Tagalongs - no flour / no sugar / no trans fat, and just as addictive as the real thing. Full Recipe: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/03/04/healthy-girl-scout-cookies-tagalongs/ @choccoveredkt

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season.

And you know what that means…

Tagalongs! Thin Mints! Do Si Dos!

Or whatever cookies they’re selling nowadays. (Mango Cremes? What??)

homemade tagalongs

I will stick with the classic.

Today’s recipe is for homemade copycat Tagalongs – those fat peanut butter patties with a shortbread crust and thick chocolate coating.

Until they come out with healthy girl scout cookies (or at least vegan girl scout cookies) I’m not letting the girl scouts have all the fun: I just make my own! Last week I set up a “girl scout cookie factory” in the kitchen. By the end of the night, my little factory had successfully churned out batches of healthy Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs – all whole-grain, gluten-free, vegan, and without the trans fats unfortunately still found in regular girl scout cookies. (At least one of the girl scout cookie suppliers, ABC Smart Cookies, does now offer some vegan options: Thin Mints, PB Patties, Mango Cremes, Thanks-a-Lots, and Lemonades. But the cookies are manufactured by two different companies; if the ones offered in your area are made by Little Brownie Bakers—as are the ones where I live—none of the options are vegan.)

It makes no sense to me why an institution concerned with bringing up healthy young girls continues to produce and promote cookies containing artery-clogging trans fats when alternative baking methods exist. I get that cookies aren’t supposed to be healthy… but why keep the trans fats? Even Oreos got rid of trans fats in their cookies.

Seriously, you won’t miss the trans fats in these healthy girl scout cookies.

They are just really good.

healthy girl scout tagalong cookies!

If only you could clone cookies in real life. Imagine… an endless supply of cookies!

(There’s also a Healthy Thin Mints recipe in the Chocolate Covered Katie Cookbook!)

tagalongs fg

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Healthy Girl Scout Cookie Tagalongs

  • 1 cup almond flour (Or make your own by grinding slivered almonds in a vita-mix, blender, or coffee grinder. Be sure it’s finely ground) (100g)
  • a little over 1/8 tsp salt (1/8 plus 1/16 tsp)
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • stevia to taste OR 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey (30g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil (15g)
  • For stevia version: 1 tbsp milk of choice, added with the liquid ingredients (15g) For maple syrup version: up to 2 level teaspoons milk of choice or extra oil, only as needed (5-10g)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • about 18 tsp peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter of choice) (85g)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, or my healthy chocolate sauce

Combine all liquid ingredients (except milk of choice if using maple syrup version, and not including peanut butter). In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (except pb and chocolate chips) and stir very well. Now mix wet into dry and keep stirring, breaking up clumps as you mix—it may seem dry at first, and you can add the extra 2 tsp milk or oil (I did add this when I made the maple syrup version), but do not add any more liquid than the recipe calls for. It will eventually form something that can either be squished into a ball with your hands or put into a plastic bag and smushed from inside the bag (the less-messy option). Roll out dough to cut-out-cookie width, either between sheets of parchment paper or from inside the bag, then cut with a circle cutter or the rim of a small glass. Freeze dough at least 20 minutes before cooking 10-13 minutes (depending on desired crispiness) at 325 F on a greased cookie sheet. Let cool another 10 minutes before even attempting to remove cookies from the sheet. They should firm up nicely. For troubleshooting, see nutrition link below.

Spread a little under 1 tsp of the nut butter on each cookie and place them on a wire rack over a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Melt the chocolate (very carefully and slowly, as chocolate burns fast), then spread chocolate over the cookie tops (or use two spoons to dip the cookies). Chill cookies for a few minutes so chocolate hardens. (If using the coconut coating, as opposed to chocolate chips, cookies should be stored in the fridge due to the low melting point of coconut oil.)

View Tagalongs Nutrition Facts

 

healthy girl scout cookies

Oh dear.

Question of the Day: Do you ever buy girl scout cookies?

As much as I’m frustrated with those in charge of the organization, I very much want to support the actual girl scouts – I remember the excitement of dressing up in the full Brownie uniform, then going door to door or setting up shop at a grocery store. I’ll always  buy a box from every girl scout who asks, and I tell them to donate the box to the troops. (Most girl scout chapters have programs set up so you can do this.)

