I had a hankering for girl scout cookies this weekend. Problem: I had no girl scout cookies or a girl scout to order them from. Plus, waiting for my order? The agony!! So I decided to just make my own
Plus! My husband had recently purchased a SAD lamp. You know – for people that get sad in the dark, long, cold winter? Great for feeling better. Also great for emulating sunlight! At all times of the day! That coupled with a real camera = I am no longer limited by time of day for taking photos!
Also means that I have improved on my camera skills!!! Ahhhh!!! I was SO excited to see these!!! I mean, LOOK! Compared to the bare roots of the beginnings of this blog!
Okay, enough about the photos. How about the cookies? These are, I daresay, better than the original. Made with freshly toasted coconut slathered in caramel atop a buttery shortbread cookie, the textures of this cookie are amazing, Where there times when I said “this is too much work!” when my fingers were covered in sticky caramel? Yes.
Was it worth it? Abso-freaking-loutely.
Girl Scout Samoas Cookies
Adapted from justataste
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Special tools: donut cutter
For the shortbread cookie:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in your flour, baking powder, and salt. You can mix your dry ingredients in another bowl or just do what I do. Sprinkle your baking powder and salt over your added flour to help evenly distribute!. Add in your whole milk and vanilla and mix until a dough forms. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate until cool for 1-2 hours. Let your dough warm up just a bit for 10-20 minutes right before rolling out.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line some baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Take 1/3 of your dough and roll out to a sheet of 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the dough with a donut cookie cutter. Make sure to dust your surface with some flour to allow for easy release from your cutter. The shortbread dough does not spread during baking so you can squeeze a lot of cookies on one sheet!
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the sides are just barely golden. Err on the side of under baking these guys to keep them perfect! Remove and let cool.
For the coconut caramel mixture:
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
15 ounces soft caramel (from the store)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Spread your coconut out on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Toss the coconut every 2-3 minutes to ensure an even toasting. Careful, these delicious flakes can burn easily but freshly toasted coconut is so worth it!
In a double boiler, melt your caramels into your milk and salt until a silky caramel consistency. Be patient! It can take 15-20 minutes. Set 1/3 of this mixture aside. Mix in your toasted coconut flakes into the remaining 2/3. Now, using the caramel you set aside and the back of a spoon, spread a layer of caramel on top of the cookies. Press some of the caramel coconut on top of this caramel to make that perfect samoas look. The caramel base helps your coconut mixture stick. Let cool completely
Tips for this part:
1. Press your coconut mixture on your cookies while they are laying on a flat surface. Fingers worked best! Shortbread can be fragile. (I broke two – sad face).
2. If you find yourself overwhelmed with sticky coconut fingers – wash off and keep a bowl of cold water at your side. Dip your fingers into the cold water before pressing on the next cookies. This helps to make the coconut more workable,
3. If you think it would be easier to just buy some cookies, you’re right. But these are so much more delicious! Just remember that when caramel is everywhere.
4. If your caramel gets too hard to work with, reheat over your double boiler
For the chocolate base & drizzle:
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Melt your chocolate chips in a shallow bowl in 1 minute intervals in the microwave until completely melted. Mix in your butter. Dip the bottoms of your cookies in the chocolate for the chocolate bottoms. I used a pastry brush to ensure a nice even layer and it worked great!
Put your remaining chocolate into the corner of a ziploc bag and pipe a chocolate drizzle over your cookies for that perfect samoa cookie effect.
Finally, as you find yourself surrounded by lots of hard earned cookies…