Childhood Favorites – Tagalongs

As a former Girl Scout (I got my Silver Award and then was off to college and did not complete my Gold – definitely DEFINITELY wished I had finished. I could have too! I digress), I know all to well the deliciousness of girl scout cookies. Tagalongs and Samoas were always my number one sellers and why not! Tagalongs = Peanut butter, chocolate and a vanilla cookie all in one! DELICIOUS! Let’s create some of our own shall we! 🙂



For the Cookie:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened (Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (such as Better Batter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon of coconut or almond milk (only if dough is too thick)
  1. As with most cookie recipes, first cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the dry ingredients gradually: Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed. Lastly, beat in the vanilla extract and milk (if, and as necessary), until a soft dough is formed that is not crumbly. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF (static) or 325ºF (convection). Either scoop dough, one tablespoon at a time, in your hands and roll between your palms into a ball, flattening slightly to a thickness of ¼ inch. Repeat with another cookie sheet to make approximately 30 cookies.
  3. Place each cookie on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. (Do not overcook, as you do not want the cookies to become dry and to crumble). Once cooked, remove the pan from the oven to a cooling rack and gently use the point of a teaspoon or your thumb (careful not to burn yourself!) and press in the center of each cookie to make a dimple for the peanut butter filling.
  4. While the cookies are cooling on the baking sheets, make the filling.

For the Peanut Butter Filling:


  • 1½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4-1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a small bowl, beat or whisk together peanut butter, ¾ cup powdered sugar and vanilla extract. If the nut butter you use has no salt added, you may want to add ½ teaspoon of salt at this stage as well. Taste the mixture to see if it needs additional powdered sugar. If you don’t like the taste of the mixture now, you won’t like it in the cookie, so add more salt or sugar if you need.
  2. Note: if using a “natural” peanut butter, they tend to be wetter than conventional nut butters, so additional sugar may be necessary to achieve the proper filling consistency. At this point, the filling should be creamy, but not runny. If it is very stiff, microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 10-20 seconds, stir and microwave again until the consistency is such that it can be piped out of a plastic zip-top bag without being too stiff or runny.
  3. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the tip cut off, and pipe a generous dome of filling into each cookie’s hollowed out center and a thinner layer across the top of most of the rest of the cookie, leaving a narrow, uncovered/exposed edge.
  4. Chill cookies on their cookie sheets in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the peanut butter filling is firm.

For the Chocolate Coating:


  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips — dairy or non-dairy — ( Enjoy Life® Gluten, Dairy, Nut and Soy-Free Chocolate Chips are great. I use either that or Hershey’s because I can tolerate those chocolate chips. I enjoy both Enjoy Life and Hershey’s)
  • 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a small, microwave-safe bowl, stirring frequently and not overheating so as not to burn the chocolate. Add oil in with the melted chocolate and stir to combine once totally melted and smooth.
  2. Using tongs or a fork, dip each cookie in the heated chocolate, flipping to coat both sides and gently replacing on the parchment-lined cookie sheet to set.
  3. Return the cookie sheets to the freezer or refrigerator to set.

MMM just like the good ol’ days. These cookies sure bring back memories and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 🙂

Childhood Favorites – Twinkie Cupcakes

The twinkie is timeless and almost as American as Apple Pie. This tasty treat was never in my house however (we were an Entenmann’s kind of house). Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a twinkie before (shocking yes). So it’s time to make my own! Since I do not have a twinkie shaped pan, I will be making Twinkie cupcakes instead!

Twinkie Cupcakes

If you have a twinkie shaped pan, more power to ya! Make those handmade twinkies!


For the Vanilla Cake:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cream Center:

  • 2/3 cup vegan shortening (Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or soy or coconut)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with your favorite cupcake liners.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar for one minute until slightly thickened.
  4. Mix in other ingredients, just blending until combined.
  5. Divide batter between the cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for half an hour, until puffed and golden brown, and when you insert a toothpick into the cake it comes out clean.
  7. Cool cupcakes in pan, then remove to a wire rack to completely cool. They need to be completely cool before filling with the cream center.
  8. Transfer cupcakes to a cutting board.
  9. While your cupcakes are cooling, make your cream center.
  10. Mix all the ingredients EXCEPT for the powdered sugar for 6-7 minutes.
  11. Then add the confectioners sugar and beat for another 5 minutes.
  12. Once the cupcakes are cooled, punch holes in the BOTTOM of them. Use your finger, or better yet, the kind of vegetable peeler that is also useful for coring apples and punch holes in the tops of the cupcakes. Be careful not to go all the way through!!
  13. Put the cream filling in a plastic bag, cut the tip (only a little bit!) and pipe filling into the holes.
  14. Flip back over and dollop with a little cream filling for garnish (optional of course)
  15. GOBBLE UP!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.