Monday, September 6, 2010

Cookie #74 - Samoas

19% of all Girl Scout cookies sold are Samoas/Caramel deLites making it one of the top selling GS cookies, just behind Thin Mints. 

What is it about these cookies?
The sweet, toasty coconut bathed in caramel.
The soft, buttery cookie.
The smooth dark chocolate.
Whatever it is, they sure are scrumptious. 

When I set out to make both this and the Tagalong/Peanut Butter Patties, I chose to use the same cookie base - a thinly rolled shortbread.  My original thought was to use a sugar cookie, but that would bring too much sweetness to the party.  The topping for both cookies is already sugar-laden, I didn't want the cookie to be overwhelmingly sweet. 

For this post, I'll concentrate on how I did the Samoas:

Samoas/Caramel deLites

Cookie Base:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla


1 1/2 cups sweetened flake coconut
1-14 oz bag caramels
1 tbsp milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp shortening

Beat butter and sugar together until smooth.  Mix in vanilla.  Sift together flour and salt.  Add slowly to butter mixture until well combined.  Flatten dough into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll chilled dough out on a well floured surface to about 1/4" thick.  Cut out dough with a 2" circle cookie cutter.  Transfer circles to parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are just lightly golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping.

Place coconut in a large frying pan and place over low heat.  Keep stirring the coconut - DON'T WALK AWAY!!  Don't think: "Hey - lemme pour myself a glass of Pinot while this coconut is toasting."  Don't do it!  It will burn and then you will have to make your poor husband/wife/significant other, who isn't 2 glasses into a bottle,run to the grocery store to get another bag of coconut because you burned this one.  Don't ask me how I know...just don't do it.
So, keep stirring the coconut until it is fragrant and toasted.  Immediately remove from the pan to a bowl.  Don't leave it in the hot pan or it will burn and burnt coconut is stinky
Place unwrapped caramels in a microwave safe bowl with the milk.  Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring well in between, until caramels are fully melted and smooth.  Stir coconut into the caramel until well combined.
Drop one tablespoon full of the coconut caramel mixture onto each cookie.  With moistened fingers, flatten the caramel mixture onto each cookie until the mixture covers the cookie.  Don't flatten it too much, you want it to still look a little fluffy.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place an empty cookie sheet in the freezer.
Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on half power at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Be sure to stir well in between so as not to scorch the chocolate. 
Remove cookie sheet from the freezer.  One at a time, dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate and place on cold cookie sheet.  This will help you achieve nice, smooth bottoms and half the chocolate set so they don't slide all over.  Once all the cookies are dipped, place the remaining melted chocolate in a zip top bag.  Snip the corner of the bag, just a bit, and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies.  Put the cookies into the fridge to fully set. 

Enjoy!  With or without the Pinot. 

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