For those that don’t know, Samoa Cookies are sold my Girl Guides in The United States. In Canada, we only have 2 different Girl Guide Cookies: The Mint chocolate ones and the Chocolate and Vanilla ones. In the US, they have 6 different kinds of Girl Guide cookies.
Thin Mints: a thin wafer covered with a smooth chocolatey coating.
Trefoils: delicate tasting shortbread.
Savannah Smiles: crisp, zesty, lemon cookies.
Tag-A-Longs: shortbread cookie topped with creamy peanut butter and a chocoatey coating.
Do-Si-Dos: crispy oatmeal cookies filled with creamy peanut butter filling.
6. Samoas: tender vanilla cookies, covered with caramel, rolled in coconut and striped with a rich chocolatey coating.
I will admit, these take a little bit of time to make. However, I kept seeing these cookies online and because I live in Toronto, I cannot buy them here- I needed to try them out! The combination of chewy caramel, crispy shortbread and rich chocolate is truly amazing.
These cookies keep really well in the fridge, or even frozen- so the time you take to make them will not go to waste! They are such gorgeous little cookies and I think they would be perfect around the holidays!
It is important to toast your coconut before adding it to the caramel. Toasting coconut adds a delicious nutty flavour, as well as caramelizes the natural sugars in the coconut. This enhances the coconut flavour so much. When you are toasting coconut, it is important to not walk away from the oven when you are doing so. This process happens so quickly and is so simple, but it can be ruined just as quickly and as easily. It doesn’t take long, so I would recommend just standing by your oven as it toasts and keeping a close eye on it.
Let me know if you try these coconut chocolate babies out. I’m happy with how they turned out and I think you will be very pleased with them too!
MAKE THE SHORTBREAD COOKIES: In a mixing bowl, beat softened butter for about 30 seconds with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk and blend until just combined.
Divide dough into two equal parts and use your hands to form each part into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (It may be tempting to skip the chilling time, but chilling the dough is essential to easy cutting of the cookies and to keeping the cookies from spreading while baking.)
Working with one disc at a time, remove from the refrigerator and roll to just slightly thicker than 1/8-inch thickness. To prevent sticking and tearing of the dough, sprinkle your work surface, the top of the dough, and your rolling pin with a bit of all-purpose flour before rolling.
Use a donut cutter or two round cookie cutters, one smaller than the other, to cut the dough into circles. (I found a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter to be the perfect size for the larger circle, and used the cap from a small spice bottle instead of a cookie cutter to cut out the inside circle.) Carefully transfer cut circles to a baking sheet with a small spatula. Re-roll the remaining dough scraps and continue to cut circles until all the dough is used. The cookie dough can stretch out of shape easily when warm ~ For the best result, keep the dough as cold as possible while cutting the cookies.
Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes until just starting to turn pale golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
MAKE THE CARAMEL COCONUT TOPPING: Spread coconut onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. (Coconut can burn quickly so keep a close watch on it, being sure to stir it frequently for even browning.) Remove from the oven and set aside.
Unwrap the caramels. Place caramels, milk, and salt in the top of a double boiler. Cook over gently simmering water, stirring frequently, until the caramels are fully melted.
Remove about 1/4 of the melted caramel to a small bowl. Set aside.
Add toasted coconut to the remaining melted caramel. Stir gently until well combined. Remove from the heat.
ASSEMBLE THE SAMOAS COOKIES: Working with one cookie at a time, spread the cookie with a thin layer of reserved caramel. (This helps the caramel coconut topping adhere well.) With a small spoon, press about 1 tablespoon caramel coconut topping onto the cookie. Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies. (If the caramel becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, warm it in the microwave for about 5 to 8 seconds until spreadable. If the caramel coconut topping becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, place it back over simmering water and warm it until it’s spreadable again.)
DIP & DRIZZLE IN CHOCOLATE: Coarsely chop the dark chocolate. Place in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the 1/2 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil. Heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
One at a time, dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate. Gently shake the cookie a couple of times to allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Place dipped cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.
Use a fork or small spoon to drizzle chocolate over the tops of the cookies.
Let the cookies stand until the chocolate is fully set. Or, place the baking sheet of drizzled cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the chocolate more quickly.
Store cookies in a covered airtight container at room temperature.