Link Of The Day:

flourless chocolate chip cookies

40+ Healthy Cookies Recipes

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Samantha says:

    The last two years a local vegan family has been doing a special vegan “girl scout themed” bake sale at one of our vegan restaurants. It has been extremely successful. Depending on the cookie manufacture, they aren’t even accidentally vegan in our area. I agree with you, I love supporting them, cookies aside.

    Wonderful recipe. Maybe on my list to make today! Thank you. Sam

  2. Samantha says:

    PS. looking forward to your other girl scout recipes!

  3. Oh Girl Scout cookies… Those things get me in trouble! Tagalongs and Samoas are easily my favorite, but I don’t think I could resist any of them. These look great!

  4. cathy says:

    Thin Mints and Thanks-a-lot are vegan, at least in the northeast (there are different bakers of GSC across the country). Doesn’t mean they are as healthy as these, but they are free of animal products.

  5. You could use your influence to start a petition to get them to remove the Trans Fat – I’m sure you’d get thousands of signatures!

  6. I’m curious as to why you are frustrated with the people in charge of the organization? I always thought they were pretty awesome in their support of transgender girls who want to be Girl Scouts, their inclusion of non-heteronormative families, and their support of healthy sexual education for girls, sometimes using Planned Parenthood as a resource.

    1. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

      That’s EXACTLY the reason why I’m so worried about this organization.
      It needs better leaders, and better morals, in my humble opinion 🙂 If only they were as good as the Boy Scouts *sigh* oh well!

      1. M says:

        Ummm didn’t the Boy Scouts have a lot of sexual abuse scandals??? Also, who is to say any of the things listed above are not “moral”????? They don’t result in anyone getting hurt, and quite frankly don’t affect anyone beyond the person/family. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to only refer to things that we are comfortable with as moral.

        1. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

          I probably should have clarified when I said “good as the Boy Scouts”- I meant in their refusal to harm the boys by allowing homosexuals in as leaders. Sorry for the vagueness, they definitely have their problems as well. But I strongly believe in their mission of raising kids to be good citizens of this nation with traditional values of family, work, and courage 🙂 I’m afraid that’s going away fast. I do support an alternative to girl scouts that espouses these traditional values! As for “moral”, I am a Christian and my definition of moral is based on what God says in His Word (the Bible). Sorry, for the long comment, and I don’t wanna preach!

          1. Michelle says:

            The Girl Scouts mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. They have a policy of inclusion for all girls no matter of race, creed, or political affiliation. I’m not sure how anyone could argue with that?

          2. Josie says:

            I think it’s better for you to not clarify. Some people just need to have closed mouths instead of closed minds.

          3. Anonymous says:

            right? oy.

          4. Anonymous says:

            you’re a bigoted monster, and have a pretty selective view of the bible.
            but the cookies look awesome.

          5. Sam says:

            If you really “don’t want to preach,” if that is a sincere ly stated comment, then why are you? Your words hurt my ears.

        2. Rachel says:

          I think it all depends on who decides whats wrong and whats right.

          1. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

            I don’t know why I’m logged in as Katie, I’m not- I’m Sarah:)
            @anonymous- I don’t think anything I said merited name-calling. I was just expressing my views, but I do want to apologize, I don’t want to make this a huge discussion or anything 🙂
            @ Josie: I don’t have a closed mind, I am open to all forms of thinking, and came to this thinking myself. Just because I believe in something doesn’t make me closed minded. If you met me, I’m sure you wouldn’t think that. I respect everyone and their will to do what they want, I just ask that you respect my freedom to speak what I believe 🙂

          2. Kelly says:

            I too believe the Girl Scouts are a good organization for the most part and agree with your view regarding moral behavior. Remember, liberals are tolerant….as long as you always agree with their point of view & opinions! 🙂

          3. Anonymous says:

            Funny, I know a few conservatives with the very same attitude…

          4. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

            LOL, SO true Kelly!

          5. mc says:

            I think its huge mistake for you to include your political and religious views on a cooking blog! Good luck, but I am not unfollowing!

          6. It is definitely your choice to unfollow if you wish… But I did want to note (in case anyone else sees this comment) that Sarah is a commenter. I’m not sure… Did you mistake that comment as being from me?

