I look forward to this time of year, when little girls in green vests come to our Walmart and sell Girl Scout cookies. (that sounded a little creepy) I only buy one flavor, the samoa. Toasted coconut, caramel, chocolate..oh yeah and a cookie! Love them. I enjoy them mostly frozen and on the couch, when my kids are in bed so I don't have to share. I know, it's kind of mean, but seriously you pay $3.50 for a box of cookies, and that box only contains, what twelve cookies? So, I am a Samoa hoarder..yep. I got a brilliant idea to make my own. I decided not to look up a recipe, but just wing it. And it actually wasn't too shabby. Although, these would have been much easier with a third or fourth hand. So, if you decide to make these, do so with a friend!
This recipe has four separate parts, each is vital to the yumminess of your cookie...in the end, you will be glad you tried. Right? Right..here it goes.
Step 1: making your toasted coconut flakes.
In this day and age, we are lucky to live in a society that brings us marvelous things, like marshmallow fluff (that's for you Mindy) and shredded sweetened coconut flakes..have you ever tried to cut a coconut? Marvelous stores like Walmart (sarcasm here) provided me with these white flakes of sweet nutty-ness.
Preheat your oven to 325. Place the coconut flakes on a baking sheet, making sure it is an even layer. Once your oven is heated, bake your coconut flakes until your desired toasting is achieved. Keep an eye on this, because it will brown quickly. Take your coconut out of the oven, and put in a bowl, or small casserole dish, otherwise, the hot baking pan will keep toasting your coconut. When it is cool, crumble the coconut into smaller pieces. This will help a lot later on. Set aside.
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cream your butter until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and cream together for about 2 minutes, or until the mix is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until well incorporated (seriously, that word makes me think of Kids Incorporated..) add the flour and mix until just combined. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or place parchment paper on the sheets. Roll out the shortbread on a lightly floured surface and cut out your desired shapes. In keeping with the theme of Samoa's, I made round shapes, and then cut out the middle. Place on the baking sheets and let them chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Bake in the oven, one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes. I found that if you baked them a little longer, they held up better than the 8 minute ones. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Caramel for dipping..
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
place all three ingredients in a pan over medium heat, let the butter melt. Wait for the mixture to come to a boil, and then watch, and check the caramel. I waited until it was a little above the "soft ball" stage. Take off of heat and start dipping your cookies in the caramel. This is where an extra pair of hands would come in handy. My caramel was cooling a lot faster than I was working. Once the cookie is covered in caramel, place in the reserved coconut flakes, coat and then place on a sheet of wax paper. Make sure the cookie is well covered in coconut, otherwise, they will stick to your wax paper. repeat until all your cookies are done. While you are waiting for the caramel to set...(A friend had the brilliant idea to mix the coconut and the caramel together, duh Em, that would have been a lot easier!)
Melt a bag of chocolate chips either in a double broiler, which I prefer, or in the good old man made wonder, the microwave.. Place in a pastry bag and drizzle the chocolate on top of the caramel coconut cookie. let the chocolate set and enjoy! Seriously glad my neighbor loves coconut, because apparently, no one in my house does but me, so I suppose I really didn't have to hide them...and can you imagine what these babies would do to my thighs? :)