March 9, 2010

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies - Samoas

Ohhh...I'm so happy to hear the comments about the Thin Mints, for those of you that plan on making them, please let me know how they turn out! As I said, I made mine just a tad too thick, so they weren't just like a girl scout cookie, but pretty darn close!

Side note: A couple of the gluten free blogs I read are Delish and The Cinnamon Quill. Becks at Delish not only has the cutest little boy in the world, but she also made a these cookies too using a blend of rice flours. If you don't use an all purpose gluten free flour, try Becks version of gluten free Thin Mints! If you're going the vegan route, Jenn has you covered! Please visit The Cinnamon Quill's take on Thin Mints. They also double as gluten free Oreos!

OK...moving on to Samoas. My FAVORITE of the girl scout cookies. Once again, I followed Nicole's recipe, but tweaked it to be gluten free. They turned out FABULOUS!!! Everyone who tried them, both gluten free and not, loved them! I did not make the holes in the middle, so they were giant balls of gooey caramel, coconut, chocolate goodness! Without further ado....

Gluten Free Samoas (aka...Caramel de-Lites)
recipe adapted from Baking Bites

For the cookies you'll need....

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (Again, I used Jules)
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
up to 2 tbsp milk (I used only 1 tbsp)

- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.

- Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt at a low speed.

- Add vanilla extract and milk, adding milk as needed to make the dough come together in a nice thick texture, not too sticky.

Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. (I left mine in overnight)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- Either scoop tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball, and flatten, or roll the dough out between floured (gluten free, of course!) wax paper to about ¼ inch thickness.

- Use round cookie cutters to make small circles and use a knife of wide straw to cut a smaller center hole. (Or if you're like me, you can skip this part and just make them whole.)

- Place on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. (Keep checking on them, mine actually needed to cook for about 20-25 minutes. It's best to start with 15 and keep adding time as needed)

- Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely as you make your oh-so-delicious topping!

For the topping, you'll need...
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz chewy caramels (I used the bag of Kraft caramels)
3 tbsp milk
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (I used the Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)

This part is time consuming, so hang in me, it's worth it.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

- Spread coconut evenly on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until coconut is golden. Cool on a baking sheet, stirring occasionally.

- While that's doing its thing, melt the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching.

-Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on wax paper.

Set extra chocolate aside.

- Unwrap caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt.

- When caramel is smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.

- Using the spatula or small spoon, spread the topping on cooled cookies, using 2-3 tsp per cookie. (Reheat caramel mixture for a few second in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.)

- Once all of the cookies have caramel topping, take the chocolate (reheat if needed) and with a spoon, drizzle chocolate over cookies making thin lines (or whatever design you see fit).

Let the chocolate set completely before devouring. If there are any leftovers, store in an airtight container or zip-lock bag.

Makes about 3½ to 4 dozen DELICIOUS cookies!

Check back in tomorrow for gluten free Tagalongs! (or Peanut Butter patties, I think they are now called?)
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