        3. Anonymous says:

          It isn’t about comfort it’s about Truth and God’s Truth is evident in how our bodies are made. It is not OK to assume that just because someone states that something isn’t “right” that it’s just their comfort level. For example, do you think it’s right for men to have sex with 3 year olds? If not, why not? Are you just not comfortable with the idea? I hope that helps to illustrate that there are clear right and wrong and we need to deal with it even if it makes us uncomfortable.

      2. Melissa says:

        Yeah, kicking out gay folks, being bigoted, disallowing Atheists… boy scouts are SUPER moral. Girls Scouts (and equality, compassion, rationality) FTW! Love the Girl Scouts.

        I had my momma get me the vegan ones since the cookies back home in WI are from ABC. 😀 Sadly, here in MN we have the darn Little Brownie (nothing vegan) Bakers. *fistshake*

        1. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

          Umm, why shouldn’t they disallow atheists when they were founded on a duty to God. It’s part of their organization.

          1. Emily says:

            Oh Sarah – this is a food blog. Go preach your close- mindedness somewhere else. Your ignorance is sad. I’m a troop leader in my girl’s troop. We celebrate all girls’ differences. Continute your disputing elsewhere… No one here care to listen to your biased political/ religious drama.

            Thank you Katie for other deliciously healthy alternative!

            4/5

            4/5

        2. Anonymous says:

          The issue here is of free association. The people who chose to become members and join an organization, you are expressing a willingness to abide by that organization’s guidelines. The members are free to leave anytime they wish but that doesn’t mean that the organization should have to change their rules to meet societal “demands”.

          Do you think that an LGBT group should be forced to have a Bible-believing Christian as one of their office bearers? Would you say that they are immoral for not allowing that? What do you think?

      3. Anonymous says:

        I totally agree with you.

      4. Odessa says:

        Well, I WAS going to make this recipe. Now I’m ordering the actual Girl Scout version.

    2. Michelle says:

      I don’t necessarily want to get into a political debate, I think Girl Scouts is a wonderful organization that promotes inclusion, tolerance and allowing girls to become leaders in their communities. It must be pointed out that Girl Scouts has no affiliation with Planned Parenthood. http://www.girlscouts.org/gs_central/mpmf/faqs.asp#2

      1. Jessica says:

        @Michelle:

        I agree with you. This is not the forum for political debates or even to discuss differences in opinion regarding what is moral. I was a Girl Scout in the DC area for 7 years and think that, depending on the leaders, can be an amazing place for girls to come together. The lessons I learned I still carry with me as a 30-something adult. Personally, I don’t agree with the discrimination by the Boy Scouts and would NEVER allow my son to be part of an organization that is so hateful. But, as parents, that is your prerogative. If you don’t like what the GSA is doing, keep your kids away, just don’t shun others for their choice to embrace the differences of others. The cookie sales are a way to teach girls about the entrepreneurial spirit, managing money, and teamwork to raise money for the cause.

        Katie’s recipes are amazing and an alternative for vegans or other special diet needs. I would definitely make these at a Girl Scout meeting to explain different dietary needs and having fun learning to cook. Keep up the great recipes, Katie! I’m sorry this discussion got out of hand 🙂

    3. Anonymous says:

      i think she’s talking about having the kids peddle transfats, when the cookies could easily be healthier. 🙂

      1. Jessica says:

        They do need to be healthier, but that was part of my education from the GSA. We learned to make healthy meals and it only reinforced my desire to be a Chef, which I am now, and I specialize in diets with restrictions (gluten-free, sugar-free, etc.). One or two GS cookies isn’t going to kill anyone. The problem is in our glutenous society where people eat a whole box at a time!

    4. Haley says:

      True. Even though when I was a girl scout we didn’t discuss any of this (90s-00s), I am very proud to have been a part of an organization that is continuing to accept and love all girls and help them grow up to be understanding and educated women.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Haha I was a Girl Scout so we bought a lot of cookies! I actually bought some thin mints yesterday from some girls set up on a Chicago sidewalk! I count eat them (gluten) but I have them as a hostess gift to the woman hosting our Chicago logger book club that I was on my way to!

  8. Oh, Katie, I wish you’d posted this recipe before I did my gluten-free Girl Scout cookie recipe roundup! They look amazing! Will have to include them next year for sure. 🙂 Will share on my gfe Facebook page later though. 😉

    Thanks!
    Shirley

  9. ES says:

    I used to buy GS cookies. Then I saw the GMOs used in the list of ingredients (this was waaaay before I overhauled my nutrition) and I wanted to throw up.

