These are quite the indulgent bundles. In aiming to make them gluten free and as healthy as possible, we used coconut oil in place of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and we made homemade caramel sauce (from sugar, water, vanilla and 1/2 and 1/2). As a result, the cookies spread a bit and are larger than they should be. And the caramel isn’t firm as it would be if you melted store-bought caramels like most recipes recommend. The entire Samoas cookie makeover cookie making process took several hours, so be prepared and be patient. The taste is well worth it.
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (we used Arrowhead Mills)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Spread coconut out on baking pan and toast at 300 for about 10 minutes, being careful to stir and keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and set aside in a medium size bowl.
Cream butter and coconut oil together and add sugar and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat together until dough starts to come together. If needed add a tiny bit of milk or water, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Then roll dough into a ball and refrigerator for about an hour.
Roll out dough on nonstick surface or plastic wrap (we found the dough to be quite fragile). Use a small round cookie cutter, glass or cookie scoop to cut or press the dough into small rounds. We found it easiest to cut out the inner circle by using a sharp knife and doing it free hand. With that said, use a small, sharp knife to cut out a small circle from the center of each round so that your dough looks like a flat little doughnut. Place these rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate again for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for about 15 – 18 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.
You can either prepare caramel topping by melting packaged caramels in the microwave or preparing your favorite homemade version of caramel on the stovetop, which is what we did. When the caramel has cooled a bit, stir in toasted coconut. Set aside.
Do the same thing with the chocolate chips, melting them in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, stir, then every 15 seconds stir until well melted.
Prepare another baking sheet by lining with wax paper. We used a knife to spread a layer of chocolate on the bottom of each cookie and then placed each cookie on the wax paper. From there we used a spoon to spoon the caramel/coconut topping on the top side of each cookie. Finally, we put the rest of the chocolate sauce in a pastry bag and piped the strips of chocolate over the top of the cookies. You can also drizzle the chocolate on with a spoon or fork or cut a very small hole in the corner of a sandwich baggie and pipe the stripes on that way.
Finally we refrigerated the cookies overnight before sharing with friends. They are delicious and certainly highly caloric, so enjoy in moderation.