The time has finally come. I can no longer justify $4 – $5 for a box of Girl Scout cookies when the amount in the box keeps getting smaller and smaller. So this year, I am determined to learn how to make all my favorites. Then I can have them all year round. Although I know moderation is key…right?!? I’ve been testing Samoas all week long. I’ve tried to restrain, but even on the recipes that didn’t make the final cut, they were still pretty good. It’s really hard to go wrong with coconut, caramel and chocolate. Oh and a cookie!
My challenge with these was that I have access to some pretty high quality products. So I did do a batch of gourmet Samoas. I used a caramel recipe from my chocolate shop and dipped the cookies in Valrhona chocolates. But I figured since most people don’t have access to those ingredients, I would go with basic grocery store items that everyone should be able to acquire. I will say there is a difference in taste. But as one would expect. I don’t think most people expect an artisan bonbon to taste like something from Hersheys. I’m sure you know what I mean.
The cookies are super simple. It’s your basic cookie, a lot of butter mixed with flour and sugar type of cookie. The key to this is to not overcook the cookies. When I say pale golden brown, that’s what I mean. Any longer and you just get a crunchy crumbly cookie that can work, but isn’t the best choice.
The coconut topping is quite easy. The key here is to not burn the coconut when toasting it. Coconut is one of those things that goes from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. In my oven I cooked the coconut for 15 minutes and stirred it every 3 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different. So keep an eye on it. Your coconut may be done in 1o minutes instead of 15. You are looking for that golden browned color. Not burnt.
Now for the dark chocolate. Here is where you don’t want to skimp. You only need 12 ounces, so get the best you can afford to get. Chocolate chips will work, but so will a couple of bars of your favorite artisan chocolate at your grocery store.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Please let us know how the recipe worked out for you.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 20 ounces store bought caramel
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 12 ounces dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350° F
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, mixing between each addition and being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the milk and vanilla and blend together to combine.
- Once combined, remove dough from mixer and separate dough in half. Press each half into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.
- Once the dough has chilled, roll out each disk on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8" thick. Cut out as many cookies as possible with a donut cutter or use two cookie cutters of different sizes to get the hole in the middle. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the cookies for 10 - 15 minutes until they are pale golden brown. Transfer cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
- Spread the coconut onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the coconut for 10 - 15 minutes in a 350° oven until toasted. Stir frequently to make sure the coconut does not burn.
- Once done, remove from oven to cool.
- Melt the caramels and milk in a double boiler. Stir until fully melted. Remove from heat and combine 1/2 of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl. Stir until mixed.
- Use the remaining caramel to spread a thin layer onto the cookies. You will want to move quickly through this step so the caramel does not cool. Use your hands, and press the coconut mixture onto the caramel.
- Let the cookie cool.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler. Once melted dip the cookies into the chocolate and place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Use a piping bag (if you don't have one, a ziploc bag will work with a corner cut off) to drizzle the chocolate on the tops of the cookies.
- Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens.