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Healthy Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs

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It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season.

No flour + no sugar + no trans fat, and so addictive! Make your own here: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/03/04/healthy-girl-scout-cookies-tagalongs/

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!

no sugar, no butter, no flour!

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 Healthy 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: 40+ Healthy Cookie Recipes

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.

      2. 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!

      3. 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?

      4. Josie says:

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

      5. Anonymous says:

        right? oy.

      6. Anonymous says:

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

      7. 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.

      8. Rachel says:

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

      9. 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 :)

      10. 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! :-)

      11. Anonymous says:

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

      12. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

        LOL, SO true Kelly!

      13. 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!

      14. 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?

      15. 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.

      16. 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*

      17. 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.

      18. 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?

      19. Anonymous says:

        I totally agree with you.

      20. 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!

      3. 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. Allison says:

    I am so happy about this post. So so happy.

  20. Kathleen Casey says:

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

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

  22. Stephanie says:

    OMG!! Katie, first off I have only discovered your website a few weeks ago and I absolutely LOVE your recipes! So easy and best of all, clean and natural ingredients!! But I think you have seriously outdone yourself by recreating girl scout cookies! Samoas and Tagalongs are my FAVORITE!!! and now I can feel better about eating them! Thanks so much for all your amazing recipes!

  23. Katie! These look amazing!! I love that you used almond flour.

    My mom being a teacher always come home with lots of boxes from her students, but this year she just bought two boxes of Thin Mints, gave them to my brother, and that was that :) My favorite is the shortbread, but with allergies and junk I can’t have them. If asked though, I would probably do the same as you. I didn’t even know that was an option!

  24. Kristen F. says:

    I loved girl scout cookies growing up. But as an adult and a nutritionist I’ve come to realize how awful they are! Who needs the trans-fats and preservatives? (Plus we never have cash on us!) I’d love to support the scouts though, I was a scout for 12 years and hopefully would like to get back into it one day!

    It’s a great idea about sending them to the troops; I’m sure they’d appreciate a taste of home. Thanks for the healthified Tag-a-longs! The hubby will be happy since they’re his favs! Me, I’m a Samoa type: caramel, chocolate, shortbread, coconut; what’s not to love?!

    1. Marianne says:

      So GSC are nutritionally so awful you won’t eat them but you’ll send them to your troops?

  25. Becca says:

    Yummmmm! These look great! I have to make them.
    I actually do buy girl scout cookies. I don’t eat vegan, and I enjoy a splurge every now and then. I bought thin mints, which were my favorite, and the Savannah smiles (my new favorite).

  26. Vegan Woman says:

    I am in luck with this post! Peanut Butter Patties are my favorite Girl Scout Cookie. I saw the Girl Scouts outside the market this weekend and sadly have to pass by because of their ingredients! Thank you for this!

  27. Gypsy says:

    tell me you will post the Samoas!

    1. MamaNic says:

      Ditto! I loooove Samoas!

  28. Olivia says:

    I hope you will post a Samoa recipe soon! Thank you for your amazing recipes. I love them!

    1. Juli says:

      Wow! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to these…. can’t wait for the samoas!!!!

  29. Mike says:

    If you think you are supporting the cute little girl who comes to you door, think again. Most of the money you spend doesn’t go to that girl’s troop, it goes to the overall Girl Scouts organization. The actual troop sees very little of the money. Unlike the Boy Scouts where the kid actually gets lots of cash personally to do whatever he wants with. You’re better off to just write a check to eh girl’s troop with a $5 donation since they’d get to keep all of that instead of just 10-15% of the box price.

    This is the first year we didn’t buy a single GS cookie, mainly because of the ingredients. My wife is working on making homemade versions to give out to friends in exchange for a donation to our daughter’s troop.

  30. Oh, thanks for this! I feel so bad turning down all the Girl Scouts when they offer me cookies this time of year. Memphis Scouts go through LBB, so no vegan options here. I’d totally buy those vegan ones if I lived in a place that had them. But until then, I’ll have to make my own healthier ones!

  31. Charli says:

    Do you think rice flour would be ok to use instead? I don’t have almond to hand and want to make these noww :) x

    1. Anonymous says:

      I’m currently making these now and used brown rice flour…the dough is in the freezer now so I hope they turn out okay! :)

  32. Debbie P. says:

    Yes, please, please post a Samoa recipe… I miss those guys!!!

