How to Make Homemade Samoas Cookies: Step-by-Step

November 15, 2018
Have you ever wondered how to make homemade Samoas Cookies?  ~ Start with a basic shortbread cookie base, add a scrumptious caramel coconut topping, then finish it all off with a dark chocolate dunk and drizzle, and you've got your very own homemade version of classic Samoas cookies. Just pair them with a big glass of milk for the perfect ooey-gooey cookie treat ... any time of the year!
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Homemade Samoas Cookies Image


Who doesn't love the ooey-gooey caramel and coconut goodness of Samoas cookies?  I know they're one of my personal favorites, for sure.  

And typically at "cookie season," we've all been known to buy an extra box or two to pop in the freezer for when that Samoas craving hits later in the year, right?  At least, I know I sure have. 

But did you know you don't have to wait for "cookie season" to enjoy Samoas' deliciousness?

That's right!  You can make your very own homemade version of the classic Samoas cookies to enjoy all year round ... even when there's no box in sight. 

Start with a basic shortbread cookie base, add a scrumptious caramel coconut topping, then finish it all off with a dark chocolate dunk and drizzle, and you've got your very own homemade Samoas at the ready any time of year.

Start with a basic shortbread cookie base, add a scrumptious caramel coconut topping, then finish it all off with a dark chocolate dunk and drizzle, and you've got your very own homemade Samoas at the ready any time of year.

Admittedly, these cookies are time-consuming and a tad tedious to make.  But from a flavor perspective, they're spot-on.  

If you've just got to have a taste of your favorite Samoas ... or, are looking for a fun kitchen project and don't mind taking a bit of time, ... this homemade Samoas recipe is for you.  While you're at it, go ahead and whip up a batch of homemade Thin Mints, too!

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies Image

So let's take a look at how to make homemade Samoas cookies: step-by-step ...


Step 1:  Make the Shortbread Cookie Middles - Prepare the Dough

Shortbread Cookie Dough Image

To make the cookie middles, mix up a batch of basic shortbread cookies.

In a mixing bowl, beat together softened butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract to start the shortbread cookie dough.

Then add in all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.  Finally, mix in a little milk and blend until just combined.


It may be tempting to skip the chilling time, but chilling the dough is essential to easy cutting of the cookies and to keeping the cookies from spreading while they bake.

Divide dough into two equal parts and use your hands to form each part into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

It may be tempting to skip the chilling time, but chilling the dough is essential to easy cutting of the cookies and to keeping the cookies from spreading while they bake.


Step 2:  Make the Shortbread Cookie Middles - Roll Out the Dough

Rolled Out Shortbread Cookie Dough Image

Working with one disc at a time, remove a disc from the refrigerator and roll to just slightly thicker than 1/8-inch thickness.

To keep the dough from sticking and tearing, sprinkle your work surface, the top of the dough, and your rolling pin with a bit of all-purpose flour before rolling.  Not a ton of flour, though ... just a tiny bit will do the trick.


Step 3:  Make the Shortbread Cookie Middles - Cut the Cookies


Cutting Out Shortbread Cookies to Make Homemade Samoas Cookies Image

Use a donut cutter or two round cookie cutters, one smaller than the other, to cut the dough into circles. 

I found a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter to be the perfect size for the larger circle, and I used the cap from a small spice bottle instead of a cookie cutter to cut out the inside circle.


For the best result, keep the dough as cold as possible while cutting the cookies.

The cookie dough can stretch out of shape easily when warm.  For the best result, keep the dough as cold as possible while cutting the cookies.

Once cut, carefully transfer the cut circles to a baking sheet with a small spatula.  

Then re-roll the remaining dough scraps and continue to cut circles until all the dough is used.



Step 4:  Make the Shortbread Cookie Middles - Bake the Cookies


Baked Shortbread Cookies to Make Homemade Samoas Cookies Image

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes until they're just starting to turn pale golden brown on the edges.  

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Step 5:  Make the Caramel Coconut Topping - Toast the Coconut

Toasted Coconut on Baking Pan Image

Toasted coconut brings the characteristic Samoas coconut flavor to these cookies.  Also, toasting the coconut brings that bit of crunch to the caramel coconut topping.

Spread 4 cups of sweetened flaked coconut onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Then bake the coconut at 350 degrees for about 12 to 18 minutes until it's lightly browned.  Coconut can burn quickly so keep a close watch on it, being sure to stir it frequently for even browning.

Remove the coconut from the oven and set it aside to use a bit later.


Step 6:  Make the Caramel Coconut Topping - Combine Caramel & Coconut

Caramel Coconut Topping to Make Homemade Samoas Cookies Image

Unwrap 20 ounces of store-bought soft caramels ~ this will be about 75 candies.  Place the caramels, a bit of milk, and a smidge of salt in the top of a double boiler. Cook over gently simmering water, stirring frequently, until the caramels are fully melted.

Take out about 1/4 of the melted caramel and put it in a small bowl.  Set this aside ~ you'll use it as "glue" on the cookies in a little bit.

With the remaining 3/4 of the melted caramel still on the warm stove burner, add in the toasted coconut and stir gently until well combined.  Remove from the heat.


Step 7:  Assemble the Samoas - Spread with Caramel

How to Make Homemade Samoas Cookies Image

Working with one cookie at a time, spread each cookie with a thin layer of the reserved caramel.  This acts like "glue" and helps the caramel coconut topping better adhere.

