Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Homemade Girl Scout Samoa Cookies

Good news - you don't have to wait for a girl scout to show up at your door once a year in order to have your favorite girl scout cookies.  For a fraction of the price, you can make dozens of homemade samoas...thin mints (you can view my recipe for those here)...and I'm sure many others if you do some simple researching for recipes online.  

However, I still recommend buying the cookies from the sweet little girl scout who shows up at your door (or in my case, inevitably once a year, a co-worker's daughter will be roaming cubicle land getting loads of orders from people stuck in said cubicles, who are clearly in desperate need of the joy that girl scout cookies bring to their lives).  While these may take a little bit more effort than your average cookie, I think they are worth it!

Homemade 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
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coconut topping:
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
15 ounces caramel (store-bought caramels work great!)
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces dark chocolate (If using dark chocolate chips, 8 ounces is equal to about 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar 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 as necessary. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined and the dough begins to come 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 securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.
Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. If the dough is too firm to roll out after being refrigerated, let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before rolling and cutting out the cookies.

Cut out as many cookies as possible with two round cookie cutters, or alternatively you could use the top of a round glass and the top of a smaller round item such as a soda bottle cap to make the donut shape.  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 very pale golden brown – be careful not to over bake!  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the coconut topping:
Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the coconut for about 10 minutes in a 350ºF oven until toasted, stirring frequently to ensure even browning and so that it does not burn. 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 saucepot set over a large saucepot of simmering water. Cook, stirring, until the caramels are fully melted. Remove the saucepot from the heat and combine 3/4 of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl.

Carefully spread the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel atop the cooled cookies then 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.

Melt the dark chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to drizzle the tops with chocolate. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully.

Recipe adapted from Just a Taste

No comments: