Samoas/Caramel DeLites- PHO Free!

Posted on March 12, 2010. Filed under: Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts |

I am a little crazy, nutty, koo-koo, eccentric, out there, off my rocker, whatever you like to call it…I can go off on tangents and never quite find my way back.

Like partially hydrogenated oils. There isn’t 1 redeeming quality about them. Yes, they preserve food, but I don’t consider that a redeeming quality.

For the last few years my husband and I have been slowly eliminating Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) from our diet. Slowly is the key word here. Many foods that we really like have PHOs in them; so one by one we are eliminating those from our lives. Graham Crackers, Saltines, CoffeeMate creamer, and girl scout cookies, just to name a few. This was the first year I said absolutely, 100% will I NEVER eat another girl scout cookie. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know they taste good. I KNOW. But instead of buying them, I will just make them.

I am a huge advocate for homemade goods anyway; breads, ice cream, yogurt…So why not make homemade Samoas, and maybe Thin Mints soon as well…

Do you take a stand on anything? Even if it doesn’t make sense to other people? Or seems wacky, crazy, or inconvenient? I encourage you to take a stand for something you believe in. Do it, don’t worry about what people will say. Someone will always be for you and someone will always be against you. Do it, Do it, Do it.

Come on, these look a million times better then the processed version, and they don’t even have the chocolate on them yet.

As I browsed some food blogs to find a recipe for the Samoas/Caramel DeLites, I came across the one I settled on. She did a great job of documenting her cookie making procedures through pictures, a REALLY good job.

Recipe Adapted from Home Cooking in Montana
Makes about 3 – 4 dozen cookies, depending on the size of them obviously

1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
up to 2 tbsp milk (I only had to add 1 tbsp)

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. Place dough unto a plastic wrap and from into a log (about 2 inch in diameter). Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours until hard.
Preheat oven to 350F.

Unwrap cookie dough and cut into 1/4 inch or slightly thicker slices. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

I know these don’t have the holes in the center. We tried to do that, but it just wasn’t working. Not 1 person made a comment about holes not being there. The comments that were made involved words like, “yum, insane, delicious, wonderful, unbelievable.” You get the point. So don’t sweat it if you don’t put holes in the middle of your cookie.

Bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are lightly golden.
*You may need to cook them slightly longer or shorter depending on your oven temperature, so pay close attention so you don’t burn them.
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 (I made homemade caramel and used about 2 cups worth)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
12 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (you might need more chocolate)
vegetable oil (for thinning the chocolate)

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. You don’t want burned coconut! 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.
*If you are using homemade caramel, melt it in the microwave with the 3 tbsp milk for less then a minute and then stir in the toasted coconut.

Using the a small spatula, spoon or fork, 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 and vegetable oil in a double boiler.
*You will probably need a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper (place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet). Using a spoon, drizzle finished cookies with chocolate. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
*You can put the cookie sheet with the cookies on it in the freezer for them to harden quickly (less then 10 minutes), or in the refrigerator (about an hour).


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