The Little Epicurean

Jan 18 2012

Homemade Samoa Cookies

Homemade Samoa Cookies | the little epicurean

The cookie season for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles begins tomorrow.  I was unaware a cookie season even existed.  To me, cookies are in season for baking and sharing all year along.  Check out the Girl Scouts official website to find out when these famous cookies are for sale in your neighborhood.

Unfortunately, I cannot wait until tomorrow.  I need my Samoa cookie fix now.

With winter weather upon us, I love how these Samoa cookies make me feel like I’m on vacation.  They taste like I’m lounging on the beach in the Bahamas or in the tropics somewhere.  The sweet coconut with the rich caramel and the decadent chocolate all on a buttery shortbread cookie just screams summer and fun.

I’m not going to lie.  These are one of the most time consuming, labor intensive cookies I have tried to make.  Its not necessarily a difficult cookie, it just has many components and a lot of cooling time.  Do not be discouraged.  If I can muster up the courage and patience to attack this cookie recipe, so can you.

Trust me, it’ll be well worth it in the end.  Once you get a bite of these delicious little things, you’ll forget about all the time you slaved in the kitchen.  You’ll brag to your friends and family about how easy it was to make.

With February 14th just around the corner, I think these are the perfect sweets to send to your Valentine.  A box of chocolate and a bouquet of flowers are outdated.  My boyfriend knows to send me those items spontaneously throughout the year.   Valentine’s Day requires something special, something out of the ordinary, like these wonderfully delightful cookies.

Now that I’ve gotten my share of Samoa cookies, I’ll be on the hunt for Thin Mints and Tagalongs tomorrow.  Any recipes anyone would like to share?  I could really go for some homemade Thin Mints right now.

Print Recipe

Homemade Samoa Cookies

Yield: makes 36 cookies

Ingredients:

Shortbread Cookie Dough:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste

2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tbsp whole milk

Caramel:

1 cup granulated sugar

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt

3 cups sweetened dried shredded coconut, toasted

Dipping Chocolate:

10 oz dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Shortbread Cookie Dough:

1.  Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer.

2.  In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3.  All flour mixture to butter mixture.  Add milk and mix until dough has formed.

4.  Divide the dough into two disks.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare parchment lined sheet trays.

6.  Roll out chilled dough to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out circles using a floured 2 1/2 inch cutter.  Punch out an inner with a smaller cutter of your choice.

7.  Lay the cookie cutouts on the parchment lined sheet trays and bake for 12-15 minutes until firm and lightly golden.  Let rest on sheet tray until cool to the touch and then transfer to cooling racks.

Caramel:

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line sheet tray with parchment paper.

2.  Spread coconut into a thin and even layer on prepared sheet tray.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate pan and stir coconut.  Continue to bake at 5 minute intervals, rotating the pan and stirring the coconut until golden in color.  Once toasted, let cool to room temperature.

3.  In a medium sauce pan, add sugar.  Cook over medium high heat until sugar begins to melt.  Once sugar begins in liquefy, reduce heat to medium or medium-low.  Do not over agitate the sugar, but swirl the pan once in a while to make sure sugar melts evenly.  Continue to melt the sugar until liquid is amber brown and aromatic.

4.  Add butter to sauce pan. Whisk until all the butter has melted.

5.  Remove sauce pan from heat and slowly add the heavy cream.  Continue to whisk until cream and sugar mixture are homogeneous.  Be careful, once you add the cream, the sugar mixture will bubble and rise quite a bit.  Be sure the sauce pan is away from heat before you add the cream.

6.  Continue to whisk until caramel is thick and smooth.  Let cool until slightly warm to the touch.  Reserve about 1/4-1/3 cup of the caramel in a separate bowl.  Then add the salt and toasted coconut.  Fold into the coconut until thoroughly distributed.

Dipping Chocolate:

1. Slowly melt chocolate in the microwave.  Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds on full power.  Stir chocolate and continue to heat at 30 second intervals at half power until chocolate is melted.  Make sure not to overheat the chocolate which will bring it out of temper.

Assembly:

1.  Once shortbread cookies are cool, dip one side into reserved caramel sauce.  Then spread about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of coconut caramel mixture on top of cookie.  Dipping the cookie first into the reserved caramel sauce helps the coconut mixture to adhere to the cookie.  Let cool on rack.