  10. Katie, you made me the happiest girl in the world. Gluten-free tagalongs! And not just gluten free, but grain free, too!!!! 😀 I’m super excited and will make these immediately!

    I actually try to avoid the Girl Scouts completely *hides face in shame*. They always make me feel so guilty when I say no. I didn’t know you could donate the cookies to troops, though, so I think I’ll do that the next time.

    1. Dianne says:

      I have not bought GSC for many years since I found out who really gets all the money for the sales and don’t like the exploiting of children to make money,for the same reason I don’t support school “fundraisers” and am a teacher. Donate to the local group or school directly and make your own cookies using these wonderful recipes KT works so hard coming up with for us. Thank you KT!

      1. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

        I agree Dianne!

      2. La Alhambra says:

        I disagree Dianne!

        1. Jennifer says:

          FYI in our council, 50 cents from each box, which we sell for $3.50, goes into our troop budget. The girls also earn gift cards which help to defray the cost of badges and programs. The rest of the money goes to your LOCAL council. We are not a “big selling” troop, but our girls do learn how to organize, meet the public, manage money and set goals. Thanks to all who help other moms like myself who teach so many life skills through this organization.

  11. I am jumping up and down and doing a happy dance. Tagalongs are my FAVORITE Girl Scout cookie! I was in GS for 10 years and sold cookies every year and so I still buy from the scouts I know. I like to support their efforts too even though, let’s be honest, the ingredients aren’t ideal and you’re getting 15 cookies per box… although maybe that’s a good thing?? 🙂

    Really excited to try these and am even more excited that they aren’t full of soy! Hurray!!

  12. April says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe Katie! I have only ever tried Savannah Smiles and Thin Mints- ones that I stole from my friends when I was younger. The girl scouts always seemed to miss my house, and now that I’m a healthy eater I wouldn’t eat them anyways. I like the idea of donating a box though. I’ve always wanted to try each type of cookie, so I’ve been hoarding healthy recipes of them and this one looks really good! Thanks!

  13. Alyssa says:

    Those look delicious! I’m drooling over here 🙂

  14. These look delish! However it’s a real struggle to get the same low calorie PB here in the UK that you guy’s have access to. This is painful as I am a PB addict!
    Plus…I saw ‘Scout Girl Cookies’ on ‘Despicable Me’ and had no idea until recently it was actually something that young girls really did! I felt somewhat silly… Perhaps as an adult I should not confess such things! 🙂
    x

    1. I’m not sure if Katie has a recipe, but there are quite a few recipes floating around the internet to mix PB with white beans and blend them up. You’ll have lower calorie peanutbutter with bonus nutrition, without having to order fancy U.S. brands online 🙂 Tastes just like PB and has a good texture– the low calorie peanutbutters you can buy at the store are really liquidy!

  15. Katie says:

    Do you think I could use garbanzo bean flour? or would it alter the taste too much?

  16. Lisa says:

    I’ve never tried a girl scout cookie in my life! I feel like the only person that hasn’t!
    I used to have this weird fear of eating things people sold as a kid, so I’m guessing that’s why haha. Halloween was not the best of times for me.

  17. Ohhhh tagalongs. So good. I’m glad for a healthy copy cat recipe. I’m only a sometimes-vegan, so it’s hard to have the willpower to turn away a tasty cookie, even if I know it’s not a healthy one. I don’t have the “but it has dairy” holding me back.

    SO glad to see a healthy tagalong recipe to keep me away from the unhealthy ones AND I wont have to wait 2-3 weeks to actually get to eat my cookies 🙂 Can’t wait for the other recipes!

  18. Sadie says:

    EEEK! I’m so excited about these!! and how perfectly serendipitous. I was just eating a couple of the real tagalongs last night thinking how horrible they are for me and the kids, wondering how I could make them myself. Then, this morning I pop on here to discover that you recreated my guilty little treat of last night. Lovely. The boys will be very happy when I unveil these to them 🙂

  19. Kathleen Casey says:

    Oh my. Dare I say it? These sound yummier than the originals! Thank you!

  20. Darn you Katie! Now I have to make these tonight! I am so glad I found your blog. I love how creative you are!

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