Monday, November 18, 2013

Knock-Off Girl Scouts' Samoas Cookies

I have had this recipe in my bookmarks for a while and haven't worked up the courage to make them yet.  But I was looking for something a bit more challenging than just your average cookie, so I decided to make these.  I had never made a shortbread type of cookies before and I'll be honest, I had some really frustrating moments.  But overall, the result was fantastic.  I'm pretty proud of my first time at making these, because the next time I attempt these, they will be even better!

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar (I used Splenda)
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
up to 2 Tbl. milk

3 c. shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, I used sweetened)
12 oz. chewy caramels
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbl. milk
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate

To make the cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350. 
2. Cream together butter and sugar; mix in flour, baking powder & salt at a low speed.
3. Add vanilla.  Add in milk in 1/2 Tbl. increments--use enough needed to make the dough come together without being sticky.
4. Refrigerate dough (mine was SO STICKY), then roll dough out in a few batches (I did 4) in between pieces of flour and wax paper.  Use a cookie cutter (or a glass) to cut out rounds.  You might want to add flour in order to help dough roll out better, it can be pretty sticky. 
5. Place cut out rounds on greased baking sheet and make a hole in the center.  Reroll dough and use until all dough has been used up.
6.  Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, until bottoms are very lightly golden brown around edges.
7.  Allow cookies to cool completely

To make the topping:
1. Preheat oven to 300.  Spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and toast for 20 minutes.  Stir every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden.  It might seem like that's a lot of coconut, but trust me on this.  You'll want it.  Watch the coconut carefully the last 8-5 minutes.  Let cool.
2. Unwrap caramels and microwave with milk and salt.  Cook on high 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir.  When smooth and melted, stir in toasted coconut.  And try not to eat it all, because it's very yummy.
3.  Spread topping on cooled cookies, using 1-3 tsp. per cookie. 
4.  After topping has set up, melt chocolate in a small bowl.  Transfer chocolate to piping bag or a large ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle chocolate onto cookies. 
*the original recipe says to dip cookies 1/2 way and THEN to drizzle, but my cookies were a bit too fragile for this to work.
**also the next time I make these, I think I will quickly dip the cookies into a thinner chocolate mixture before adding the topping, so it will stick to the cookie better.

Makes 3-4 1/2 dozen cookies--I personally got 41 from this batch.