2.  Dip the bottoms of the cookies into the melted chocolate.  Let cool on rack upside down (coconut mixture side down) until chocolate has hardened and set.

3.  Once chocolate is set, turn cookie right side up.  Transfer remaining dipping chocolate into a small parchment bag or piping bag.  Cut a small tip and drizzle chocolate over the tops of the cookies.  Let cookies sit out until drizzled chocolate has set and then enjoy!

4.  Keep cookies in an airtight container for up to three days.

shortbread cookie dough adapted from Bakers Royale

   

36 Responses to “Homemade Samoa Cookies”

  1. January 19, 2012
    12:51 am
    Alicia says...

    These have always been my favorite girl scoot cookies…I’m totally trying these!!! :)

  2. January 19, 2012
    11:48 am
    Tina says...

    This is a delicious reminder for the girl scouts. I always try to buy a few boxes every year, but I prefer homemade cookies. I have seen samoa cookie recipes before but I am not sure if I have saved this particular one. It sure does make for one awesome looking cookie. I will save this just to make sure-better a duplicate than not at all. Tempting pictures-thanks for sharing this.

    • Thanks! I prefer homemade cookies as well, especially because it doesn’t have all the preservatives some boxed cookies have.

  3. January 19, 2012
    4:35 pm

    Samoa cookies are my favorite girl scout cookie. Yes, these are very time consuming to make, but OH so worth it at the end. I’m getting dreamy eyed just thinkin’ about ‘em…

    • They are my favorite girl scout cookies, too! OMG, I clicked onto your blog and I am in love with your DIY cinnamon chips!

  4. January 19, 2012
    6:14 pm
    阿咪 says...

    my gosh, these look amazing! good job!

  5. January 19, 2012
    9:13 pm
    Abby says...

    You mean, I can make them anytime I want now? Great recipe!

  6. January 20, 2012
    1:54 am
    Andrea says...

    these look delish. I am so happy to be following you because you have so many great ideas. I will have to pin this so I can keep coming back. Thanks for sharing.

    • You are very welcome! Thank you for following me! I hope you’ll be able to make the cookie sometime :)

  7. January 20, 2012
    7:28 pm
    Patti Davis says...

    Oh, you wicked girl. These are my downfall. And now I know how to make them at home. I’m doomed. Doomed, I say! ;-)

    • Don’t worry they are my weakness too. Save a couple cookies for yourself and give the rest away. You won’t be doomed. I promise :)

  8. January 22, 2012
    12:45 am
    Millissa G. says...

    I can’t wait to try these! Thank you so much!
    I’ve found a recipe on marthastewart.com that rivals the thin mint. Also labor intensive, but worth it! I last out the candy canes and used dark chocolate rather than white. I hope you enjoy them!
    http://www.marthastewart.com/334691/chocolate-peppermint-cookies

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for the recipe! I’ll have to try them soon!

  9. January 23, 2012
    2:23 pm
    Mary says...

    These look like the real thing. Actually they look better than the real thing and come to the table with no preservatives. Your recipe will beput to good use. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took sometime to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Thank you so much, Mary! I’m glad you found my site. I look forward to hearing about what recipes you end up trying :) Have a great week!

  10. January 24, 2012
    5:05 pm
    Jane says...

    Thanks for this – I tried these out today, though I did have to substitute desiccated coconut as I live in the UK, and it took two tries to get the caramel right, as I am new to making caramel. My husband and kids all loved them.

    • Caramel can be a little tricky at first. Glad your cookies turned out great!

  11. January 26, 2012
    9:59 pm
    Minerva says...

    Mary Anne, I found this recipe awhile back for homemade thin mints. Haven’t tried it yet but I’m a fan of her cooking. Not sure how her pastry skills are, but I’m sure she wouldn’t post a sub-par recipe. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001370.html.

    By the way, your linzer cookies were the best I’ve ever had, I can’t stop raving about them. My boyfriend wants to know if you’d consider shipping your goodies out here in NYC and we’ll pay you for them! Can you send me the recipe again? I don’t know what my mom did with it.

