Thursday, April 5, 2012

Caramel DeLites

Caramel delites (or samoas) have become one of my favorite Girl Scout cookies (but thin mints are definitely number one). But, I don't normally get any because I don't know any Girl Scouts. Hopefully, my little niece will become one someday soon! Anyway, I was browsing Pinterest and found the perfect recipe for caramel delites. The recipe is pretty involved so I waited until spring break to try it out. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed when I finally got to taste my hard work. They were a little bland, which is far from the yummy Girl Scout caramel delites. So, for next time, I am going to change a few things: (1) splurge on tastier caramel. I got Kraft's caramel bits which I thought would be perfect because they don't have wrappers and they would melt quicker but they lack flavor. (2) stick to shredded (perhaps sweetened) coconut. I picked up finely shredded unsweetened coconut but I think the cookies would look and taste better with sweetened shredded coconut.

Although a little on the disappointed side, these cookies have potential, especially because the shortbread cookie base is delicious! Plus, with the right caramel and coconut, they will be just as good as the ones you get from Girl Scouts.

Caramel DeLites
adapted by Once Upon a Plate

Part 1: Cookie Base

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend with a hand mixer butter and sugar in a large bowl. 
3. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed.
4. Add in vanilla extract and milk. The dough should become a soft, malleable ball.
5. Using a floured rolling pin and floured hands, roll out dough on a clean surface or parchment paper.
6. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circular cookies. Use a piping tip (or knife) to cut a hole in the center. Place cutout on a cookie sheet. 
7. Place cookie sheet in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. 
8. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Part 2: The Topping

2 to 3 c. shredded coconut
12 oz. chewy caramels
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. milk
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Spread coconut out evenly on a cookie sheet and toast in oven for about 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Coconut can toast quickly so keep an eye on it. 
3. Let coconut cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
4. Place caramels in large bowl with milk and salt and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring a couple of times. 
5. Once caramel is smooth, stir in coconut. 
6. Spread caramel/coconut mixture onto the cookies. Microwave caramel for a few seconds if it becomes firm. 
7. As the topping sets, microwave the chocolate chips in a small bowl on 50% power. Stir often and microwave until the chocolate is smooth. 
8. Dip each cookie into the chocolate to cover the bottom and set onto parchment paper. 
9. Scoop the left over melted chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip a small hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate on the tops of the cookies.
10. Let the chocolate completely set and enjoy!

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