Homemade Samoas Recipe

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Better than the real thing, this recipe for Girl Scout Samoas (-style cookie) will win the hearts of all who partake.  These cookies take a little time, but if you have it, you’ll find the process blissful and rewarding.  The best part is that this recipe is a riff on the traditional Trefoils recipe – so make up a double batch of shortbread and you’re good to go!

While it’s good to support your local scouts, sometimes you just need a cookie, even when it’s not in season!

  Step 1: Ingredients
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First, you’ll need the basic shortbread recipe, which you can find here.
Just to have it handy, here’s a repeat of those ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 115g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 250g (2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

For the topping, you’ll need:

  • 225g (3 cups) shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 15-oz soft caramels (I recommend making your own if you have the time!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate
 
 

Step 2: Toasty!

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Prepare the dough according to the shortbread recipe.

While the dough is refrigerating, preheat your oven to 350F (180C).

Toast the shredded coconut on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.   Let cool while shaping and baking cookies.

 
 

Step 3: Shaping

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Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface.

Cut out the shapes with a biscuit cutter, or two differently-size round cutters, or a small round cutter and a straw.  You get the idea!

Bake your batches of cookies one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet 180 degrees, halfway through baking. This ensures that all the cookies turn the same color instead of getting browner in the hotter parts of your oven.

Let cookie sheets cool before putting new cookies to be baked on them. 

 
 

Step 4: Prepare the topping

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Place your caramels, milk and salt in a microwaveable bowl and nuke for 1 minute at a time, stopping to stir, until nice and melty (3-4minutes)

If you’re using homemade caramels, you can reduce the amount of milk and microwave time.

If you are using hard caramels, increase the milk.

Stir the toasted coconut into the caramel mixture.

 
 

Step 5: Top them cookies

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Using a knife, an offset spatula, or whatever device floats your boat, spread the caramel mixture on top of your cookies.  Be generous.

Some of your cookies may not be structurally sound enough to support the force of having caramel and coconut applied to them.  My guess is not enough baking time.  Do not abandon these cookies, dear friends!  Remember, they started out life as delicious shortbread.  They can remain in your life as the cookies you secretly eat when no one’s watching!  Or as  your “test” cookies to try out different ratios of toppings!  These broken cookies are a blessing.

 
 

Step 6: Chocolatey goodness

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The only thing missing from these bad boys is a good dose of chocolate!

Lay out a sheet of waxed paper for your cookies to rest on once they’re all chocolate-botttomed.

Chop up your chocolate and microwave it in 30 second bursts, stirring between each, until nice and melty.

Dip the bottoms of your cookies into the chocolate and place on waxed paper.  

Use the remaining melted chocolate to drizzle over top of the cookies once they’re all dipped.  A spoon works for this, but a piping bag or the corner snipped off a plastic baggie makes ’em prettier.

That’s it!  Store in an air tight container for best results.

Now that you’ve mastered these, Tagalongs will be a breeze!

 
 

Step 7: Leftovers

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What’s that you say?  You have leftover caramel and coconut, but ate up too many ran out of cookies?  Not a problem!

Use a couple spoons or a dough scoop and make little candies out of them.  Bon-bon/truffle type candies of caramelly coconutty deliciousness topped in chocolate.  Oh yes.  

Waste not.  Want more.

 
 

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