  12. January 27, 2012
    7:59 pm

    Thanks for the thin mints recipe! I’ll definitely have to try those out.

    So glad you enjoyed the linzer cookies! What’s your email address so I can send you the recipe? In the meantime, I have a linzer torte recipe that’s pretty similar at http://www.thelittleepicurean.com/2011/09/linzer-torte.html

    I’m not sure how well the cookies would hold up in shipping. I’ve never mailed cookies before, haha but I’d love to try :)

  13. January 28, 2012
    3:33 am
    Wife says...

    Oh man, these were my favorite childhood girl scout cookies!! I love this idea so much. Yum.

  14. February 1, 2012
    4:09 am

    thanks for sharing! can’t wait to try these once the kid is in bed. I love homemade thin mints – they are just about the easiest (and most delicious) cookies you can ever make. Melt a bag of Andes mints (you can usually find a bag of broken bits by the chocolate chips in the baking aisle). Then dip Ritz crackers in the melted chocolate, and let cool on wax paper. They are amazingly yummy and are every bit as good as the girl scout ones without the ridiculous prices.

    • Thanks! That sounds easy and delicious! I’ll have to try that :)

  15. May 12, 2012
    6:45 pm
    Anonymous says...

    Hello,

    I found your recipe by Googling a cookie that we used to get up here in Canada and they were to die for, we called them Chew Chews. They were exactly the same as your Samoa cookies but our Girl Guides (Scouts for you) don’t sell them and never have. Ours were made by Mr. Christy!

    You were looking for a thin mint recipe and I thought it only fair to give you a recipe my Grandmother gave to me, we used to make this together when I was a child.

    Mint Wafers

    1 cup Real Fondant (recipe to follow)
    2 tsp water
    1/4 tsp (approx) peppermint extract
    3 or 4 drops of green or red food colouring (for mint green & pink colour)

    Break up fondant in top of double boiler. Place over water over medium-low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon as fondant melts. Stir in water, peppermint extract and food colouring, adding more if desired. When fondant is smooth and reaches a temperature of 105° F (40° C)on candy thermometer, remove from heat but keep top of double broiler over lower pan to keep fondant soft.

    Drop about 1 tsp of fondant at a time onto waxed paper lined baking sheet to form small round wafers or patties. Let cool. Store in airtight waxed paper lined container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

    Makes about 48

    Real Fondant

    3 cups granulated sugar
    1 cup water
    1/4 cup corn syrup
    1/4 tsp salt

    In large saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil steadily, brushing down sides of pan several times with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil until soft-ball stage is reached (240° F/116° C on candy thermometer). Remove from heat and let bubbles subside.

    Pour mixture onto marble slab or ungreased baking sheet. Let cool slightly. With metal spatula, take mixture from the center to the edge. Let cool to lukewarm. With wooden spoon and spatula, beat fondant vigorously, pulling it to center in figure 8 movement until mixture suddenly becomes white and creamy. (If mixture becomes hard and very sugary, gather it into 4 small balls and knead each one with lightly buttered hands until very smooth and creamy. Combine into one large ball for storage.) Gather into a ball and knead with lightly buttered hands until smooth and creamy.

    Pack fondant into bowl or jar. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least overnight (preferably 2 to 3 days) to mellow. Makes about 1 1/2 lbs.

  16. May 27, 2012
    12:58 am
    Brittany says...

    These were a lot of work, but mostly because I did everything in one afternoon while the kids were napping. :) I think I totally lucked out on my batch of caramel, despite having to simmer it a bit after adding the cream so it would thicken. I also made it a little easier by rolling the cookie dough into a log, chilling, slicing, and baking them. They still taste absolutely fabulous, even though they look a little different.

    • I’ll have to try doing the cookie log next time. Glad you enjoyed them :)

  17. December 18, 2012
    6:56 pm
    Livie says...

    I want to make these cookie, but I can not find vanilla paste. Where did you find it?

    • I bought mine from a restaurant supply warehouse. You can find it in stores and online from Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table. You can also just swap in regular vanilla extract.

  18. April 5, 2013
    8:39 pm
    Sophia says...

    I am so excited to try these I love these cookies and so do my four siblings!!!

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