I must be living under a rock because somehow I totally missed Girl Scout cookie season this year!! Faced with the prospect of no thin mints for the next year, I went to the Girl Scout cookie website and my fears were confirmed. I typed in my area code and was greeted with this message: “The Girl Scout cookie season for Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts has ended”. Noooooooo!!!! Well if that’s how its going to be, then I will make my own! I will try to deconstruct thin mints some day, but today I decided to tackle making samoas. And make them BIGGER and BETTER.
For the base of the cookie, I used Ina Gardner’s shortbread recipe. Feel free to use your own favorite shortbread recipe. The great thing about shortbread is that it doesn’t spread and it maintains its shape. After chilling the dough for a couple hours, I rolled it out to about about 3/8″ thick. Samoa cookies that you buy from Girl Scouts are about 3″ diameter but I wanted to make mine bigger, so I used a 5″ round biscuit cutter to cut the cookies out. I remember when I was a Girl Scout, those cookies seemed so big to me! When did they shrink?! And I remember selling them for a $1/box!
I used a boba straw to cut out circles from the center of each cookie:
It worked great! You can also use a knife to cut out the holes:
Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Cool to room temperature:
Once the cookies have cooled, melt chocolate in the microwave (I used dark cocoa candy melts) and dip the bottom half of the cookie into the chocolate. Make sure to coat the bottoms evenly. Turn upside and let the chocolate cool on a cooling rack:
Time to make the topping mixture!
Ingredients for coconut & caramel topping:
- 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels candy (I used the Kraft brand)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp heavy cream (or milk)
- chocolate for drizzling
Spread coconut evenly on baking sheet and toast coconut in oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Stir at 5 minute mark. Remove when coconut is golden around the edges. Watch carefully and set a timer or you might forget you have something in the oven and not realize until you see smoke and this:
Hehehe, oops!!! After you have toasted (and unburnt) coconut, remove from oven and cool.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with heavy cream and salt. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring at one minute intervals. Remove and stir in toasted coconut into caramel mixture. Spread topping on top of shortbread cookies using a knife or spatula. (If the caramel topping mixture gets too hard to work with, you can nuke in the microwave for about 30 seconds to reheat.)
Melt chocolate in microwave. (Again, I used dark cocoa candy melts.) Spoon chocolate in piping bag and drizzle over cookies. Let cool:
I brought these to work and got rave reviews! My coworkers said they tasted better than the real thing. Take that, girl scouts!