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.
Shortbread Cookies with Coconut, Caramel, and Chocolate
I’m not going to lie. These are one of the most time consuming, labor intensive cookies I have tried to make.
These Samoa cookies are not difficult to make, it just takes a bit of preparation and patience due to its many components and extended cooling times.
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.
Samoa Cookies Components:
- Shortbread Dough
- Coconut Caramel Topping
- Dipping Chocolate
Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to beat together the shortbread cookie dough. Chill the dough in the fridge for 3o minutes, or quicken the process by freezing for 15 minutes.
The dough uses very few ingredients. Much of its flavor comes from the butter and vanilla. As such, use fresh, high-quality butter.
At all costs, do not use imitation vanilla extract. I suggest using vanilla paste, but high quality pure vanilla extract works just as well.
Coconut Caramel Topping
The coconut caramel topping is a very simple mixture. Toasted sweetened shredded coconut is folded with an easy caramel sauce made from sugar, butter, and cream.
I suggest using dark chocolate. The slight bitterness of dark chocolate helps to cut through the sweetness of the coconut caramel topping.
To keep the chocolate in temper, gently melt the chocolate in the microwave at half power, or over a simmering double boiler.
Be careful not to overheat the chocolate! Overheated chocolate will be taken out of temper. This will result in cloudy, grainy looking chocolate as it dries.
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.
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. Perhaps I’ll make a batch of these homemade Thin Mints later this week!
Homemade Samoa Cookies
Yield: makes 3 dozen
Shortbread Cookie Dough:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 3 cups sweetened dried shredded coconut, toasted
- 10 oz dark chocolate, chopped
Shortbread Cookie Dough:
Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
All flour mixture to butter mixture. Add milk and mix until dough has formed. Divide the dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare parchment lined sheet trays.
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. 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.
Preheat oven to 325° F. Line sheet tray with parchment paper.
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.
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.
Add butter to sauce pan. Whisk until all the butter has melted.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Keep cookies in an airtight container for up to three days.
Love the combination of coconut and chocolate? Here are a few favorite recipes:
- Coconut Cream Tart
A tropical take on banana cream tart, this coconut cream tart is layered with coconut caramel, coconut pastry cream, and toasted shredded coconut.
- Coconut Walnut Baklava
A variation on the traditional baklava, this coconut walnut baklava features shredded coconut, toasted walnuts, and orange honey syrup.
- Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cake
This chocolate caramel coconut cake is comprised of two coconut cake layers with a shredded coconut caramel filling. The cake is finished with both chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache