The pin led to Recipe Sweet which led to Just to Taste which had the complete recipe and photo instructions. These cookies are amazing! They taste very similar to the Girl Scout cookies...at a fraction of the cost. They require a bit of work, though. The time is well-invested for how good they taste.
Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies that we made.
Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen (2-inch) cookies
Prep time: 2 hours (includes chilling)
Cook time: 15 minutes
For the cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the coconut topping:
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
15 ounces store-bought or homemade soft caramels (Note: there wasn't enough caramel to cover all the cookies. This amount could be increased a bit along with the milk.)
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces dark chocolate (about 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips)
Make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In three increments, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, mixing between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined and the dough begins to come together in large pieces.
Use your hands to divide the dough in half, pressing it together to compact it into two disks. Wrap the disks securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.
Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. (Note: If the dough is too firm to roll out after being refrigerated, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling and cutting out the cookies.)
Cut out as many cookies as possible with a doughnut-shaped cookie cutter. (Note: we just used a round cookie cutter.) Place the cut-out cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half-way through, until the cookies are pale golden brown. It is better to underbake them than overbake them. Transfer the cookies to a wire wrack to cool completely.
Make the coconut topping:
Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the coconut for about 10 minutes in a 350ºF oven until toasted, stirring frequently to ensure even browning and so that it does not burn. (Check frequently since it burns very quickly.) Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set it aside.
Melt the caramels, milk and salt in a double-boiler by placing the caramels in a medium pot set over a large pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring, until the caramels are fully melted. Remove the pot from the heat and combine 3/4 of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl.
Carefully spread the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel atop the cooled cookies then press on a portion of the coconut mixture. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes. If the caramel-coconut mixture thickens too much at any point while pressing it onto the cookies, return it to the double-boiler and warm it until it's spreadable again.
Melt the dark chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to drizzle the tops with chocolate. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully.