Salted Caramel & Chocolate Samoa Macaroons
Girl Scout cookies, we are so over. It’s not me, it’s you.
Like a lot of young girls in America, I spent some time in Girl Scouts. (Though truth be told, I would have preferred to be in Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts got to do all the fun stuff! Archery, fishing, playing with knives… though I believe they called it carving.) In my troop, it was mostly all about selling cookies and for my introverted self, it was akin to torture. What do you mean you want me to walk up to a stranger’s door, knock and then talk to them?!
I hated it.
What I didn’t hate, though, was eating the cookies, even long after I left the Girl Scouts. Girl Scout cookie time was like Christmas in Spring! My favorites were Peanut Butter Patties, Thin Mints and of course, Caramel deLites (aka Samoas).
But in recent years, I realized something had changed. Somewhere along the way, I just… stopped liking them.
I know, I know, I can hear your gasp of shock from here. But honestly, the last box of Thin Mints I bought was so disappointing I threw out the half-eaten box 3 months after I purchased them. I’m the first to admit I’m a total chocolate snob, but when your chocolate cookies don’t even taste like chocolate, it’s time to put an end to that relationship.
And so I found myself craving some Caramel deLites but not wanting to actually buy any. I was also craving coconut macaroons (not to be confused with the French cookies, macarons). Why not combine the two?
I should warn you that these Salted Caramel & Chocolate Samoa Macaroons are not the Passover-friendly type, and also that they are extremely addictive. Plus they’re pretty easy to make. I’m sorry and you’re welcome. The caramel is made in a non-traditional way that I actually found easier than making a standard dry caramel because it doesn’t seem to go from caramel to burnt quite as fast. The caramel is baked right into the macaroons too, which I love – no messy caramel drizzling!
You can absolutely eat the salted caramel macaroons plain (and they are fantastic), but to make them like Samoas, you’ll have to dip them and drizzle them in chocolate. Oh, darn.
Salted Caramel & Chocolate Samoa Macaroons
Inspired by Gillian Shaw’s Caramelized Coconut Macaroons
Makes about 24 cookies
Egg whites vary in size, so if you find your cookie mixture too runny and your cookies are forming puddles around the bottom as they bake, don’t be afraid to add a little bit more coconut and/or flour to firm things up. Keeping the mix cool will help prevent that too. The coconut oil is optional but helps to thin the chocolate some for easier dipping and drizzling.
4 large egg whites
12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut, divided
7 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
6 – 8 ounces dark (at least 60%) chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp coconut oil (optional)
Whisk egg whites in a large bowl. Add half of coconut and flour, stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Set aside remaining coconut.
In a 4-quart or larger saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramel reaches a rich coppery color. (Caramel may looks separated with a layer of butter on top. Don’t panic.) Remove from heat. Carefully add reserved coconut and salt (Caution: may spatter!), and stir to combine. Cool about 5 minutes.
Add about 1/4 cup of the caramel mixture to the egg white mixture at a time, stirring vigorously to combine and prevent cooking the eggs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Mixture should be wet but not too loose or runny.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment or Silpats. Scoop cookies between 1 1/2 and 2 tablespoon size, and place about 1-inch apart on baking sheet. (Return any remaining mixture to the fridge until read to bake.) Bake at 350°F for 12-14 mins, or until bottoms are golden brown. Cool about 2 minutes on the pan, then move to wire racks to cool completely.
Place chocolate and (optional) coconut oil in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals on High until chocolate starts to melt. Continue heating in 15 second intervals, stirring well between each, until melted and smooth. Dip cookie bottoms in chocolate and set on wax paper. Drizzle remaining chocolate over top. Allow chocolate to harden at room temperature, or pop cookies in the fridge to speed the process up.