I'm officially a second-semester senior! It seems like this is the time that all high school students wait for - the semester that everyone talks about as being the funnest semester of one's high school years. I mean, school is pretty much done! College applications are finished, mid-year grade reports have been sent in to all the schools, and class in general is pretty much winding down for us senior. Granted, I'm still in two Advanced Placement classes (European History and Economics, and I finished Government last semester for those of you interested) but all the other stresses of school have definitely been dwindling down.
If it's dwindling down, you're probably wondering why I haven't posted! Answer: to get to be a second semester senior, I needed to take finals! I finished them last week, so it's not the perfect excuse but right after finals ended I flew out to Massachusetts to visit my boyfriend. If you live anywhere on the East Coast or have turned on the T.V. in the past week, you know all about the ridiculous amounts of snow that have been pounding down on the Eastern United States. Well, Western Massachusetts is no exception and my Wednesday flight out of here got canceled. I finally got home two days ago on Friday the 6th, but I've been so jet-lagged and not feeling good I couldn't bring myself to post. Blah! Sorry. But I'm here now with a fabulous recipe, so no more worries!
I made something I crave year-round...but is only available during Girl Scout Cookie season. Samoas. Or Caramel D-Lites as they are now called (but they'll always be Samoas to me). These buttery cookies are covered in homemade caramel, covered in coconut, dipped in chocolate and then drizzled with more chocolate. They are extremely sinful, but sinfully delicious. Trust me...you won't regret making them. They're addictive. Put them in a box and you won't be able to tell the difference between these and the real thing. I can't take credit for the copy-cat recipe, the credit is given to The Babble Blog and boy did they do a good job. They are a bit time consuming, but oh so worth it. If you're missing your Girl Scout cookies, definitely give these babies a try!!
Homemade Copy-Cat Samoas
Adapted from The Babble Blog
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
Dipping Caramel (recipe follows)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (available at health food stores)
12 ounces of chocolate chips
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in egg and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl, if necessary. Add in vanilla. Beat until smooth. With mixer on low, add in salt and flour. Mix until completely incorporated and dough is uniform. Pull dough together and shape into a cylinder with a diameter of about 2 1/2 inches. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze for at least 25 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into 1/8 inch disks and place on baking sheets, about an inch apart. Once you have made 30 cookies, wrap up the cookie dough, freeze, and save for another time. Use a tiny circle shaped cookie cutter or a large round cake decorating tip to cut a hole in the center of each disk. Refrigerate for an additional 10 minutes. Bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool completely.
3. Add coconut into the caramel. Warm the caramel in the microwave for about 10 seconds if necessary. Take cooled cookies and gently dip them completely in the caramel. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze until set, about 5 minutes.
4. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until fully melted. Place the caramel coated cookies in the chocolate and cover only the bottom of the cookie. Use a fork to pull them out of the chocolate and place them on a parchment line cookie sheet. Use the chocolate still on the fork to drizzle stripes over the top of the cookies. Refrigerate until set.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons corn syrup
6 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons heavy cream* (DO NOT use plain whipping cream)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan with high sides, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Whisk until combined, and set over medium-low heat. Swirl the pan every now and then to help distribute the heat. Use can use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sugar crystals down the sides of the saucepan. When the sugar dissolves completely, raise the heat to medium. When it comes to a boil, watch very carefully for the bubbles to become more viscous (this means that the water has evaporated and that it is ready to go through the candy stages). As it is bubbling away, you want it to turn a deep amber color. When it does, remove the heat and, working quickly, use the spoon to scoop up a small amount of the candy and drop it into the small glass of water. If the blob turns hard like lollipop, then it is ready. If the blob is still soft, put the pan back on the heat. Keep testing until the candy is hard. Remove from heat.
2. Whisk in butter, 6 tablespoons of cream, and vanilla (Careful here, as the mixture should bubble violently for about 10 seconds). If the caramel isn’t smooth right away, return the pan to low heat and whisk until smooth.
*To clarify, this cream should be heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, not whipping cream.
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