Give me a brown vest with some patches and call me a Girl Scout!!! These semi-homemade Samoas are so good and fairly simple there’s really not much to love about them. Last year I made Samoa cookies completely from scratch, baked the shortbread, made caramel, the whole nine yards. They were spectacular, but time consuming and labor intensive. So I decided to check Pinterest to see what people were using for a semi-homemade version, I had no clue how many “recipes” would pop up. Some were pretty good, others were a total stretch. So I went through ones that had pictures fairly close to the real deal, combined the parts that I liked from each and came up with mine.
The one thing I noticed for a lot of them was the use of the microwave to melt the caramels, but they all complained that after you did it several times (if you don’t work quick enough the stuff gets too difficult to work with) it would taste a little off and be very dry. I’m a huge fan of double boilers, it’s how I normally do my chocolate so I went that route with the caramels.
For the Recipe:
30 caramel squares (I used the Kraft brand)
2 tbsp. heavy cream
2 cups sweetened and shredded coconut **
1 package Keebler Fudge Stripes
Using a double boiler melt the caramel squares. When they are about halfway melted add the heavy cream and mix well. While you are doing this, toast your coconut in a 350 degree oven. Be sure to keep your eye on this, it will go from looking like it’s not doing anything to burnt in a matter of seconds. Once the caramel is melted put a layer of just caramel on each cookie, I find this layer helps the caramel/coconut layer stick much better.
To make it a little easier for myself, I had a cooling rack out so I could place the cookies once they had their little layer of caramel. After you finish that layer you can add the coconut to the caramel and mix well. This layer can be a tad sticky, I used a little knife and my fingers to make this step go a little easier. I tried not to handle the cookies too much while doing this step because they have that chocolate bottom which will start to melt and get all goopy when being held by warm hands too long. After you get them all covered in the caramel/coconut mixture you can finish them off with their chocolate stripes to make them look like a true Samoa cookie, but since they had those chocolate strips on them (you just cover them with caramel) I didn’t want to, seemed like too much chocolate for me (I know, too much chocolate?). If you want to, just melt some chocolate and drizzle little lines on top.
On a side note: I didn’t have shredded sweetened coconut on hand, I had unsweetened coconut flakes. I was way too lazy to go to the store so I improvised and it worked wonderfully. I chopped the flakes into little pieces and sprinkled with about 2 tbsp. of sugar before toasting in the oven. Worked like a charm!!