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Homemade Samoa Cookies

Siri Daly's recipe for homemade Girl Scout cookies like Samoas and Tagalongs
TODAY Show: Siri Daly shows how to make your own Girl Scout cookie favorites like Samoas and Tagalongs. -- March 30, 2016Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
Makes 42 cookies


  • 2 sticks (I cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 salt
Coconut caramel filling
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 12-15 ounces wrapped caramels (or use homemade caramel0
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Pinch salt
Chocolate topping
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil


To make cookies (and toasted coconut):

With an electric mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour and sugar.  Slowly add sifted ingredients to butter mixture and mix until combined.

Shape dough into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 300. 

While dough is chilling, place coconut on a baking sheet.  Toast in oven for around 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Coconut burns easily!  Set toasted coconut aside and turn oven up to 350.  

Take chilled dough, and roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.  Using a small circular cookie cutter (also lightly floured), cut out cookies and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a pastry tube to cut out the inner circle, or if you can't find a small circular shape to use just cut it out by hand with a knife.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges begin to slightly brown.  Set on parchment paper  or cooling rack to cool.

Make coconut caramel filling:

Either make your own caramel, or take 12-15 ounces of wrapped caramels and place in a pot.  Add 2 tablespoons of milk and a pinch of salt.  Melt together over low heat.  I only needed 1 tablespoon of milk because the homemade caramel was pretty gooey to begin with.  Once melted, stir in toasted coconut and remove from heat.

Once cookies have cooled, spread caramel mixture on top.  I found the easiest method was to cover the entire cookie, and then stick the tip of my knife through the hole to remove the caramel in the center.  Let topping set for about 20 minutes.

In a double boiler (or place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl), melt all chopped chocolate. Add vegetable oil and stir until you have a glossy chocolate.

Take each cookie and hold between your thumb and pointer finger (right? that's what it's called?) and dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate.  Set back on foil or parchment paper.

Place remaining chocolate in a piping bag, plastic bag with the corner snipped off, or a plastic condiment tube. 

Drizzle chocolate on top of each cookie.