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.

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love pinterest. I have become addicted to it. In the evening while we are watching tv I find myself looking through pins. I have found many things that I will slowly be doing myself and sharing here on the blog. Here is a recipe that I knew I wanted to try out. I had to share it with you.  I shared it on my Positively Peaches blog, but I wanted to share it with my Peach of Cake followers as well.
They were pinned and posted by i am baker.
The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
*I only used all purpose flour for my recipe.
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 24-36 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

I don't know why these turned out perfect. Whenever I make chocolate chip cookies they spread out thin. It could be because the dough is refrigerated. I don't know, but these were so yummy. Try them out and let me know what you think.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Corn on the Cob Cupcakes

A while ago I bought a book called "Hello, Cupcake". It is full cute cupcake ideas that are fun and pretty easy to do.  I hadn't made cupcakes out of it for a while so I decided to make these corn on the cob cupcakes for our family 4th of July get together.  They are cute, easy, and fun.  But I will warn you, atleast for me they were a bit pricey.  I went to wour local candy store for the jelly bellys.  My goodness jelly bellys are over priced.  However, the end result was worth it. 

I know lots of pictures.  For all the work I put into my cakes and cupcakes, I have to take lots of pictures. 

What you will need:
24 cupcakes baked in white liners. I used my favorite WASC recipe. 
Vanilla frosting tinted yellow.  I have yet to put my favorite frosting recipe up.  I will eventually.
Lots of jelly belly's in yellows, cream, and white colors (the book says 3 1/2 cups, but they don't take into consideration that some are going to be eaten.  I don't know how many pounds it was, but at the candy store I filled the whole bag to the tip top.  I was able to cover 30 cupcakes. 
Yellow laffy taffy or starbursts.  The laffy taffy looks most like butter and is easier to work with.
Black and white sugar.

Let's get Baking:
1.  Bake your cupcakes
2. Prepare your frosting and tint yellow. 
3.  Frost your cupcakes and arrange jelly bellys into five rows on each cupcake.
4. Place 3 cupcakes touching in a row. 
5. Cut laffy taffy in half and mold the edges to shape into melted butter pats. 
6. Put a small amount of frosting on the bottom of your laffy taffy and place on your cupcake.
7. Sprinkle with sugars.
8. If using insert your corn holders to each end of your cupcakes.