These easy homemade Girl Scout Samoa Cookies combine a buttery shortbread cookie with a rich chocolate and caramel topping. Sweetened coconut adds texture and flavor to the topping. These cookies are simple to make at home, and now you can enjoy your favorite cookies all year round.
It’s that time of year when you see Girl Scouts wearing their brown sashes wandering from door to door and setting up camp outside grocery stores. Multiple order forms float around offices in a subtle contest to get the most buyers. You guessed correctly, and it’s the time of year for Girl Scout cookies! February 8th is National Girl Scout Cookie Day, according to the Girl Scout website.
Samoas... a classic girl scout cookie
There has been a cookie order form hanging up in our break room at work for the past 2+ weeks for Girl Scout cookies. However, at $4.50 a pop, these cookies are anything but reasonable. Just as I was working up the courage to put my name down for a box of cookies… the flyer vanished, along with my hopes of getting a box of Samoas.
This week I got to thinking, Heather, you’re a baker, for goodness sakes. If the Girl Scouts of America can mass-produce thousands of boxes of Samoas each year, surely this is something that you can tackle in your kitchen. After all, I was a Girl Scout back in the day!
Why you'll love this recipe
These little morsels sure are delicious, but they do require a bit of work. Since my kitchen isn’t the equivalent of a factory assembly line, the baking has to be done in stages. First, make the shortbread, then add the coconut and caramel topping, and finally add the chocolate bottom and decorations on top.
The end result was something better than I could have hoped for. It was better than the little purple box of Samoas that I’d grown to love.
Key ingredients and why we use them
Shredded Coconut: You want to use sweetened shredded coconut in this recipe. Do not use unsweetened coconut—it will not be sweet enough in this recipe.
Caramel: I like to use packaged caramels for the topping. It's simpler than making your own caramel from scratch. Make sure you do not use caramel sauce. You want the packaged caramel candies because they will harden completely for the topping.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate: Feel free to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate for these cookies. Either will work fine, and it's completely a personal preference.
Heather's helpful hints
Working with the caramel and coconut mixture can get difficult if it begins to harden before you have coated all the cookies.
If this happens, simply move the pan back to the stove on low heat for 2-3 minutes to allow the mixture to warm again.
This recipe has three easy-to-follow steps for making your Samoa cookies. This takes some time, but each step is simple and straightforward.
- Bake (and cool) the shortbread cookies
- Make the coconut and caramel topping
- Add the chocolate coating on the bottom and drizzle on top
Related cookie recipes
Girl Scout Samoa Cookies
- 19 x 13-inch half-sheet baking pan
- Rolling Pin
- cookie cutter round 1½ inch
- piping bag
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- 12 ounces caramels
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon milk
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- 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. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
- Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about ¼-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 ½-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Unwrap the caramels and place in a large pot with salt and milk. Cook over low heat stirring frequently until caramel has melted. 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.
- While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a double boiler over low heat on the stove. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate into a piping bag and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Notes and Tips
Did you make this recipe?! First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try!
Please leave us a rating and feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and didn't — with a recipe!