Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Make Your Own Girl Scout Cookies (Samoas!)

I know what you're thinking - Girl Scout cookies should not be tampered with. These little colorful boxes of perfection couldn't possibly be improved upon...could they? Plus, it's not even Girl Scout Cookie Season! (January - March...but who's counting?)

But let me tell you - if you haven't learned enough already that things made at home are much better than store-bought, then get ready for Samoas. Or as I have always called them, Caramel deLites (it depends on where you live, apparently, what they are named...but they are the same delicious cookie). Caramel, chocolate, coconut and cookie - does it get any better?

This was definitely a time consuming cookie. A bit ambitious for a Tuesday night after soccer practice, but Wednesday was my company team's final game, and I wanted to bring something to help celebrate. So be prepared to spend a good couple of hours cutting out cookies, melting caramel and chocolate, and making delicious little replicas of the cookies we all know and love, except better because you made them! Just take your time and have fun with them - the results are worth it!

My roommate, upon trying the cookie, said "those are the cookies that God eats." Is there a better compliment than that? Come Girl Scout Cookie Season, it would be fun to do a side-by-side taste test... I will have to enlist my mom - Caramel deLites are her favorite!

Samoas (aka Caramel deLites)
Adapted from Baking Bites

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • up to 2 tbsp milk (I didn't actually need to add milk to my dough)
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Then mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk only as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all, I didn't). The dough should come together into a soft ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is sticky.

Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax or parchment paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds (surprisingly, I don't actually own any cookie cutters! I used a lid to a jar of honey, and it worked perfectly.) Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw (a boba straw was great for this), to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat until the dough is all used (it's okay to re-roll, this dough is very forgiving (read: buttery)).

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are very lightly browned.
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet to firm then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 3 c. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 11 oz chewy caramels (I say 11 oz because I got two 5.5 oz bags of Werther's Chewy Caramels)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 16 oz semisweet or dark chocolate (I used one whole bag of chocolate chips just for the dipping, and then had to run out and get another bag to top the cookies! I used half of the new bag for the topping)
Preheat oven to 300 deg F.
Spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. 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 the spatula or a small 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. [NOTE: this is tricky - the caramel needs to be warm to work with, but it will be hot out of the microwave, so BE CAREFUL. I definitely burned my fingers spreading the caramel mixture on these cookies.]

While topping sets, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt 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.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

Also, if you want recipes for more Girl Scout Cookies, you should check these out:

1 comment:

  1. i think the lifetime of selling girl scout cookies has desensitized me. BUT i'll very happily take and scarf any extras you might have... :D


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