Homemade Samoas Cookies

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Sharing our take on the classic girl scout cookie that everyone loves…Samoas Cookies! A buttery and tender shortbread, topped with gooey homemade caramel mixed with toasted coconut, and finally dipped/drizzled with melted dark chocolate. Every bite is reminiscent of the classic cookie, but made even better! Think chewy, sweet, buttery, coconutty, with just the right amount of caramel, and then rich dark chocolate to cut some of the sweetness. There is just so much to love about these homemade Samoas Cookies. Perfect for weekend baking, sharing with friends and family, or simply whenever you’re craving the classic girl scout treat! SO. GOOD.

overhead shot of samoas cookies in round pie plate with more cookies around, a measuring cup of toasted coconut, a glass of milk, and flowers around on marble surface.

About The Recipe

I know we’re a few months past “girl scout cookie season”, but is there ever really a time that you don’t crave girl scout cookies? I mean, really. They are some of our absolute favorites!

And, I firmly believe that samoas are one of the best cookies you can buy.

I said it. My mom and I personally think samoas are the best girl scout cookie. So, we wanted to make our own and share them!

Honestly, we thought this recipe would be pretty simple. The hardest part was figuring out how to make the caramel stick to the cookie! It just was not having it.

Every time we would place the caramel mixture on-top of the shortbread, it wouldn’t adhere. The caramel would literally just slide off! Turns out, the mixture was cooling too fast and wasn’t sticky enough.

Luckily, we found an easy way to fix it. All we needed to do was add some extra cream and keep it over a bain-marie (aka a pot of simmering water).

This kept the caramel mixture warm and sticky enough to stick to the shortbread. Problem solved!

front shot of samoas cookies piled in round pan with more cookies around on marble surface with stack of plates with more cookies on top in front of pan, with two empty glasses and a glass of milk behind.

Honestly, my mom and I had so much fun making these cookies. I mean, there is quite a bit of hands-on time, especially when working with the caramel, but it is SO worth it.

Every bite just leaves you wanting more. The cookie is tender and buttery, the caramel is chewy and coconutty, while the dark chocolate cuts some of sweetness while also complimenting the coconut and caramel.

If you love samoas cookies or just simply love the combination of coconut, caramel, and chocolate, then you NEED to make these cookies!

What Are Samoas Cookies?

Samoas, also known as Caramel DeLites, are a cookie sold by the girl scouts. It is essentially a shortbread cookie that has been topped with a caramel/coconut mixture, and drizzled with chocolate.

If you’ve never had one, your whole life is about to change. These cookies are SO. GOOD.

Our version is the exact same as what you would buy, but without all of the preservatives, palm oil, soy, and artificial flavorings.

Essentially, I guess you could say these are…”healthier” 😉

Reasons You Will Love These Samoas Cookies

  • Taste just like, if not even better, than the ones you can buy!
  • The homemade caramel can be subbed for store-bought to make these cookies easier to make.
  • NO preservatives, soy, artificial flavors, or palm oil in this recipe.
  • A real crowd pleaser. Especially during times of the year where you can’t buy girl scout cookies!
  • Can be made in-advance.
front shot of samoas cookie with bite missing on top of more cookies in a round pan with white flowers,

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Cookies:

  • Salted Butter – Since this is a shortbread base, we like to use salted butter for this recipe to keep as few ingredients needed in these cookies as possible!
  • Granulated Sugar – Sugar does so much more for a recipe than sweeten. This recipe requires granulated (also known as white) sugar to help achieve the desired texture and structure for these cookies.
  • Vanilla Extract – A splash of vanilla helps gives these cookies some much needed flavor!
  • All-Purpose Flour – No need for anything specialty here! These cookies work beautifully with regular unbleached all-purpose flour.
flour, butter, sugar, and vanilla on marble surface.

For The Coconut Caramel:

  • Shredded Unsweetened Coconut – Make sure you have unsweetened coconut for this recipe!
  • Granulated Sugar – For caramel, you also need to use granulated sugar, as it browns and caramelizes.
  • Corn Syrup – Using corn syrup helps prevent the sugar from crystalizing while it caramelizes, which means this caramel is almost always guaranteed to work!
  • Heavy Cream – Adding the cream to caramel makes it go from candy to a soft caramel.
  • Salted Butter – Butter also helps the caramel go from candy to a soft caramel, but also provides the buttery flavor we all know and love!
  • Vanilla Extract – Enhances the flavor of the caramel, while giving it a delicious undertone.
shredded coconut, butter, vanilla, sugar, corn syrup, and cream on marble surface.

