Girl Scouts

18 Apr

So the summer in between high school and college I knew I wanted to get a job. I also knew that I either wanted to get a job to work with kids or in a bakery. I started looking for jobs at summer camps and came across one for a Girl Scout camp in Washington that would last the entire summer and pay me a healthy sum of money which I could use to pay for my food for the first year at least. I am almost done with the application, and will be sending it off soon, and am seriously hoping that I get the job because it will keep me busy all summer rather than forcing me to sit and do nothing for 3 months anxiously awaiting college. Right now I’m crossing my fingers that my application isn’t too late and that they’ll take me on. Thinking about this made me remember that I made samoas a while back with that butter cookie dough that I posted and I thought you might all like to know how to make them!

The recipe I used had a recipe for the cookies which I will use next time because I didn’t really think the recipe I used went with the samoas. It was too much of a soft butter cookie instead of the usual harder sugary cookie. I’ll post the entire recipe at the end so you can do everything properly. 😉

I started out with making little rings out of the cookie dough. I used a small biscuit cutter for the outside and the large end of a piping tip for the middle.  Just a hint: It’d be a lot easier to make these circles rather than rings!

For the topping I used sweetened coconut flakes, caramels, chocolate. I also used milk and salt, but they wouldn’t allow me to photograph them…I think they were being camera shy.

Start by spreading the coconut on a lined baking sheet. You need to bake it at 5 minute intervals, taking out the pan and stirring everything so it cooks evenly.

When it’s all light-medium brown you know it’s done. It’s fine if there is still some parts that are really light still, it’ll add to the chewy texture. I think I consumed at least a handful of this straight out of the oven…I love toasted coconut!

You then need to grab a glass bowl and throw in the caramels with some milk and salt. You then microwave this in intervals stirring in between. This is NOT done:

This is done:

There will still be small lumps, but when you stir it, they will melt, like this:

Next, pour in the coconut, and toss until coated. It should form a sort of sticky, soft dough.

To assemble, you take a cookie and spoon on some of the coconut mixture until everything is covered. It was slightly difficult because I was trying to keep the hole in the middle like the original cookies. Next time I’ll just do slid shapes, no cut-outs! Also, you need to work relatively quickly in order to prevent the caramel from hardening. When it started to get hard I just stuck it back in the microwave for a bit until softened.

Once all the cookies are covered you can set them aside and melt your chocolate chips. I actually had mine melting in a double-boiler while I was assembling he cookies so I was all set. Carefully place a cookie in the chocolate to cover the bottom. It may help to stick the cookies in the freezer for a bit before doing this so that the caramel is really hard and easier to hold on to when dipping.  Once all the bottoms have been dipped, place the extra chocolate in a ziploc bag and pipe stripes on the tops of the cookies.

Stick these in the fridge for a few minutes while you start cleaning up…you’ll need to scrub hard, I promise!

After you have licked *ahem* washed the bowl clean of all the chocolate and the other of all the caramel/coconut mixture, you can take your cookies out fo the fridge and put them in containers.

I think I want to explore making ThinMints next. The blog I used also has a recipe for them so I’m dying to try them. At least this way, I can have fresh girl scout cookies during the off season!

Here’s the recipe and the link:

Homemade Samoas

by Baking Bites
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
up to 2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F.
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 and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold.
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels 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 to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.

While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.


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