Monday, April 7, 2008

Mmmm samoas

I've never got into most of the girl scout cookies, but the samoas. Ooooh. I could eat a whole box. Not so keen on all the wacky ingredients and trans fats, so when I saw the recipe on Baking Bites, I knew I had to try them!

This recipe wasn't without the odd disaster, the beginning part was easy enough, I rolled out the dough easily between parchment and then cutting rounds, with a hole punched with a piping tip. Then things started going wrong. I was supposed to toast the coconut and I incinerated it. I dont know if its because I'm really not a fan of coconut, but it was literally toast, so I scraped together the small amount I had, less than a cup, and then carried on. I was happy enough with less coconut, I'm not a huge fan. I melted some home-made fleur de sel caramels with milk and that all went great. It was a little messy putting it on the cookies, but that was ok. I then got more chocolate on my hand instead of out of the other end of the parchment. Hmmm.

Oh well, I'm pleased to say that they were so good I had to quickly farm these out for gifts, then put the rest into the freezer before I ate them all! These were very sweet, I think they would have been better with the full quantity of unsweetened coconut.

Homemade Samoas (a.k.a. Caramel de-Lites) from Baking Bites
1 cup butter, soft
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 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F.
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, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or 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.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels (I used my home made fleur de sel caramels)
1/4 tsp salt (omitted as they were salted caramels)
3 tbsp milk
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. 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.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.


eatingthegarden said...

Yum! That offer for a cookie/veggie swap still stands, right? :)

Jennywenny said...

Oh yes, definitely! I've managed to keep chard alive, just about but thats all! I'll be selling them in la jolla tomorrow, so if you fancy a trip to see the ocean then come on down!

Sheltie Girl said...

These look simply scrumptious! Great job.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

radish said...

I have to say that the samoas are the crack equivalent of a cookie - one bite - and you're addicted. I can eat an entire box in one sitting and I'm not one to practice such abandonment with cookies. I should try your recipe here - I need to make more cookies!

Almost Vegetarian said...

Okay, this is so useless. I am having sever mid-afternoon munchies and now I positively long for those gorgeous, gorgeous cookies.

I like my veggies, but I just never crave them with the same abandon I do cookies. Oh dear.