Every year I look forward to someone asking me if I would like to buy girl scout cookies from their kid. So when a patron and her daughter came into the library with a wagon full of cookies the other week I was ecstatic. I ended up buying mine and Duane’s favorites; 2 boxes of Samaos and 1 Thin Mint. Those 3 boxes were gone in 2 days. I am going to put some of the blame on the fact that the size of the cookie and the amount of cookies have decreased in the past few years, but still, 2 days! Duane sent me a recipe from www.JustATaste.com for homemade girl scout Samoa cookies and I thought, YES! I made a few changes from the original recipe; but I have three words about these cookies, OH MY GOODNESS!!!! My mom said that they were BETTER than the girl scout cookies because they were bigger and had more flavor; I agree with her. Not to knock on the girl scouts, their cookies are still amazing, but c’mon $4 for so few. 😉
To shape the cookies you will need either a doughnut cutter or you can do what I did; I used a regular circle cookie cutter and then the top of sprinkle jar for the middle (or use the top of a spice container). I searched everywhere for a doughnut cutter and could not find one anywhere. I also used a heart cookie cutter and then the sprinkle top to make a special Samoa cookie for Duane.
I made these cookies last weekend, and today I finally got my wish and had a snow day, and literally just got news I’m off tomorrow too (thanks Rach!)! To celebrate I am making these cookies again… they are actually in the oven now 🙂
Thank you JustaTaste.com, I am officially addicted to these Samoa cookies and that is not a complaint!
OH, I just realized, Happy Valentines Day!
Girl Scout Samoa Cookies
- FOR THE COOKIES
- 1 cup (2 sticks) 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 milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- FOR THE COCONUT TOPPING
- 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 15 ounces store-bought or homemade soft caramels
- 4 Tablespoons milk (you may need more, I did)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces dark chocolate
- vegetable shortening (optional)
- MAKE THE COOKIES
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a medium size bowl cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer (or a standing mixer with paddle attachment) until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In three increments, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, mixing between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined and the dough begins to clump together in large pieces.
- Use your hands to divide the dough in half, pressing it together to compact it into two disks. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut out as many cookies as possible with a doughnut-shaped cookie cutter. Place the cut-out cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half-way through, until the cookies are pale golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire wrack to cool completely.
- MAKE THE COCONUT TOPPING
- Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With the oven preheated to 350, bake the shredded coconut until toasted, stir frequently so the coconut browns evenly. Coconut can burn quickly so you need to keep watch. Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set it aside.
- Melt the caramels, milk and salt in a double-boiler by placing the caramels in a medium sauce pot set over a large sauce pot of simmering water (see picture above). Cook, stirring, until the caramels are fully melted. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and combine 3/4 of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Once the cookies are completely cooled; carefully spread the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel on top of the cookies. Very gently, one cookie at a time, press on a portion of the coconut mixture. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes. If the caramel-coconut mixture thickens too much at any point while pressing it onto the cookies, return it to the double-boiler and warm it until it’s spreadable again, you may need to add a touch more milk when you do this, I did.
- Melt the dark chocolate using the double boiler method again (picture above). Add shortening to reach the consistency you desire. I used about 2 teaspoons to thin out the chocolate. Hold the cookies upside down, using a spoon, pour chocolate evenly over the bottoms of the cookie. Place the cookie on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle the tops with chocolate. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens completely.