A quick internet search will turn up a plethora of blog posts on homemade Girl Scout cookies. Crystal brought this one to my attention. And look at Lisa’s homemade Thin Mints - so pretty! Also, check out Baking Powders’ take on them.
Somehow I missed out on this phenomenon. Heretofore, I just waited around to get my fix during those few special weeks of the year when little green clad girls peddle their goods.
In true fashion, I’m always the last one to the party. But at least I finally made it, right?
Homemade Samoas (aka Caramel deLites)
You’ll find that these cookie bars aren’t nearly as sweet as their Girl Scout cookie namesake and as such aren’t a faithful re-creation of the original. That being said, I really like the more nuanced flavor of these bars- you can actually taste the buttery shortbread and the toasted coconut instead of just a chocolate and caramel sugar rush. I like to think of these cookie bars as a grown up, more sophisticated homage to the original.
Shortbread *adapted from the Lemon Lust Bar recipe in Flour by Joanne Chang
½ c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 T granulated sugar
1 T confectioners’ sugar
1 egg yolk
½ t vanilla extract
½ c unbleached all-purpose flour
½ c cake flour
¼ t baking powder
¼ t kosher salt
½ c granulated sugar
½ c water
½ c heavy cream
½ c toasted coconut chips
½ c bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted for drizzling
1. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with two pieces of parchment paper, cut to fit and overlapping the sides of the pan. To make the shortbread, in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (approx. 5 min). Scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all ingredients are mixed in. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until combined. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Continue mixing until that the dough has an even consistency.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a disk approximately 1 inch thick, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes until chilled. It should be firm but still somewhat pliable before working with it (note the dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month).
4. Pre-heat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit with the rack positioned in the center.
6. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the chilled dough out to approximately the size of the parchment lined baking pan. Then roll it over the pin to transfer to the pan. Use your fingers to press the dough into the corners of the pan. It should be approximately the same thickness all around.
7. Bake the shortbread until the edges have turned light brown, approximately 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a rack to cool slightly.
9. Here’s a quick, cheater’s version of tempering chocolate. This method won’t fully temper chocolate but it does make it easier to work with and allows it to set up: melt 2/3 of the total amount of bittersweet chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals until fully melted and then add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate and allow to sit until the added chocolate melts. Then stir the chocolate until smooth. Spoon the chocolate into a small plastic bag and cut off the tip of one corner. Using the plastic bag as a makeshift piping bag, drizzle the chocolate over the bars and set aside to allow the chocolate to set up. The bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.