How to Make Samoas
Homemade, caramel-slicked goodness.
Who doesn't love the gooey caramel and coconut goodness of Samoas cookies? Now, you don't have to wait for Girl Scout Cookie season to enjoy their deliciousness. Start with a basic shortbread cookie base, add a scrumptious caramel coconut topping, finish it all off with a dark chocolate drizzle and you'll have a homemade version of Samoas. Just pair them with a big glass of milk for the perfect treat.
MAKE COOKIE DOUGH
To make the cookie middles, mix up a batch of basic shortbread cookies.
In a mixing bowl, beat 1 cup of softened unsalted butter for about 30 seconds with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk and blend until just combined.
CHILL & ROLL DOUGH
Divide dough into two equal parts and use your hands to form each part into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Chilling the dough is essential for easy cutting of the cookies and to keeping the cookies from spreading while baking.
Working with one disc at a time, remove from the refrigerator and roll to just slightly thicker than 1/8-inch thickness.
To prevent sticking and tearing of the dough, sprinkle your work surface, the top of the dough, and your rolling pin with a bit of all-purpose flour before rolling.
Use a donut cutter or two round cookie cutters, one smaller than the other, to cut the dough into circles. I found a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter to be the perfect size for the larger circle and used the cap from a small spice bottle instead of a cookie cutter to cut out the inside circle.
Carefully transfer the cut circles to a baking sheet with a small spatula. Re-roll the remaining dough scraps and continue to cut circles until all the dough is used.
The cookie dough can stretch out of shape easily when warm. For the best result, keep the dough as cold as possible while cutting the cookies.
BAKE & COOL COOKIES
Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes until they begin to turn pale golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spread 4 cups sweetened flaked coconut onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Coconut can burn quickly so keep a close watch on it. Stir it frequently for even browning.
MAKE CARAMEL COCONUT TOPPING
Unwrap 20 ounces of store-bought soft caramels (about 75 candies). Place caramels, 4 tablespoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the top of a double boiler. Cook over gently simmering water, stirring frequently, until caramels are fully melted.
Remove about 1/4 of the melted caramel to a small bowl. Set aside.
Add toasted coconut to the remaining 3/4 of the melted caramel. Stir gently until well combined. Remove from the heat.
If you don't have double boiler, you can just fit a heat proof bowl over a pan. Make sure the water level is low enough that it doesn't touch the bowl, but high enough that it won't immediately evaporate.
SPREAD WITH CARAMEL
Working with one cookie at a time, spread each cookie with a thin layer of reserved caramel. This helps the caramel coconut topping better adhere.
If caramel becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, warm in the microwave for about 5 to 8 seconds until spreadable.
With each cookie, immediately add the caramel coconut topping after spreading with the thin caramel layer. Then move on to the next cookie.
With a small spoon, press about 1 tablespoon caramel coconut topping onto each cookie. Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.
If the caramel coconut topping becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, place it back over simmering water and warm it until it's spreadable again.
DIP BOTTOMS IN CHOCOLATE
Coarsely chop 8 ounces of good-quality dark chocolate. Place in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil. Heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate one at a time. Gently shake the cookies a couple of times to allow excess chocolate to drip off.
Place dipped cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.
To melt chocolate in the microwave, place chopped chocolate in a small microwaveable bowl. Heat at 50 percent power for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir. If not completely smooth and melted, return the chocolate to the microwave and continue heating at 50 percent power for 30 to 45 seconds at a time until melted, stirring after every interval.
DRIZZLE TOPS WITH CHOCOLATE
Use a fork or small spoon to drizzle chocolate over the tops of the cookies. Let the cookies stand until the chocolate is fully set.
Store cookies in a covered airtight container at room temperature.
Get the printable recipe here.
Place the baking sheet of drizzled cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes to help the chocolate set quicker.