Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Girl Scout Week and Homemade Samoas...

Today marks the 101st birthday of the Girl Scouts and this whole week is known as Girl Scout Week. I was doing some research on the company and learned so much about our favorite cookie sales persons. I never belonged to the Scouts or Brownies, but always assumed it to be some special club that sold cookies at random times of the year, all while wearing an unattractive uniform. Now I know different and wish I could go back in time to be a Girl Scout myself. Times have changed for these little girls too, there are now apps available through ITunes that help you locate your favorite cookie and most of them carry credit card readers on their IPhone as well, which I'm sure helps their little business.

The Five Skills that are taught are goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics; everything that I think are so important for young girls to learn and carry with them throughout life. Somethings I could use a lesson on even today!

I pinned this recipe awhile ago on Pinterest and knew that I had to make it, after I missed this years sales. My favorite Girl Scout cookies are Samoas, its their second popular cookie after Thin Mints and preceding Tagalongs.

These were a little tedious, but the outcome was well worth it. Soft shortbread, sweet caramel, toasty coconut, and dark chocolate, what more can a girl ask for?!?!

Start with room temperature butter and cream together with sugar, mix in dry ingredients in 3 additions and add liquid. Portion dough in two parts, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

You can choose to make your own caramels or go the lazy easy route that I did.

Tips on toasting coconut, here...

Make sure your counter and rolling pin are well coated in flour to keep from sticking. You can use a donut cutter, or Mcquiver your own cutter.

Arrange cut dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake in a 350º preheated oven for 8 minutes, rotating pan half way through. 
(I forgot to take pictures of the next few steps, sorry)

Let cookies cool, and spread on a thin layer of the caramel. Then top with the caramel and coconut mixture and press lightly. Dip bottoms of cookies in melted dark chocolate and drizzle tops.

Maybe I'll make some Tagalongs, too!

What's your favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Homemade Samoa Cookies

makes about 48 cookies

For the cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar and mix in dry in 3 increments, scraping bowl half way through.
Add liquid and scrape again.
Split dough in 2 portions, wrap in plastic, and chill for 1 hour.

For the coconut topping:

3 cups shredded sweetened coconut, toasted
15 ounces caramels, (I used Werther's)
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces dark chocolate 
Toast Coconut and set aside.
Melt caramels, milk, and salt in double boiler.
Reserve 1/4 of caramel for topping baked cookies.
Mix in toasted coconut. 

Baking and building cookie:

Roll dough about 1/8 inch thick and cut out with cutter.
Bake for 8 minutes in 350º oven and let cool.
Spread thin layer of reserved caramel sauce on top of bake shortbread.
Add a small amount of coconut and caramel mixture on top, pressing lightly.
Melt chocolate and dip bottoms, with remaining chocolate drizzle tops and chill cookies for 20 minutes. 


If caramel gets too cold and hardens, warm in microwave 15 seconds at a time.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if you can keep them that long. 

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