So you know that decision I made last month to get back into my healthy eating groove? Well, it is going fantastically. I feel better, I have more energy, I completely cut out soda from my diet, I’m making all kinds of smart food choices and best of all, I’m wearing jeans I haven’t seen since before the kids were born. Hooray! So I’m sure you are probably wondering why in the heck I’ve got a giant picture of chocolate and caramel temptations going on here. Well, here’s the thing. The key to staying on track is not to completely restrict yourself – you need to balance it with little treats and rewards here and there or else you’ll go crazy. I am pretty much obsessed with Girl Scout cookies, so naturally with it being that time of year I keep fighting off my temptation to buy a gazillion boxes of Samoas and scarf them down in one sitting. But that won’t do me any good, will it? I’m certainly not prepared to let all my hard work go down the drain for a box of cookies. So I decided to make my own version with all natural ingredients and less sugar and oh my gosh, they are amazing. So here you go, my surprisingly easy take on Samoa Girl Scout cookies. Enjoy! (But don’t overdo it.)
These will probably take you around an hour start to finish, but if you’re short on time you can either make your shortbread and come back to it later, or use store bought shortbread cookies if you really want. The shortbread recipe I’m using is a classic that I grew up with and it is really similar to the pie crust method I use with a few subtle differences. It holds up really nicely to the layers and melted chocolate without crumbling and makes around 18 cookies.
For the shortbread portion:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 sticks of butter – softened
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
First preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix your butter and sugar in a stand mixer using a medium speed. Don’t worry if you don’t have a mixer, you can still do it by hand. Next add in your flour, baking powder, vanilla and milk. Sprinkle some flour onto a cutting board or other surface and roll out your dough, making sure to keep sprinkling flour over it so it doesn’t stick.
Now cut out your cookies. You can use a cookie cutter if you have one, but I don’t so I shaped mine using a small cup and the end of a piping tip for the hole. Bake them for 10-12 minutes.
Set them aside to cool and start on your topping mixture. Here is what you need:
- one bag of sweetened coconut
- half a bag (around 5 oz) of caramels
- 1 tbsp milk
- dark chocolate baking chips
Spread your coconut out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and stick it in the oven for 10 minutes, taking it out halfway through to mix it up. When it comes out it will be golden brown, toasted and smell amazing!
Melt your caramel and milk together in the microwave according to package directions, then lightly mix in your coconut. Spread the mixture onto your cookies with a spoon (and probably your fingers because caramel is sticky). Oh my gosh they look delicious already!
Next melt your chocolate in the microwave and divide it in half. Spread half of it onto a small plate and spoon the rest into a plastic sandwich bag (or piping bag if you’re feeling fancy) and cut off a small portion of a corner. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate and set them on a baking mat.
Make the famous stripes on top of your cookies using your bagged chocolate and give everything ten minutes or so to harden.
Now you’re finished! Aren’t they just amazing?
These are really delicious and taste just like the real deal. I hope you made enough to share, because these will go super quickly once the word is out! Store them at room temperature and they should stay fresh for 3-4 days. I personally love cold desserts so I like to refrigerate all my cookies. These are great in ice cream, sprinkled on top of a cheesecake and so much more!