This is the final course on this week's sharing of items from my 23 Things in 2011 list. You might also know them as Caramel Delites. Whatever you call them, we can all agree on one word: DELICIOUS.
Did you know that the reason Girl Scout Cookies are known by different names is because there are two bakeries that supply the nation with these delectable cookies? Each manufacturer has their own names for the cookies and that's why the name is different depending on what region you're in. Growing up as a Girl Scout myself (Troop 2180 represent!) I remember them going by both names. Yep, I was one of those girls that sold you cookies door-to-door, at your parents' office, and even at your neighborhood Kroger. I even have the badges to prove it :).
It's strange that I even like these cookies. I HATE the texture of coconut but the flavor is fine by me. I think what makes it work for me in this cookie is the fact that the coconut is completely drowned in gooey, delicious caramel. Who can say no to that??
Yes this cookie is a little time consuming to make. Yes, I couldn't get my holes to stay open when I baked them (I think putting them in the freezer a few minutes before baking would help them to retain their shape and therefore the hole or if you're fortunate enough to own a donut pan apparently those are awesome for this application, too). But, that didn't make them any less appetizing...just ask my Dinner Club friends Jeff, Jackie, Toni, Ke'Mani, Scott and Emily. They sampled these at our Luau themed Dinner Club (hey, I figured the coconut would loosely fit and it was a bonus dish anyway!). I'd even consider making them in a bar version to save time in the future. Taste over aesthetics any day when it's just me wanting to eat the whole batch. Noms!
Two Years Ago: Cha Cha's White Chicken Chili - My favorite white chicken chili but watchout because it definitely packs a lot of heat!
Homemade Girl Scout Samoa Cookies
Yields: 3-1/2 to 4 dozen cookies
For the Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Up to 2 Tbps milk
For the Topping
- 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 12 oz good-quality chewy caramels (I used the Kraft ones)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 8 oz dark or semisweet chocolate (chips are okay)
To make the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed followed by the vanilla and milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it's possible you may not need any milk at all). The dough should come together in a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
- Roll the dough (working in 2-3 batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4" thickness and use a 1 1/2" cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use the end of a wide straw to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To top and decorate the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is 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 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.
- 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. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) 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.
Source: Baking Bites