Monday, February 18, 2013

Recipe Monday: What kind of person are you?

It's that time of year again.  The time of year where all the cute little gals come out of the wood work and sell you the most delectable cookies you've been waiting for since last spring.  Usually these land right around the time I have decided to give up sweets for Lent and they taunt me for the next couple of weeks.  But THIS YEAR, I've given myself a "get out of Lent free" card when it comes to giving up beloved foods and beverages.  I mean, gimme a break, I've already given up caffeine (for the most part), sushi, and cold lunch meat sandwiches to name a few.  So I'm putting my efforts of giving something up to giving something more. And focusing on good deeds and thoughtfulness.

Nevertheless, back to girl scout cookies.  As far as I'm concerned there are 2 kinds of people in this world: Samoa Lovers and Thin Mint Lovers.  You can be a fan of both, but you have to pick a side.  It's a very simple choice for me, and I made my bed years ago and continue to happily lay in it...A BED OF SAMOAS.

Now, I hear on the West Coast these are called Caramel deLites, but that is totally bogus.  They are Samoas, and I don't want to hear another word about it.

So,  if one is unable to control themselves and can't wait or appropriately ration their hoarded share of Samoas from the year before; what on earth is a girl to do?!  Especially when pregnancy hormones are raging and you are 100% unable to think clearly because you do badly want a chocolately, caramely, coconut dusted shortbread cookie.

I'll tell you what a girl is to do.  She is to find an alternative solution, that's what!  And lucky for anyone out there who is in the same position as me.  I have done just that :0) -- you can thank me later.

Alternative solution #1:

Buy the Keebler Elf version of Samoas: Coconut Dreams.  There is a MAYBE minor difference, but if you're really needing a fix - they can 100% get the job done.  They can be found at almost any grocery store in the cookie aisle.  Good portion size, and as aforementioned they taste - G.O.O.D good.

Alternative Solution #2: 

Find a homemade recipe of course :-P
So here's the recipe my loves!

  • For the cookies:
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 Tablespoons milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the coconut topping:
    • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
    • 15 ounces store-bought soft caramels
    • 3 Tablespoons milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 8 ounces dark chocolate 

  • Make the cookies:
    • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In three increments, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, mixing between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined and the dough begins to come together in large pieces.
    • Use your hands to divide the dough in half, pressing it together to compact it into two disks. Wrap the disks securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.
    • Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut out as many cookies as possible with a doughnut-shaped cookie cutter. (See Kelly's Notes for cookie cutter alternatives.) Place the cut-out cookies on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
    • Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half-way through, until the cookies are pale golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire wrack to cool completely.
  • Make the coconut topping:
    • Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the coconut for about 10 minutes in a 350ºF oven until toasted, stirring frequently to ensure even browning and so that it does not burn. (See Kelly's Notes.) Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set it aside.
    • Melt the caramels, milk and salt in a double-boiler by placing the caramels in a medium sauce pot set over a large sauce pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring, until the caramels are fully melted. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and combined 3/4 of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl.
    • Carefully spread the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel atop the cooled cookies then press on a portion of the coconut mixture. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes. If the caramel-coconut mixture thickens too much at any point while pressing it onto the cookies, return it to the double-boiler and warm it until it's spreadable again.
    • Melt the dark chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to drizzle the tops with chocolate. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully.
Additional Notes:
  • If you don't have a doughnut-shaped cookie cutter, you can use two cookies cutters (such as a circular 2-inch and a circular 1-inch) to form the ring shape. Alternately, you can use the caps to any dry spices to serve as cookie cutters.
  • If the dough is too firm to roll out after being refrigerated, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling and cutting out the cookies.
  • The shortbread should be very pale golden in color. When in doubt, under bake it!
  • If using dark chocolate chips, 8 ounces is equal to about 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips.
  • Coconut burns very quickly, so keep an eye on it and stir often!
  • Spreading the cookies with the reserved 1/4 cup of caramel gives the coconut mixture a stickier base to adhere to.

See the original recipe post with pictures here on Just a Taste. 

So there you have it!  The perfect solution for my fellow Samoa lovers out there. Happy Girl Scout Season!

1 comment:

  1. When I was a Girl Scout in NY, we called them Carmel DeLites! No one believes me when I tell them that...I'm glad someone else knows their other name!


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