We all have our favorite Girl Scout cookie. That one cookie we dream about all year long until cookie season finally arrives. For some it’s Thin Mints. For others it’s Tagalongs or Do-si-dos. But for me, it will always be Samoas. There’s just something about their caramelly, coconutty, chocolatey goodness that I can’t get enough of and I don’t know why. Now I’m sure there’s some sort of article or quiz that can tell me “What Your Favorite Girl Scout Cookie Says About You!”….and, actually, if there is one – can someone please send it to me?? Cause I legit want to know. Like is one cookie personality better than the other? And what does it mean if you’re Team Samoas and your husband is Team Thin Mints??? Oh man, this is going down a seriously strange tangent. I should probably get back on track……and obviously Google all these things later.
The biggest downside to Girl Scout cookies is that they’re only available a few months out of the year…..which is almost cruel. I mean they give us these delicious, irresistible cookies and then rip them away from us. Why would they do that?! Which means if you want to get your Samoas fix all year long – you only have two options: 1. Be that person who buys like 50 boxes and freezes them (which only works if you have insane self-control and don’t eat them all in the first month) or 2. Make your own at home. I’m a big proponent for option two. It might take more work, but let’s face it – homemade is always better. Which is why you’re here.
This recipe might look long and it does have a few steps, but it’s surprisingly easy. Especially if you break it up and make the cookies ahead of time. Like the originals, these Samoas have three basic components: a cookie base, a coconut caramel toppping, and a chocolate coating. The cookie base is a simple sugar cookie that’s rolled out and cut into 2-inch circles. You could go super traditional and cut out a hole in the middle of each cookie to create the “classic” Samoas shape, but it’s really not necessary. And no hole in the middle means there’s that much more room for the coconut caramel topping AKA the best part.
Thankfully, the coconut caramel topping is fast and easy to make. It’s just dulce de leche thinned out with a bit of heavy cream and with toasted coconut folded in. Either homemade or store bought dulce de leche is fine…..and yes, I know I said homemade is always better – but you’re making homemade Samoas so you get a pass on this one.
The part that takes the longest is assembling the cookies. It takes a little bit of patience to top each cookie with the coconut caramel and then coat the bottom of each one in chocolate……and then drizzle more chocolate on top. But it’s sooooooo worth it. Plus this recipe makes close to 36 cookies, so that should last you at least a couple days……right???
- Yield: approximately 3 dozen 2-inch round cookies
Shortbread Cookie Base:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
½ cup + 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (if you don’t have vanilla bean paste – use 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk (whole or 2% will work – just don’t use skim)
Caramel Coconut Topping:
12 ounces dulce de leche (homemade or store-bought)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
2 – 3 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch of kosher salt
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I like anything in the 48% – 63% range for these)
½ teaspoon coconut oil
Preheat your oven to 325˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place the butter, salt and confectioner’s sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture looks light and fluffy (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add in the milk and vanilla bean paste and mix until fully incorporated. Drop the mixer speed to low, add in flour and mix until the dough just comes together.
If dough feels too sticky to roll out, chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. If it’s feeling good, then it’s time to roll out the dough! On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out the cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for 11 – 12 mins or until just barely beginning to take on a golden brown color around the edges. They will set up more while they cool, so it’s better to err on the side of under baking than over baking. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, make the coconut caramel topping. In a small saucepan, warm up the dulce de leche over low heat. Once it’s warmed up a bit, stir in the heavy cream and a pinch of kosher salt. You want the consistency of the caramel to be spreadable. Start with two tablespoons of cream and if it’s still feeling too thick – add in more cream one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Remove the pan from heat and fold in the toasted coconut.
Using a small off-set spatula, spread roughly 1 tablespoon of the coconut caramel on top of each cookie. If you notice that the caramel is thickening up and becoming hard to spread – just pop it back on the stove for a couple of minutes. Once all the cookies have been topped it’s time to get working on the chocolate!
In a small microwaveable bowl, place the chopped chocolate and coconut oil. Microwave in 20 second intervals (stirring between each) until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate into a shallow bowl and then carefully dip the bottom of each cookie into the melted chocolate. It doesn’t have to be too perfect, but the goal is to coat the bottom and sides of the cookies.
Once each cookie is coated in chocolate, use the remaining chocolate to drizzle on top of the cookies. You can do this with either a fork or by using a small pastry bag. Fork is definitely the easier option, but I prefer the pastry bag for more control. Let the chocolate set for at least one hour before serving.