Friday, April 16, 2010

My Version of Homemade Samoas Cookies

*Be sure to scroll to the bottom for my Carmel Delights variation for those who don't like coconut or don't have it on hand. They are awesome too! Oh, and they are less work.*

Homemade Samoas Cookies
1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla. The dough should come together without being sticky. If the dough is too dry, add a tiny bit of milk (no more than 2 Tbsp should be needed). Add a bit of extra flour if it's too sticky. Roll into little balls about the size of a nickle. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand to 1/4" thick or less. Use the end of a WIDE straw to make a hole in the middle of each cookie. If you don't have a wide straw, a regular straw will work. Just do three holes overlapping and kind of smooth the edges with the straw after the last hole. *Tip: When you make a hole, twist the straw a bit and it will collect the hole inside the straw.* Repeat with remaining dough. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. Cool for few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

3 cups shredded coconut
12 oz chewy carmels
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp milk

8 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 F. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast in five minute increments. After five minutes, see if most of the coconut is toasted. If there is a lot not toasted, stir and return to the oven for another five minutes. It should take about twenty minutes before the coconut is golden. Cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, unwrap the carmels and place in a large microwave safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times. When smooth, mix in the coconut. Have a bowl on water on hand to wet your hands with. With slightly wet hands, form a piece of the topping in to a snake shape, place around the top of a cookie and connect ends. Flatten slightly so the topping sticks to the cookie. Repeat for each cookie. If the topping gets to firm to work with, stick it back in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it.

While the topping sets, melt the chocolate chocolate chips in the microve for 45 seconds. Stir until all the chips are melted. Dip the base of each cookie in to the chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool. Drizzle the remaining chocolate (or melt a little more if necessary) over the finished cookies. Let the chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container. Makes 3.5-4 dozen cookies.

Carmel Delights
Prepare as above except dip the base in the chocolate before adding the topping and don't add the coconut to the topping recipe. You can just pour the melted carmel mixture to the top of each cookie, drizzle with chocolate and wait until they are set.

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