I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Samoas

Ok, Remember my quest?
Well I gave it a shot after looking through lots of recipes on Pinterest.

And this what I ended up putting together.  I thought they turned out pretty well, although they are not spot on, so if you are wanting THE girl scout Samoa, you'd probably better just go buy them.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to give this another go with some tweaks, but I'll post it if I do...

I used a basic shortbread recipe.  You could probably use any.  This one isn't terribly sweet, and honestly I think that is one reason it isn't quite like the original.  I also think I used too high a quality chocolate and that it was too dark.  I like it that way, but again, not true to the original.  I also wonder if the Girl Scouts use cocaine or some other addictive substance, because once you start on their cookies you can't stop...even if it is making you sick.  I did not have that trouble with mine.  They were really really tasty, but one did the job (this may also have something to do with the fact that mine ended up about 3x's heftier than a regular Samoa--the cookie was slightly larger and the coconut is hard to portion control). It should also be noted that this recipe does not make a lot of cookies.  I used a 2" cup to cut the basic cookie shape, and I got about 20 cookies, but only had toppings for 16 of them (again, that coconut mixture is the devil to spread out).
These cookies are NOT for the faint of heart to make.  These are rather time intensive.  I also found a bar recipe here and a cake recipe here if you don't think you could make it through the assembly of these treats.
Have you seen these?  Brilliant.  You don't
have to unwrap anything.  I still think
homemade caramel beats this hands-
down, but it sure works for basic stuff.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp butter (should be soft but not melted)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 11 oz caramels (or one bag of the Kraft's Caramel Bits)
  • Chocolate (like you would use for  baking or dipping)
  • 3 cups sweetened coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy; add vanilla and mix until combined.  Add flour and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Place between two sheets of wax paper and roll out (you can see an example of this technique here).  Chill for at least 20 minutes.
  2. When chilled pull back the top sheet of wax paper and cut out 2" (or whatever size you have close to that) circles.  Using a smaller circle (I read that many people used the large end of a piping tip) cut out the center.  Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment or a silicone mat.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just barely starting to golden up. Let cool completely.
  3. Spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Stir after about 5 minutes.  You may need to watch it the last few minutes, because it goes from toasted to burnt really fast.
  4. Melt Caramels per directions on packaging.  Once melted, reserve about 1/2 cup or so of mixture in a bowl and then mix the coconut in with the caramel.   The tricky part is keeping this mixture warm and soft.  Once it begins to cool, it seizes up.
  5. Once you've assembled the coconut portion of the cookie, melt the chocolate on low power in the microwave, stirring every 30-45 seconds until almost melted, remove from microwave and allow it to continue to melt the rest of the chocolate.  If you've gotten it too hot and there are no chunks left, add some.  This will help tempter the chocolate.  Allow it to cool until about 90 degrees (or pretty comfortable if you stick your finger in it, but still melted)

1. spread a bit of your reserved caramel on the top of the cookie.
2. spread the coconut mixture on top of this.
3. After all the cookies have the coconut mixture dip the bottom part of the cookie in the melted chocolate and allow to set up.  I set my coconut side down on wax paper.  If the chocolate doesn't seem to want to set up, put in fridge.
4.Using a plastic bag w/ a corner snipped off or a piping bag, use the remaining chocolate to pipe the stripes across the top.


  • The shortbread cookies break easily.  You can't hold these and spread the coconut goo on them.  They need to rest on the counter
  • Keep the coconut stuff warm.  I read where some people keep it resting in another bowl with warm water, but I just popped it in the microwave for a few seconds every minute or so and that worked fine.
  • Most recipe called for using some sort of spreading spatula to spread the coconut--I ended up just using my fingers and rinsing them off every 2 cookies.  I left them slightly damp and that helped kind of spread/press the coconut around.

If you'd like to see other recipes for Samoas you can look on my board "Satisfy The Sweet Tooth" or just hunt around on Pinterest.

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