Sunday, March 20, 2011

Move Over Girl Scouts: Homemade Samoas

The title of the blog is misleading... girl scout cookies are still way better than what I made. It was indeed a fun trial though. And by fun, I mean it took like 4 hours, so I feel the need to show all the work I did.

Should you not know, a samoa is essentially a small crisp cookie with caramel-ish coconut piled on top and chocolate backing the cookie and drizzled over the top. It looks like this in case you're still in the dark.

So, the recipe I used to try and make my own comes from here. Most of the other recipes I found simply melted down a bunch of caramels, but I liked the fact that this one had you make your own. Seeing as I failed at making caramel once before, I was ready to kick its ass this time.

First things first. The caramel.

1.5 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
6 tbsp water
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp heavy cream
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

In a large pan whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, and water with a pinch of salt. Heat it up on medium and bring it to a boil. Use a wet pastry brush to get any down from the sides of the pan. When it starts intensely boiling you need to watch it very intensely. When it starts changing colors be ready to take it away from the heat. Wait until it's a "dark amber" color and remove it immediately. You can test it by setting a drop into water and it should turn into lollipop style hard candy. At this point add the combo of the heavy cream and butter. It's going to go nuts bubbling, but once it calms down a little stir it in. 

At this point, put the caramel aside. It is time to make cookies the cookies. Luckily it is just about the most simple cookie recipe ever. 

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3 cup flour

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar. Add an egg and scrape down the sides if needed. Add vanilla. Switch it to low and add salt and flour. Mix until it's totally incorporated. 

Now take the dough and shape it into a long cylinder, about 2.5 inches in diameter, wrap it in parchment or wax paper and stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Now set the oven to 350 degrees. Take it out and cut 1/8 in thick slices. Stop once you've done 30 and put the rest of the dough back into the freezer for another project or an unnecessary cookie dough snack later. Find something to take the middle out (I used a pineapple corer). Lay them out of a greased cookie sheet an bake for 8-10 minutes. Let it cool completely. 

Getting closer to completion!

Now, toast up at least 2 cups of shredded coconut (I used 1 cup and it wasn't nearly enough). Warm the caramel back up and add all the toasted coconut. Let it cool a bit and press the caramel mixture onto the tops.

Final step!

Melt 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (A microwave would work wonderfully... but I don't have one). Dunk the bottom of the cookies in the melted chocolate and place them onto parchment paper. Now, drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top with a fork (mine got hard and I fork pressed some onto the tops).

There... finally.

In the end... they don't taste a lot like samoas. They do taste good, just not like the girl scout cookies. 

Too chocolate centric. Not enough coconut. A little too dense. 

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