December 14, 2016
Homemade Giant Samoa
So hands down, the Girl Scout Cookies I love most are Samoas (as in multiple box purchase). They also go by Caramel deLites. Same cookie, different baker, I hear.
I love the tender shortbread base, the caramel coconut later and of course the chocolate bottom and drizzle on top.
So when this fair season, a first place cookie at the Dixie Classic Fair was homemade samoas, I was inspired. These came from Annette Saylor of Tobaccoville, NC.
I made my own version. I love using coconut oil in place of butter sometimes and with this cookie’s flavor profile, it is PERFECT! I love how the dough smells and looks. It gets a bit “glossy.” Between the oil and using honey instead of sugar, you get a delicate, but not fragile texture to the cookie as well. I boost the coconut flavor also with some coconut extract. For the cream, I have used both Organic Valley’s Almond half and half and International Delight’s Irish Cream. Both are wonderful.
To make my version, you’ll also want either a 9-inch round springform pan or a tart with a removable bottom. Both work great.
p.s. Alternately, you can make small cookies like the Girl Scout ones. Plan extra time, roll out the dough directly onto parchment paper, with wax paper on top, until 1/8 inch in thickness. Next, chill the dough as it’s tender and will be easier to cut into small doughnut shapes. Proceed with caramel, coconut/caramel and chocolate layers.
Homemade Giant Samoa
1 cup virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3 cups sweetened coconut, toasted
2 (11 ounce) bags caramel bits
3 tablespoons coffee creamer (or half & half)
2 (4 ounce) bars dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 325ºF. In large bowl, cream the virgin coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. In separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. About a half cup at a time, add the flour mixture to the coconut oil mixture, mixing between each addition. Mix just until combined and dough forms. Divide dough in half, press each half into a 9-inch springform pan that has a round cookie cutter in the center (so it will resemble a large doughnut). A 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom works great as well.
Bake 20 minutes or just until edges start to brown. Let cool. Meanwhile, turn the oven heat up to 350ºF. Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally for even browning.
Melt the caramels, coffee creamer and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a double-boiler (a medium saucepot set over a large saucepot of simmering water). Heat while stirring until caramels fully melt. Spread tops of cookies with a thin caramel layer. Mix coconut into remaining caramel and carefully spread/press on tops of both cookies.
Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler. Using a spoon, evenly spread chocolate on bottoms of the cookies. Place on a wax paper. Allow the chocolate to cool some, then place in a pastry bag with a small tip (or plastic baggie with corner snipped). Pipe stripes across tops of each cookie.
Makes two 9-inch cookies.