Monday, July 25, 2011

Homemade Samoas Cookies {MMM Girl Scout Cookie Goodness}

Homemade Samoas Cookies
shared from the kitchen of

Read Before Making: These cookies do take some time and there are many steps to it. However, you will not be dissappointed. They are well worth the work.

Cookies ~ Homemade Samoas
(also known as Caramel de-Lites)
Makes about 4 to 4 1/2 dozen

Let the 4 step process begin:

1. Make the cookie Base
2. Top with Caramel-Coconut mixture
3. Dip bottom of cookies in melted chocolate
4. Drizzle tops with melted chocolate

The Cookie (base):
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
up to 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, next, the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk only as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (you may not need any at all). The dough should come together into a soft, pliable ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough seems sticky.

It's easiest to roll the dough out in 2 or 3 batches (between pieces of wax (or parchment) paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or a little thinner) using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined (or on silicone mat) baking sheet and make a hole in the center. I used one of those big plastic straws. You know the ones that your kids blow into and they drive you crazy with that whistling sound. However, this part is really not necessary. Next time I don't think I will do it. They will give you the Girl Scout look, but the flavor is still the same. Repeat until the dough is used up (it's okay to re-roll, this dough is shortbread-like and very forgiving.)

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are very lightly golden brown around the edges. All ovens are different so I actually did mine for 9 mins. and they came out perfect.

Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, to allow them to firm up slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-ounces good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips will do, however, I found that when I made them with the chocolate chips they melt in your hands even after setting up.)

(If you prefer milk chocolate use it. I used semi-sweet and JBody wishes I would have gone with Milk. He is a huge milk chocolate guy though.)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F)

Spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Watch carefully, especially near the end of toasting time; the coconut toasts very quickly once it begins to become golden.

My Notes: 20 minutes was too long. The coconut was already golden at 10 and I had to take it out.

Cool on baking sheet, 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 the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 teaspoons per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it begins to firm up, to make it soft and spreadable once again.

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 (I dipped them and then had them set up upside down before drizzling). Transfer all remaining chocolate 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.

Let me just tell you that you have to try these. And once you make them hide them from yourself. Trust me they are addicting. I have plans to make them again. I have a cute cookie container idea I found on pinterest. We are going to give them away as Christmas Presents. Let me know if you make them and what you think of them.

Recipe credit: Nicole @ Baking Bites.com

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