Girl Scout Cookie season is such a wonderful time of year, dontcha think? Growing up, I never really had a desire to become a Brownie or a Girl Scout, but boy did I looooove eating their cookies. I honestly can't say I have a definitive favorite between all of them, but if you were to put a box of Samoas (AKA Caramel deLites), Thin Mints, and Tagalongs (AKA Peanut Butter Patties) in front of me and told me to choose my favorite of the three I would probably....grab them all and run! Those are definitely my top three picks, but there are different things about each of them that I absolutely love, so I can't really say which one I prefer over the others. Unfortunately this indecisiveness leads me to buying one of each box when it is the season for Girl Scout Cookies. It's just so hard to say no when I walk by the girls on my way into work! They really know how to push those things. And, considering I live with a human garbage disposal, I had to go back and buy seconds because I didn't get to enjoy even one the first time around! Good thing I found a hiding place for these ones... :)
As delicious and irresistible as they are, I knew I had to stop splurging on them for my poor wallet's sake (buying a box is one thing, but once you're onto your 5th or 6th one, fuhhgedaboutit..make your own!). Coincidentally, I happened to stumble upon a link to homemade Somoas one day and vowed that the second I got in from work that day, I would make them. There really are some perks to working in a bank that's inside of a grocery store, afterall. Once I ran through the aisles in excitement and grabbed everything I needed, I headed home to make magic. (well, Somoas...but you should know they basically are magical!) Surprisingly, these really weren't hard to make. They do require a little bit of time and love, but judging by the outcome, they are definitely worth it. I was able to get 24 perfect shortbread cookies out of this recipe...not to mention they were about twice the size of the originals! Aside from the shortbread being a little thicker, they really taste just like the ones you buy from the cute little girls. And this way, instead of having to buy stock up on an emergency supply to resort to when they aren't in season, try this recipe out instead! They are seriously delicious...maybe I'll even try going door to door selling some. I may not be as cute as those little girls are, but I surely can provide a cookie that's almost just as good as the real thing. :)
So, you're not much of a coconut or caramel fan, you say? Do you happen to prefer another type of Girl Scout cookie over the Somoa? Well, lucky for you, I will be taking a whack at some more homemade versions. I was lucky enough to try a veganized version of the Thin Mint that Dave's sister over at Vegan Food Rocks made last week..so I will be sharing the homemade and the vegan homemade versions of that little cookie with you soon. Stay tuned!
24 1 1/2 inch Cookies
Ingredients for cookie:
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
Ingredients for topping:
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- 12 ounces of caramels
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 8 ounces chocolate chips
Directions for Cookie:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, begin by mixing the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
- Next, add in the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Finally, add the vanilla extract and milk and incorporate well. (I found kneading it with my hands was the fastest and most effective way!)
- Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough out (on top of parchment paper so it doesn't stick to the table). Make sure it is about 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Using a small, round cookie cutter, begins cutting out the cookies. (I didn't have one small enough, so I used the top of a drinking glass and it was the perfect size!)
- Cut as many cookies as you can (it's really easy dough to work with so just re-roll it out as much as you can. I was able to get 24 cookies from it)
- When placing on the cookie sheet, to fit more at a time you can place them close together. The shortbread doesn't expand much while cooking.
- Next, cut a hole from the middles of the cookie using a straw, finger, knife, etc. (I improvised and used the top of a water bottle cap and it was the perfect size. I ended up covering the hole with the topping, but it did allow me to get a few extra cookies out of it!)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Don't let them brown too much. They may still feel soft after this amount of time, but still pull them and let them cool. They will harden up a little while cooling, but you still want them to be soft.
- While baking you will want to start the ingredients for the topping.
Directions for Topping:
- Unwrap the caramels. Place in a bowl with the milk and salt and microwave for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally (length of time depends on the power of the microwave). You can also do this step on the stove top if you prefer.
- Next, spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Stir it every 3-5 minutes.
- Fold the coconut into the caramel mixture and stir well.
- Using a small spoon, place the mixture on top of the cooled cookies (about 2 tablespoons per cookie). (In order to keep the mixture from sticking to my hands, I lightly wet them and then spread the topping over the cookie)
- Finally, melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave (or on the stove top, again preference). Heat for about 30 seconds then stir, and repeat until melted completely.
- Dip the base of the cookies into the chocolate and place onto parchment paper. Once all cookies have been dipped, place the remaining chocolate into a zip block bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Pipe the chocolate onto the cookie in a zig-zag pattern.
- Place in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
Adapted from: A Bicycle Built for Two
(There are great step-by-step photos on this link!)
For a vegan version of this classic, click here! You can also purchase "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar" for this recipe and tons of other delicious vegan cookies. Yum!