Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies

Sorry........this is not a diet, low-fat, or healthy recipe in ANY way, but these cookies are delicious. Last year, they were selling girl scout cookies at the hospital I was rotating at for surgery. I bought 2 boxes of Somoas, 2 boxes of Thin Mints, and 2 boxes of Tagalongs, figuring that they would last awhile in my apartment since Matt, my fiance at the time is not really a sweets lover. I was wrong, within a week and a half ALL of the cookies were gone. Mr. "I don't like coconut," or so he said the last time I had asked him to share a dessert featuring coconut even ate ALL of the Somoas. So I was very happy to find these recipes (they aren't mine) but I thought I would share. This way, you can have them at any time of year, not just during girl scout season

Homemade Thin Mints

(for about 1.5 dozen cookies)
18 Ritz Crackers
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1.) Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or wax paper; set aside. Clear out a spot in your refrigerator or freezer to accommodate baking sheet.
2.) In a shallow microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening and heat for 1 minute on high power to melt. Stir and heat in 10 to 15 second bursts until chocolate can be stirred very smooth.
3.)To the melted chocolate add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and stir. If you prefer it mintier, add another 1/4 teaspoon. 
4.) Add 1 cracker to the chocolate, coat it, and remove it by lightly scooping it up from the underside with a fork, allowing excess chocolate to drain off through fork tines. 
5.)Place cracker on parchment and repeat with all remaining crackers. If necessary, re-heat the chocolate in 10 to 15 second bursts if it starts getting too firm for smooth dipping. 
6.) After all crackers have been dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator.

Homemade Samoas

(For 2 dozen cookies)
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup all vegetable shortening
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp milk, as needed
3/4 cups toasted desiccated coconut, divided
22 caramels, unwrapped (such as Kraft)
2 1/2 Tbsp milk
1 pinch salt
    For Chocolate Coating:
    5 Tbsp shortening
    3 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1.)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
    2.)In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda, set aside. 
    3.)In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, blend together shortening, sugar and vanilla until combine (only about 30 seconds). Stir in dry ingredients.
     4.) Add milk 1/2 Tbsp at a time as needed, until dough comes together. Roll dough out between two large sheets of parchment paper, to about 1/6" thickness. 
    5.)Using a 2" cookie cutter, cut dough into circles then using the end of a small pastry tip cut a hole in the center of each circle. 
    6.)Using a large sharp knife or pastry scraper slide knife under entire cookie and lift the cookie off of the parchment paper and transfer to a lined cookie sheet.
    7.) Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 10 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
    8.) Pour 1/2 cup desiccated coconut into a shallow bowl and set aside. 
    9.)Heat caramels, 2 1/2 Tbsp milk and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Reduce temperature to warm, add remaining 1/4 cup desiccated coconut to melted caramel and mix to combine. 
    10.) Leave caramel mixture over warm heat (as you coat cookies), stirring caramel occasionally. Working one cookie at a time, spread about 1 tsp caramel mixture around the top of cookie, then immediately dip caramel coated side of cookie into the bowl of desiccated coconut then set on parchment paper and allow caramel to set.
    11.) Prepare chocolate coating according to directions listed then dip bottoms of cookies (none caramel coated side) in coating and run the bottom of the cookie along the inside edge of the bowl scrapping excess coating off (you just need a thin coating). 
    12.)Place dipped cookie upside down (so the chocolate coating should be facing upward).
    Directions for Chocolate Coating:
    1.)In a microwave safe bowl, using a fork, blend together shortening and cocoa powder.
     2.) Microwave mixture in 15 second intervals on HIGH power, stirring after each interval until completely melted.
    3.) Add powdered sugar and mix until well combine and smooth.

    Homemade Tagalongs

    1 cup of confectioner sugar
    1 cup butter
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    2 cups of flour
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup chopped dark chocolate
    2 tablespoons whipping cream
    6 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
    4-5 tablespoons water, warm
    1. Place ½ cup confectioner sugar and butter in a bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium until light and creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour and beat until combined. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.
    2. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough to a 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Using a two inch round cookie cutter stamp out cookies. Using the flat end of a glass or bottle lightly press it into the stamped out cookie dough to create a shallow well. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
    3. Place peanut butter in a sauce pan and heat on low until it becomes soft and resembles the consistency of a cold milk shake. Add remaining ½ cup of confectioner and stir to combine. Add vanilla extract stir to combine.
    4. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.
    5. Place the peanut butter filling in a pastry bag or Ziploc bag with a corner cut and pipe the peanut butter filling on the cookie. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 1 hour for the filling to harden and solidify slightly.
    6. Remove cookies from refrigerator. Dip the topside first and then roll the cookie over to cover the back side.
    *Thanks Cooking Classy, Averie Cooks, and Bakers Royale for the recipes :)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. These sound amazing! I am ready to make a mess in my kitchen; let's start baking :)