I have made knock-off Samoas before but this is the closest to the real Girl Scout Cookies that I have tried. Not easy to make so you really have to not want to pay the Girl Scouts to do the work for you.
“Siriously Delicious” by Siri Daly
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon table salt
2 1⁄2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
12 ounces store-bought caramel candies
2 tablespoons whole milk
Pinch of table salt
6 ounces milk chocolate baking bar, chopped
6 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate baking bar, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Make the cookies: Beat the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat until combined.
3. Sift together the flour and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Shape the dough into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the topping: Spread the coconut on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. (Be careful, as coconut burns easily.) Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
6. Unwrap the chilled dough disk and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a 1⁄4-inch thickness. Cut the dough, using a floured 2-inch round cutter. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut out a 3⁄4-inch circle in the center of each cookie, reserving the cutouts for scraps. (I used the small plastic lid off a medicine spray bottle to cut out the inner circle. Next time, I would just skip cutting out the holes at all unless I really wanted them to look authentic.) Reroll the scraps as necessary. I had to rechill the dough between rollings as it is very soft. Place the cookies, 1 inch apart, on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
7. Bake until the edges begin to slightly brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool the cookies on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.
8. For the coconut-caramel topping, place the caramels, milk and salt in a saucepan over low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut and remove from the heat.
9. Spread the topping over the top of each cooled cookie. (After doing removing the coconut mixture from the centers of a few, I decided to be less than authentic and just leave the centers filled with caramel/coconut. In fact, next time I would just skip cutting out the centers at all. Less authentic but taste just the same and ever so much easier.) Let stand until the topping is set, about 20 minutes.
10. Meanwhile, make the chocolate coating: Pour water to a depth of 1inch into the bottom of a double boiler over medium heat; bring to a boil.
11. Reduce the heat to a simmer; place the chocolate in the top of the double boiler (or place a heatproof bowl over simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl), and stir until melted. Add the vegetable oil and stir until you have a glossy chocolate sauce.
12. Remove from the heat.
13. Dip the bottoms of the caramel-covered cookies into the chocolate coating by holding each cookie between your thumb and pointer finger.
14. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Place the remaining chocolate coating in a piping bag, a zip-lock plastic bag with the corner snipped off, or a plastic condiment squeeze bottle. Drizzle the chocolate over the top of each cookie. Chill the cookies until firm and set, about 15 minutes.
If you just want to eat them and are not too hung up on recreating the originals, skip the hole in the center. Saves a lot of headache and, obviously, has no effect on the taste.
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