  33. I would have LOVED to be in your kitchen with all those cookies coming out, yum!

  34. Um, yum. Thank you for posting this. This might finally stop me from stealing boxes of girl scout cookies every time I walk by one of their tables. Now those kids won’t chase me all over the store crying that I took their cookies.

    I hope that was just in my head.

  35. Mary Beth says:

    oh my girl scout goodness. i gave up sweets for Lent but can be sure: these will be the FIRST thing I make on Easter Sunday!

  36. Erica says:

    I’m eating one as I type…. :)My husband just bought 3 boxes on Saturday from our neighbor while I bought two from the other neighbor girl…eek! The lemon cookies and the peanut butter chocolate one’s are actually vegan. I was surprised that the PB cookie one was not. This recipe looks fantastic.

  37. Amy says:

    Did I read correctly that you made a healthy version of Samoas? I would LOVE to try them! Do you have a recipe posted?

    1. Not yet. The bottom needs work :)

      1. Gotcha! I’ve got something to look forward too! :)

  38. Ashleigh says:

    I was so Giddy this morning when i saw the post come through my email on this! Is there another flour that can be subsituted for the almond flour? I have a tree nut allergy, thank goodness not a peanut allergy!

  39. If you could send me a box of these I’d be in heaven.

  40. J says:

    I must admit, I had a samoa cookie last Saturday. It was a little treat to myself, but it didn’t taste the same as they used to. They weren’t as good as they used to make them..very dry and lacking flavor. :(

    Your recipe looks great!! :)

  41. Claire Hutchinson says:

    I really want to have your recipe for thin mints! Those are one of my favorite things ever!

    1. Katy says:

      Yes! Please share the Thin Mint recipe (and the other GS cookie recipes)!

  42. Amanda says:

    These look amazing! and I’ve had a craving for some tagalongs or samoas lately! :) if I make these, how long will they stay good?

    1. Mine lasted a few days in a glass container.

  43. della says:

    Former Girl Scout leader checking in here. A few years ago, the cookies were reformulated to eliminate trans fats. A few still have less than 0.5% that can legally be labelled “zero trans fat” while many are completely trans fat free.

    As far as who gets the money, the troop receives some (and it varies based on whether or not the troops choose to receive incentive prizes or not), the Council receives a lot, and the cookie baker usually receives less than $1 per box. The Council keeps up the camp properties allowing the girls to camp for nearly free. Many properties have to maintain swimming pools, cabins, tents, archery equipment, kayaks, and may even have horses to feed so that girls can have some pretty amazing experiences. The Council also put on events that are highly subsidized so that girls of all socioeconomic levels can have quality and varied experiences. Cookie sales are absolutely vital to this!

    That said, it’s only once a year for about 3 weeks of booths. It’s so much better to politely say, “No thanks, not now!” to the girls who don’t understand dietary needs, politics, or the economy. (You wouldn’t believe how rude people can be to children!) If you want to help the GS organization but do not want the cookies, buy a box for our troops. If you give a donation to the troop that is there, they can keep 100% of it to use for the troop (no girl can keep any proceeds of her cookie sales). Hope this helps!

    Meanwhile, for the other 49 weeks of the year or if the offered cookies don’t meet your dietary needs, we need Katie’s recipes to replicate that great taste. :)

    1. Unfortunately, I think the labels are misleading… They are allowed to say no trans fat per serving, but it adds up if you eat more than one serving (and who doesn’t? ;)). I would love to see them take out the partially-hydrogenated oils from the cookies.

      I agree with you completely about supporting the girls. They don’t personally make the cookies, so why on earth would someone lecture them or yell at them? And yet I’ve heard that this really does happen.

  44. MMmmmm… a delicious version of GS cookie. And I love the idea of donating to the troops!

  45. Oh yum! These look so good! I’m hoping you post the others you made too….will have to make some! :)

  46. Believe it or not, I’ve never had tagalongs. They sound delicious! I normally get the shortbread cookies. I know, boring, but they are my favorite :)

  47. trajayjay says:

    It is sad they encourage girls to sell cookies with bad stuff in them. Too bad Samoas are so damn good tasting. I wonder if the Girl Scout cookie company is upset that you’re advertising a way people could make cookies at home for less money and less trans crap

  48. Caroline says:

    I cannot wait to make these! Thank you for this recipe. My daughter is a Girl Scout but I don’t eat gluten or dairy and I have had a hard time cookies around my house.