~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Girl Scout Samoa Cookies(Homemade)

Girl Scout Samoa Cookies... I don't know if you have ever wanted to bake something so bad because of a picture you saw, because it looked so, so gooood to you. Well, I first saw this recipe on tastespotting a few months ago. It was featured by Once upon a plate, and she made the homemade Girl Scout Samoa Cookies that caught my eye.... an outstanding job with the presentation.

I have since then wanted to make them. They looked sooo goood that I had to try making them once at least. Mari from Once Upon a Plate  actually credits  BakingBites for the recipe. So, I in turn, thank both of them for the recipe! I suggest that you read the original recipe found on either of their blogs.

But I have a few tips that will make the cookies not so labor intensive... and to help a bit with the baking/asembling process. Just some things I've learned along the way. I know I will still try to improve on the aesthetics of my cookies so that they too will look somewhat professional.

I like to make recipes from scratch as close as I can... but this recipe does involve using store bought caramels. I think I will be in search of homemade caramels that I would like to use next time. For now though, I have opted to follow the recipe almost to the tee:)!

How were the cookies?....they were just too good....excellent!!! I had to put them in the freezer(in the back somewhere), so that we wouldn't eat more than our share! It was a lot of fun making these cookies. Hope you enjoy...

Here are the tips:
~I made the cookie dough a day in advance(you can also put in fridge for a few hours) to solidify the butter which eliminates the cookie from spreading out when baked.
~Shaped the dough in a round log...about 2 inch in diameter...I didn't want to mess around with rolling the dough between parchment paper and having it stick... This was mess free!!!
~The thickness of the cookie matters!!...don't make them too thin or they will break on you...rather err on a thicker cookie.
~Don't overbake/underbake the cookies...just until it is lightly golden around the edges.
~Used the end of decorating piping tips to form the inside hole...the hole will somewhat shrink as it bakes...I used the decorating piping tip to reform the hole after the cookies had cooled....you don't have to do that.
~I think the best way to melt the chocolate is in a double boiler...this keeps the chocolate warm and fluid like and therefore easier to dip the cookies.
~The caramel mixture needs to be kept warm as well...if it cools too much it will clump on you and not stick to the cookies.
~ I did not use the milk at all and omitted the salt
~You can toast the coconut the day before.
~This recipe will come together much faster if you have an extra pair of hands.

Cookie Ingredients:(Adapted from Baking Bites with a few alterations).Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies(original recipe)....I made mine a bit bigger and thus you get a few less.

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

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
2. 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.
3. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
4. Place dough unto a plastic wrap and from into a log (about 2 inch in diameter)....
5. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours until hard.
Preheat oven to 350F.
1. Unwrap cookie dough( you may need to gentle roll the log back and forth, so it looses the straight bottom on which it has sat ... basically make the log as round as possible)... and cut into 1/4 inch or slightly thicker slices.
2. Using a 1/2 inch round cutter or the end of a piping tip, form holes.
3. Roll the extra tidbits(cookie holes and ends) of dough out to form remaining cookies using a 1 1/2 to 2 inch cookie cutter to make them round.
4. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. Watch it though, mine took about 9 minutes. It all depends on your oven.
6. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Topping Ingredients:

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels I used the whole Kraft bag (14 oz)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)...you will probably need more/less

Preheat oven to 300 deg F
1. 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. I noticed mine started to brown rather quickly after only 10 minutes, so I never kept them for the full 20 minutes. You don't want burned coconut!
2. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
3. Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt.
4. 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.
5. 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.6. While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl.
7. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching.
8. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper.
9. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.
10. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.


Heidi said...

I have seen other homemade somoa cookies on some other blogs but yours look the best by far!! Gosh, they look perfect and you make it sound so easy. They are definitely my favorite girl scout cookie but I avoid buying them so that I won't eat the whole box. I have avoided making them because they look so time consuming AND because no one else in my family will go near coconut so I would be eating the whole batch myself. I will just have to enjoy looking at your photos. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Hole mole! I actually uttered a tiny squeal of delight when I saw these! I love samosas but won't eat packaged cookies anymore. Thank you!

Laura said...

Wow those look AMAZING! Geez.

Ellie said...

Heidi, Danazia and Laura,
AWW...Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to write such sweet comments. Too kind of you! I really appreciate it. I am glad you like the cookies...It has got to be my favorite cookies!~Ellie

Unknown said...

I am making these tonight. Your instructions and pictures are perfect! Seriously, you have the best blog I have seen about them! Good job, I can't wait for tonight...

Ellie said...

Aww...Thanks Julia! You are sweet...I hope you have fun making them. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!~Ellie

KennQ29 said...

two thumbs up for this great recipe. my kids and whole family will surely love this. i will try this on my rest days. thanks for sharing.

Ellie said...

Yes, these cookies are a bit of work, but they are one of my favorite cookies:).

Anonymous said...

Why are they named after Samoa?
Is it that they contain coconut & caramel, like the Samoan fried doughnuts (which are named German buns, funnily enough)?

Ellie said...

Anon. You know, I really don't know why they are called Samoas...I rather prefer Caramel Delites:).
Yes, names associated with certain recipes can be funny sometimes.
In any case, the cookies are still delicious:)...thanks for stopping by.