Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas!
The neighbor girl came knocking a couple of weeks ago and I got a little excited when I opened the door and saw she had that infamous order form in hand. I yelled back to the other room where my husband was and asked him what kind he wanted to which he quickly replied, “Thin Mints and the lemon ones.” Happily I checked the boxes on the form and sent the little girl on her way.
Then it happened. The thoughts came slowly at first but then more strongly as the night wore on… SAMOAS!!! WHY DIDN’T I ORDER THE SAMOAS?!?!? Well, a few days of that is enough to drive a girl crazy so naturally I had to set out to make my own. I found a recipe and tweaked it to my liking. Turn your oven on to 350 and let’s get started! First you toast up some coconut. I did it right on my stove top because coconut burns easily and I wanted to keep my eye on it. You can do it in the oven if you want or even the microwave.
You start with a pretty basic shortbread recipe. This dough came together beautifully and it was so easy to handle.
Roll between 2 pieces of wax paper and cut out circles. I was going for an authentic look so I cut out the middle hole. You could do the same or you could just stick with circles.
Then you mix up the coconut topping and spread it on the shortbread. At this point my 4-year-old foodie came in the kitchen and said with urgency in his voice, “Mom! Why are you putting that nasty salsa on the cookies?” I told him it was coconut. His reply was, “Coconut salsa, huh? Well, okay.” Oh how I love that kid!
Moving on – Dip the bottoms of these in some chocolate and another drizzle on top and voila! Who knows…you may even be able to pull off $3.50 if you take them next door with an order form in hand. Congratulations! You just earned yourself a baker’s patch for your sash.
Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas
- 1 cup butter, soft
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- up to 2 tbsp milk
- 3 cups shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
- 12- oz good-quality chewy caramels
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp milk
- 8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, chocolate chips are ok
- Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
- Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a baking sheet and cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Toast coconut over medium heat on your stove top until golden. Cool, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
- Using a small offset spatula or spoon, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.
- While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.
- Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.