So it's taken me a little bit to get this last cookie to you. Best for last? Yes.
I also had a wedding to finish planning and... well get married and all. More to come on that I promise! Then it will be back to business as usually, and I hope well much more than that. I have so much exciting things that will be popping up this year! But for right now, let me get back to the business of the Girl Scout Cookie, because we are still, in our house, in GSC high gear.
Since I already had my base cookie (remember the cookie used for the Tagalong here?) for the Samoa I didn't even need to think about that. But the topping, that was something to think about and I had been. A casein-free caramel-like topping. Back in my professional baking days I had a German chocolate cupcake that I used to topped with a vegan coconut pecan cream topping. So I got to thinking about it and thought that minus the pecans if I did it just right that it might work out nicely for the Samoas. So I got to experimenting with the sauce that I had used which is a base of brown sugar and coconut milk. Rather than boil it together I decided to cook the sugar first like you would cook caramel and that was the secret ticket because viola'! I made caramel sauce completely casein-free and it was absolutely amazing. MacLeod got home and I sampled some to him and he asked me where in the world I got casein-free caramel sauce because he knew I had been looking for some (I had this ice cream thing several weeks back and no safe toppings which made me angry) and I told him that I made it he was shocked!
(Since I have made this caramel sauce, I have been using it an SO many things... it's my new favorite thing!)
So then there is the final result of course which of course the kiddos need to try, the real critics. Well, they take the cookies in their lunch boxes to school and wave them in their classmates faces very obnoxiously and say "my moooom made these for me!" (I actually saw it one day, had I not had warm fuzzies about it I would have scolded them about it) So I think I have gotten the gold seal of approval from them. Additionally, I have shared them with others who are certified Girl Scout Cookie eaters and they say "omg, these are amazing," at least that is what it sounds like through the mouthful of cookies.
Gluten-Free, Casein-free Samoas
1/2 C Spectrum Shortening
1 1/4 C Gluten-free Flour Blend
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Coconut Caramel Topping:
2 C Organic Raw Coconut
1 C Brown Sugar
3/4 C Coconut Milk
1/4 C rice milk
1 Tbs tapioca flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 Oz. Gluten-free, Casein-free chocolate
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl.
3. In a stand mixer add shortening and sugar and blend on medium-high until creamy. Add extract and egg.
4. 1/2 C at a time, add flour mixture to mixer and blend after addition until all the flour has been added. The dough will begin to lump together which is what you want to happen.
5. Turn the dough back into the medium sized bowl and press it together and work it with your hands a bit just to get a uniform ball.
6. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, even over night is fine.
7. Cut two pieces of parchment paper, place one on your work space. Cut the dough in half (its easiest to work with a portion of the dough at one time)and flatten the dough just slightly and press the second piece of parchment on top of it.
8. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/4" thick. I actually put a ruler to it to measure this because I wanted to get a really nice thickness for the shortbread. A thin shortbread is too crisp. Try your hardest to keep a uniform thickness in the dough.
9. With a cutter (1.5" round) cut round circles (OR if you have a cutter with the center cut out )then cut out small circles out of the center of the circles (I used a pastry tip, the bottom opening)and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
10. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/4" thick. I actually put a ruler to it to measure this because I wanted to get a really nice thickness for the shortbread. A thin shortbread is too crisp. Try your hardest to keep a uniform thickness in the dough.
11. Bake for 10-12 mins. at 350 degrees.
12. Allow cookies to cool. Once they are cool from the oven, place the cookies into the freezer.
13. While the cookies are cooling start the sauce. In a small bowl combine the Coconut milk, rice milk and tapioca flour.
14. in a small sauce pan over med-high heat add brown sugar. Heat the brown sugar until it actually melts and starts to bubble. It's a tricky place because you don't want to burn it, but want to slightly caramelize it. So let it just start to boil.
15. Once the bubbling starts, add the milk and tapioca mixture and reduce the heat immediately to a simmer. Continue to stir vigorously until the temperature comes down and the boiling stops.
16. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add the coconut and sauté it until you just start to smell the coconut and see it slightly browned. Remove it quickly so it doesn't burn.
17. Add vanilla and the coconut to the sauce and let it sit to cool.
18. Once the coconut topping has completely cooled removed frozen samoa bases from the freezer about 4 at a time.
19. Fill your icing bag, fit with a Ateco #806 tip or something comparable (in a pinch a Ziploc Freezer bag with a corner cut off can work) with the coconut filling.
20. Pipe the filling around the edge of the cookie one at a time. After each filling has been added, replace the cookie to the freezer to set.
21. In a bowl, melt your coating chocolate at 30 second intervals being careful not to burn the chocolate. Add the oil to make the mixture viscous.
22. Once all the cookies are frozen (this is really important or your topping is going to just fall into your glazing chocolate) pull out about four cookies at a time.
23. With a dipping device (they sell these do-dads in culinary stores... I just use a carving fork, as you can see) dip the cookie into the coating chocolate by simply placing it on top of the chocolate and lifting it out and letting it drip.
24. Place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with all the cookies until they are all done.
25. With a smaller icing bag, or again, Ziploc bag with the corner cut, drizzle some of the remaining chocolate across the cookies.
26. Place the cookies in the refrigerator to set for about an hour.