How To Make Homemade Tagalong Bars

You don’t need to wait for Girl Scout cookie season to get a taste of their Tagalong cookies. You can make the classic peanut butter patties copycat recipe at home. Homemade Tagalong Cookie Bars are perfect for any peanut butter and chocolate lover.

Looking for more family favorite cookie recipes? Try our favorite Chocolate Fudge Cookies, Easy Cake Mix Cookies, Peanut Butter Blow Out Cookies, and The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

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a stack of copycat tagalongs

What Are Tagalongs?

I love and hate myself for making these homemade copycat Tagalongs cookie bars.  You see, every January when the Girl Scouts start making their rounds for cookie orders, my husband has always been one to WAY over order.  By March our freezer is usually stocked full of Thin Mints, Trefoils, Do-Si-Do’s, and lots and lots of Tagalong cookies!

Tagalongs, peanut butter patties with a shortbread crust and covered in a thick chocolate coating, is by far the favorite cookie at our house…….so much so, we actually named one of our dogs Tagalong or Tag for short.  Now that’s love, isn’t it? lol, I mean who names a dog after a cookie?  Tagalong cookie lovers! that’s who!!  (RIP Tag, we miss and talk about you all the time) 

These Tagalong cookie bars are so good. They have all the flavors of the classic peanut butter patties, and I’m showing you how to make them as a cookie bar, that tastes just like the original.

Homemade Tagalong cookie bars on a plate with a blue stripe napkin

Why You’ll Love These Homemade Tagalongs

  • The soft buttery shortbread is perfect! not too dry, but perfectly soft and tender.  (secretly……..it’s my favorite layer) 
  • Homemade Tagalong bars are full of texture and everything you want in a good bar recipe.
  • If you love Peanut Butter Patties, aka Tagalongs from the Girl Scouts, you’ll obsess over this copycat recipe!
  • Almost a “no-bake” cookie bar because you only bake the shortbread crust layer — the other two layers are just hand-mixed and poured over top.
  • This Copycat Tagalongs Cookie Bar is perfect for any peanut butter and chocolate lover.
  • The best part is, you don’t have to wait until once a year when Girl Scouts come knocking on your door to enjoy Tagalong cookies.

pile of Homemade Tagalong cookie bars

Is It Tagalongs, or is it Peanut Butter Patties?

It’s both. If you’re confused, read on. 

Girl Scout cookies are manufactured by two different companies in the U.S. Each company has another name for the “same” cookie except Thin Mints and S’mores. Depending on which company supplies your region or state, that determines the name of your favorite Girls Scout cookies. 

Little Brownie Bakers are the owners of Tagalong’s, and ABC Bakers call their version Peanut Butter Patties.

Copycat Tagalongs on a counter

Are Tagalongs and Peanut Butter Patties the same?

First, each cookie is made by a different company and uses a different recipe. On the surface, they both have a crunchy cookie base, layered with a peanut butter filling and enrobed in a chocolatey coating. 

The main difference that diehard cookie aficionados assert is that Tagalongs are thicker and have a smooth and better quality peanut butter filling. Whereas Peanut Butter Patties are actually vegan, made with no milk or animal products, with notes of vanilla to the discerning palate.

Two Homemade Tagalong cookie bars with a bite out

Grab These Ingredients For Copycat Tagalongs Bars

Three distinctive, full-flavored layers that make one heck of a cookie bar!  

  • Butter – softened for the shortbread layer and melted for the peanut butter layer
  • All-Purpose Flour –  Measure flour correctly. Spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup to measure it correctly. Don’t use the measuring cup to scoop the flour, you’ll use more flour than you should.
  • Powdered Sugar – measured the same way you measure flour: spoon and level
  • Cornstarch – is an essential ingredient that keeps the shortbread from breaking up and becoming crumbly. It is also responsible for that crispy, melt-in-the-mouth texture that is shortbread’s mainstay. 
  • Vanilla Extract – soft aromatic notes of vanilla sweetness have powerful flavor-enhancing properties.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter – use your favorite brand.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – you know I love my Ghiradelli chocolate! If you are a diehard milk chocolate fan, go for it!
  • Shortening – Adding just a little shortening will help the melted chocolate spread easier and create a smoother top.
  • Sea Salt – Optional, but highly recommend! how to make Homemade Tagalongs photo collage

How To Make Homemade Tagalong Bars

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

PREP: preheat the oven and line a square baking pan with foil.  Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

MAKE SHORTBREAD CRUST: Combine all crust ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Press into prepared pan, pierce with a fork, and bake.

MAKE PEANUT BUTTER FILLING: Combine all 4 ingredients in a medium bowl and spread over warm shortbread crust.

CHOCOLATE LAYER: Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Pour chocolate over the peanut butter layer.

CHILL: Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight. After bars have set up, sprinkle with sea salt.

Homemade Tagalong cookie bars on a counter

Expert Tips:

Don’t skip lining the pan. Use foil making it easy to lift the whole slab of bars out of the pan in one piece. 

Don’t use natural peanut butter. No-stir regular creamy peanut butter works best in this recipe

To cut, place the chilled slab of bars on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice down through the bars in one motion to keep the top layer nice. Avoid moving the knife in a sawing motion because the hardened chocolate on top will “splinter”.

Storage: You can store the bars in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for at least 10 days (if they last that long), or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Like This Homemade Tagalong Recipe? Pin It!

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Homemade Tagalong cookie bars on a white plate

If you’re a fan of Tagalong Girl Scout cookies, aka Peanut Butter Patties, you are going to want this easy recipe for HOMEMADE TAGALONG COOKIE BARS!

Originally posted in Feb. 2015. UPDATED Feb. 2022. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

Copycat Tagalongs on a counter

Homemade Tagalong Cookie Bars

Yield: 15-20 smaller squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Homemade Tagalongs, peanut butter patties with a shortbread crust and covered in a thick chocolate coating made into an easy bar cookie.

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Layer

  • 9-11 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 square baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Shortbread Crust - Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter or wooden spoon until a  crumbly mixture forms.
  3. Transfer dough to the prepared pan and press the dough into the pan, using your fingertips. Randomly pierce the dough with a fork about a dozen times so steam can escape while it bakes.
  4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until barely set, not golden. The crust should still be white but crusted over.  While crust bakes, make the filling.
  5. Peanut Butter Filling - Combine all 4 ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Spread over crust while the crust is still warm. The thick filling will be easier to spread over a warm crust.  Go slow and either push it into place with a spatula or your fingers, taking care not to rip the crust while spreading the peanut butter filling.
  6. Chocolate Layer - Combine the chocolate and shortening in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat to melt, at 30-second intervals, stopping to stir each time until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour chocolate over the peanut butter layer.
  7. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.  After bars have set, lift out of the pan with foil overhang, lightly sprinkle with sea salt, if desired and slice to serve. If bars have become very cold, allow them to come up to room temperature for a few minutes before slicing. We store the bars in the refrigerator.  They will keep for at least 10 days (if they last that long), or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

We store the bars in the refrigerator.  They will keep for at least 10 days (if they last that long), or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1/20
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 861Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 152mgCarbohydrates: 102gFiber: 9gSugar: 82gProtein: 9g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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Homemade Tagalong cookie bars on a plate