Archive for: samoas
Samoas are one of the most popular Girl Scout cookies for good reason: they have a fantastic combination of flavors. The cookies consist of a butter cookie base that is topped with a rich coating of caramel and coconut and drenched with chocolate. The Girl Scout cookie version – also known as Caramel de Lites – is good, but homemade might be even better because you can have them when you get a craving for Girl Scout cookies and they’re out of season and if you simply prefer homemade goodies to store-bought.
The other good thing about making your own homemade Girl Scout cookies is that it opens the door to use those same flavors in other treats, like a Thin Mint Cheesecake, Samoas Cheesecake Bars, Homemade Samoas Ice Cream or even a batch of Samoas Scones. These scones are my way of infusing the tastiness of Samoas into breakfast without admitting that sometimes I want a cookie with my coffee in the very early morning.
The scones are fairly plain on their own, slightly sweet and with a nice buttery flavor. They are topped with a combination of caramel and coconut, then dipped in and drizzled with semisweet chocolate. For my homemade Samoas cookies, I usually use a fairly firm caramel candy, but I recommend either using homemade caramel sauce or an ice cream topping-type of caramel because you want the scones to still be easy to bite into without the caramel on top getting too hard (better too gooey with these than too firm!). Prepare them about an hour or two before you want to serve them to give the chocolate time to set up, or pop them into the fridge for a couple of minutes before serving if you are cutting it close, timing-wise.
The only way to get those classic Girl Scout Samoas (a.k.a. Caramel de Lites) is to wait for another Girl Scout selling season to roll around – or to set aside some time in the kitchen to make your own homemade Girl Scout cookies. Although I can and do make them at home, I still look forward to “cookie season” and when I saw a box of cookies with that familiar Samoas design on the packaging at my local grocery store, I stopped in my tracks to check it out. They were Keebler’s Coconut Dreams, a new cookie from Keebler’s that is just like a samoa. I will always prefer homemade cookies to storebought, but I could not resist giving these Samoas look-a-likes a try.
I am very surprised that it has taken this long for a Samoas knock off to appear in stores. They’re always a hot item during the cookie sales. These cookies are simply described as fudge, caramel and coconut cookies, and yet there is no mistaking their chocolate-drizzled, ring shape for anything but a Samoa. Flavor-wise, they are very close, if not identical, to the Girl Scout cookies, with a nice fudge flavor and a great toasted coconut and caramel topping.
I’m still very partial to homemade ones these days, but would buy these again in a minute if I really wanted a quick Samoas fix and didn’t want to wait a few more months for Girl Scout cookie season to come around again.
Samoas cookies are great, but when you can’t have the real thing, a pint or two of Samoas Ice Cream, which Dreyers/Edys makes, can be a good stand in. The ice cream is vanilla caramel, with chunks of Samoas cookies and a fudge swirl. The flavors are basic – vanilla, caramel, coconut, chocolate and shortbread – and it’s easy to put them together into a homemade version of the ice cream.
Homemade Samoas are just too good to sacrifice into ice cream – although some might say that you’re just combining two of a good thing into an even better thing – after you take the time to make a batch from scratch . I prefer to put these flavors together in pieces because you get all the same flavors and it’s a whole lot easier. So, I used homemade vanilla ice cream as a base for a caramel and toasted coconut swirl and chunks of chocolate-dipped shortbread pieces.
The ice cream is a no cook recipe that uses milk and sweetened condensed milk. The sweetened condensed milk adds just about all the sugar that the ice cream needs, and also adds a hint of caramel flavor to the ice cream. If you don’t want to make this from scratch yourself, you can also start this recipe with about a half gallon of your favorite brand of vanilla ice cream.
I toasted the coconut, mixed it into some homemade caramel sauce and swirled it into the ice cream. For this particular batch, I actually used shortbread girl scout cookies that I dipped into melted dark chocolate. Again, any type of shorbread or butter cookie will work here. Stir the cookies into the softened ice cream along with the swirl. Let everything set up for a little bit in the freezer and you’re ready for a big bowl of Samoas.
Samoas are easily my favorite Girl Scout cookie because of all the great contrasting flavors and textures they have. It is a shortbread-type cookie topped with caramel and toasted coconut then dipped in chocolate. I like them so much that I have a homemade version that lets me make them any time I want – no Girl Scouts necessary – as well as a slightly easier bar cookie variation that still captures those flavors. This time, I have yet another variation on the theme with some Samoas Cheesecake Bars. They’re not quite as cookie-like as my other homemade Girl Scout Cookie recipes, but I’m pretty sure that those girls could easily sell just as many of these bars!
These cheesecake bars are fairly easy to make and start off with a shortbread base topped with a layer of vanilla cheesecake, a combination I’ve used before in Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars. The bars are topped with a mixture of caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with chocolate. The result is a delicious bar with a buttery crust, creamy cheesecake, gooey caramel, crisp coconut and rich chocolate.
The only trick to making these bars is that you need to make the caramel sauce by hand. It needs to remain soft when refrigerated because the cheesecake bars need to be stored in the refrigerator. The bars are a bit less satisfying to eat when the caramel hardens up and you can’t slice into them! This caramel is smooth and rich tasting, and remains soft enough to slice easily after it has been spread on the bars and chilled, though it is firm enough that it won’t run everywhere and make a mess. You could get away with using a thick, store-bought caramel sauce if you want to give a shortcut a try, though.
This recipe makes a big batch that is easy to share, but equally easy to enjoy yourself. They keep well in the refrigerator, so you can take your time eating through them. There are several stages to making this recipe, but most of the down time is just waiting for things to chill. Be a bit patient and the results will be well worth it!
I love the look of the original Samoas Girl Scout Cookies, but making them from scratch can be a little bit time consuming. This is largely because the dough must be rolled out, cut out and then each of the cookies has to be handled individually for topping. The results are well worth it, in my opinion, but we don’t always have time to make a labor-intensive recipe – no matter how bad a craving for Girl Scout cookies gets.
Bar cookies are the perfect solution.
This is basically a shortcut recipe that still delivers all the great samoas flavor without some of the more tedious parts of cooking making. These bars have a buttery shortbread base that is topped with the caramel-coconut samoas topping and chocolate. It is made in three stages. First, the shortbread is baked and cooled. Then, the coconut topping is applied. Put the coconut on while it is hot, so it will be fairly easy to push it around. It’s a thick mixture, but a spatula is all you need to press it into an even layer. The bars should be cut after the topping has been applied, and even though the shortbread has a melt-in-your mouth quality to it, the topping holds the bars together well. I recommend using a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice up the bars easily and neatly; small knives don’t work quite as well.
The final step is to dip these in chocolate once the topping has set. Since samoas have chocolate on the bottom and a chocolate drizzle on top, I kept that same look for my bar cookies. If you want something a bit simpler, just dip half that bars in chocolate – or skip the dipping in favor of a drizzle. The important thing is that all the flavors get into the batch. And that you have some friends to share these with, because they can be quite addictive.