Coconut+Caramel+Chocolate is pretty much the best combination of ingredients I can think of. The Girl Scouts really hit it out of the park when they invented the Samoa (formerly Caramel DeLites) I have seen many recipes for homemade Samoas before, but this time I finally decided to make them. I thought it would make a great holiday cookie while satisfying my off season need for these delicious creations.
As it turns out, a boatload of others share my love for Samoas. I baked up a huge batch the other day and took a plate to my client’s office (shameless plug for you Gary! www.gapintelligence.com). I walked in the door and someone said “what have you got there?” I replied “homemade Samoas” and I literally set off a feeding frenzy!!! Pretty much every employee was up from their desk in under 30 seconds, swarming the kitchen and exclaiming “these are my favorite cookies EVER!!!!” Well Gappers, I agree. Thanks for eating them all up so they didn’t sit on my counter tempting me every day.
ps. Sorry Santa, none left for you.
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.
***Notes: I used my linzer cookie cutter to cut out my shapes but in retrospect, I would maybe omit the hole in the center all together. It would be a lot easier to spread the coconut topping without the hole.
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
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.
You can see Tally “helping” in this pic!
This is the part where the hole kind of works against you
Big thanks to bakingbites.com for providing this great recipe and fun project! I will definitely be making these again!