Thursday, January 5, 2012

Samoa Cookies

We always need something new to do while on break from school.  Lynette has been wanting to make these cookies for a long time, and we had the time while she was out of school.   She has been enamored lately with a new site called pinterest.  It is a rather neat site, when you join you have the privilege of "pinning" things to your account, like a digital bulletin board.  A very nice way to keep things, without trying to keep track of photos and articles and paper. 

So we found the recipe for make our own. Credit goes here: Samoa Girl Scout Cookies. 
Recipe below.

It is a very easy shortbread-like dough. We used a 2" cutter and a lip-gloss cap to make the cookies.

Ready to bake

Toasted coconut

Ready to melt caramels.

It's a real pain to get the caramel/coconut mixture spread on the cookies.  The hotter it is the easier to spread and the burnier the fingers.

 Dipping didn't work, so we spread the chocolate on the bottom.  I think milk chocolate chips would taste better. 

Melt the chips and decorate the tops. 


 ~ Homemade Samoas

(also known as Caramel de-Lites)
Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen

The cookies involve four steps: 
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 the small end of a large round piping tip. Nicole comments that you can use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. 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.

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)
(If you prefer milk chocolate, by all means use that.)

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.

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. (I melted mine stovetop using double boiler method.) Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper (I used silicone baking mats instead). Transfer all remaining chocolate into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate. (Melt a bit of additional chocolate, if there is not quite enough for each cookie.)

Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Recipe credit: Nicole @ Baking 


Lynisha said...

YUM! These are some of my favorite cookies... I'll have to try making them!

The J's said...

Those turned out really nice looking! Too bad I don't like coconut!

Renee said...

Oh wow..Yummm...ok if I come over for a cup of coffee and about ten of those cookies? :)

Njos Family said...

I just had to make these for Jeff - he loves these cookies. It was a very interesting process with a 2 year old's help. I dare you to try it with Zane. :) I was hoping Jeff wouldn't like them so I wouldn't have to make them again, but he loves them. Thanks for sharing.

The J's said...

I wonder what I could substitute for the coconut? I do love the shortbread, caramel & chocolate combo!