This recipe is an exact copy of samoas or currently known as caramel delites. They are not for people who like to do things quickly, they take some time and patience. I promise though that if you invest the time, the end result is well worth it. I was a little disappointed in myself since I did not have enough caramels so my coconut mixture was not as smooth as I would have liked. Nevertheless they tasted great. I forget where I had gone the day after I made these, but Blair texted me yelling at me for leaving him home with a cookie jar full of these. We polished them off in no time. I will continue to support my little niece, but it is nice to know that I can make a homemade version of these yummy cookies.
Yield: 3 1/2 to 4 dozen
For the shortbread base:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
up to 2 tablespoons milk
For the Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-ounces good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt3 tablespoons milk
8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips will do)
What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F). Spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Watch carefully, especially near the end of toasting time; the coconut toasts very quickly once it begins to become golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, next, the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk only as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (you may not need any at all). The dough should come together into a soft, pliable ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough seems sticky.
It’s easiest to roll the dough out in 2 or 3 batches (between pieces of wax (or parchment) paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or a little thinner) using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined (or on silicone mat) baking sheet and make a hole in the center. I used the small end of a large round piping tip. Repeat until the dough is used up (it’s okay to re-roll, this dough is shortbread-like and very forgiving.)
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are very lightly golden brown around the edges.
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, to allow them to firm up slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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.
Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 teaspoons per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it begins to firm up, to make it soft and spreadable once again.
Source: Once Upon a Plate