If the caramel becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, warm it in the microwave for about 5 to 8 seconds until it's more spreadable.



Step 8:  Assemble the Samoas - Add Caramel Coconut Topping

How to Make Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies Image


With each cookie, add the caramel coconut topping immediately after spreading on the thin caramel layer.

With a small spoon, press about 1 tablespoon caramel coconut topping onto each cookie.  Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.

If the caramel coconut topping becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, place it back over simmering water and warm it until it's spreadable again.


Step 9:  Assemble the Samoas - Dunk in Chocolate

Dunking Homemade Samoas Cookies in Chocolate Image

Coarsely chop 8 ounces of good-quality dark chocolate.  Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil.  The oil will help make the chocolate easier to work with in coating the cookies.  

Heat the chocolate, stirring frequently, until it's completely melted and smooth.

One at a time, dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate. Gently shake the cookie a couple of times to allow any excess chocolate to drip off.

Place each dipped cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.



Step 10:  Assemble the Samoas - Drizzle with Chocolate

Drizzling Homemade Samoas Cookies with Chocolate Image

Use a fork or a small spoon to drizzle chocolate over the tops of the cookies.  

Let the cookies stand until the chocolate is fully set.  Or, place the baking sheet of drizzled cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the chocolate more quickly.

Just pair them with a big glass of milk for the perfect homemade ooey-gooey cookie treat ... any time of the year.

Store the finished cookies in a covered airtight container at room temperature, and they're ready to grab anytime your Samoas craving hits.

Loaded with scrumptious caramel coconut topping piled on a homemade shortbread cookie, then finished off with a dark chocolate dunk and drizzle, they're full of fabulous Samoas flavor.

Just pair them with a big glass of milk for the perfect homemade ooey-gooey cookie treat ... any time of the year.  

Homemade Samoas Cookies with Coconut Caramel Topping Image
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How to Make Homemade Samoas Cookies: Step-by-Step
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
For the Shortbread Cookies:
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. milk
For the Caramel Coconut Topping:
  • 4 c. sweetened flaked coconut
  • 20 ounces store-bought soft caramels (about 75 candies)
  • 4 T. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
For the Chocolate Drizzle:
  • 8 oz. good-quality dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable or canola oil
Directions
  1. MAKE THE SHORTBREAD COOKIES: In a mixing bowl, beat softened butter for about 30 seconds with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk and blend until just combined.
  3. Divide dough into two equal parts and use your hands to form each part into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (It may be tempting to skip the chilling time, but chilling the dough is essential to easy cutting of the cookies and to keeping the cookies from spreading while baking.)
  4. Working with one disc at a time, remove from the refrigerator and roll to just slightly thicker than 1/8-inch thickness. To prevent sticking and tearing of the dough, sprinkle your work surface, the top of the dough, and your rolling pin with a bit of all-purpose flour before rolling.
  5. Use a donut cutter or two round cookie cutters, one smaller than the other, to cut the dough into circles. (I found a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter to be the perfect size for the larger circle, and used the cap from a small spice bottle instead of a cookie cutter to cut out the inside circle.)   Carefully transfer cut circles to a baking sheet with a small spatula. Re-roll the remaining dough scraps and continue to cut circles until all the dough is used. The cookie dough can stretch out of shape easily when warm ~ For the best result, keep the dough as cold as possible while cutting the cookies.
  6. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes until just starting to turn pale golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. MAKE THE CARAMEL COCONUT TOPPING:  Spread coconut onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. (Coconut can burn quickly so keep a close watch on it, being sure to stir it frequently for even browning.)  Remove from the oven and set aside.
  8. Unwrap the caramels. Place caramels, milk, and salt in the top of a double boiler. Cook over gently simmering water, stirring frequently, until the caramels are fully melted.
  9. Remove about 1/4 of the melted caramel to a small bowl. Set aside.
  10. Add toasted coconut to the remaining melted caramel. Stir gently until well combined. Remove from the heat.
  11. ASSEMBLE THE SAMOAS COOKIES:  Working with one cookie at a time, spread the cookie with a thin layer of reserved caramel. (This helps the caramel coconut topping adhere well.)  With a small spoon, press about 1 tablespoon caramel coconut topping onto the cookie. Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining cookies.  (If the caramel becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, warm it in the microwave for about 5 to 8 seconds until spreadable. If the caramel coconut topping becomes too difficult to spread as it cools, place it back over simmering water and warm it until it's spreadable again.)
  12. DIP & DRIZZLE IN CHOCOLATE:  Coarsely chop the dark chocolate. Place in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the 1/2 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil. Heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  13. One at a time, dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate. Gently shake the cookie a couple of times to allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Place dipped cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.
  14. Use a fork or small spoon to drizzle chocolate over the tops of the cookies. 
  15.  Let the cookies stand until the chocolate is fully set. Or, place the baking sheet of drizzled cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the chocolate more quickly.
  16. Store cookies in a covered airtight container at room temperature.
Enjoy!


Please enjoy these other tasty cookie recipes from The Kitchen is My Playground ...








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Find more great cookie recipes at Meal Plan Monday - Cookie Edition.

3 comments

  1. You make making these cookies look easy! I need to try making some for my little boy! Great recipe ..thanks!!

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