For The Chocolate:

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – For this recipe, we like to use a dark chocolate. For instance, semi-sweet is our immediate go to. It’s rich, just a tad sweet, and perfectly compliments the cookies.
  • Vegetable Oil – Using a neutral flavored oil helps melt the chocolate, without leaving any flavor behind, while also allowing it to set without blooming!
chocolate and vegetable oil in glass bowls on marble surface.

How To Make Samoas Cookies

Step 1: Prepare cookie dough

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Mix in vanilla

Add the flour and mix only to blend.

Step 2: Roll and cut

Form dough into a ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Flatten into a disk. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll to 3/16-inch thick.

Cut cookies using a 2-inch round cutter. Cut out centers using ½ inch round cutter.

Step 3: Bake

Transfer cookies to prepared pans. Bake for 9 minutes, or until just barely starting brown around the edges.

Step 4: Toast coconut

Spread coconut evenly on sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until coconut is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Step 5: Make caramel

In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1¼ cups cream, and butter. Cook and stir over medium low heat until sugar melts. Stop stirring and brush down sides with a silicone brush dipped in warm water. Continue cooking caramel to 245 °F. Remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla and toasted coconut.

Immediately transfer to heatproof glass bowl. Add ¼ cup cream. Place over a pot of simmering water. Heat and stir until melted and smooth.

Step 6: Top cookies

Carefully place 1½ teaspoons, or desired amount, on top of each cookie. Set aside to cool.

coconut caramel on shortbread cookies on lined sheet pan.

Step 7: Melt chocolate

In a microwave proof glass bowl, combine chocolate and oil. Microwave on high in 15 second increments, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Step 8: Dip and drizzle

Dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate. Drain. Set on parchment.

Drizzle chocolate over top of each cookie.

chocolate drizzled over samoas cookies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my shortbread tough?
This is due to the dough being over-worked. Always try to handle the cookie dough as little as possible!

Why did my cookies brown so much?
If your cookies browned too much, this may be due to your oven temperature being too high/too hot. You can buy an oven thermometer and test to see if your oven is heating properly.

Do I have to make my own caramel?
While making your own caramel for these cookies is recommended, we can understand that making it can be a little too intimidating or time consuming. So, you can use store-bought soft caramels and melt them. Just keep in mind that you may need to keep reheating the caramel mixture to ensure it sticks to the cookies.

Why do my cookies keep breaking?
The cookies are a shortbread, which means that after baking, they are much more fragile than your average cookie. Try to put as little pressure on the cookies as possible, especially when you’re adding the caramel mixture on top!

overhead shot of cookies in round pan with one cookie on top missing a bite, with white flowers and more cookies around on marble surface.

How To Store

Once the chocolate has set, these cookies can be stored in an airtight container or in a zip-top bag at room temperature for 1-2 days. They can also be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days.

You can also freeze these cookies by placing them in an airtight container or freezer safe zip-top bag and placing a layer of of parchment paper between the cookies, as needed. The cookies will store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Substitutions

  • You can use store-bought soft caramels for this recipe rather than making your own caramel.
  • Milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate will work for these cookies.

Looking for more recipes like this? Here are a few you may like: Brownie Cookies, Frosted Sugar Cookies, Homemade Oreo Cookies, Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars, Oatmeal Cream Pies

cropped close up of samoas cookies piled in round pan with one cookie missing a bite, with white flowers around, a glass of milk and white cheesecloth behind.

Expert Tips

  • For cutting the cookies, if you do not have a small enough cutter for the middle circle, you can actually use the back of a piping tip!
  • Do NOT over-bake the shortbread! This is super important. The cookies need to just be baked/barely beginning to color.
  • You will need to test your thermometer before using it for the candy. The best way to do this is boil a pot of water with your thermometer in it. A pot of boiling water should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t let the thermometer sit at the bottom of the pot when you are cooking.
  • Use a bigger pot than you think you need! The caramel bubbles up very high when you’re cooking.
  • Don’t skip brushing down the sides for the caramel! This keeps it from crystalizing.
  • Once you add the toasted coconut to the caramel, it will thicken quite a bit. Adding the extra cream and placing it over a simmering pot of water not only loosens the caramel, but also keeps it warm (without being too hot!), which makes it sticky and easy to place on the cookies.
  • The cookies to be room temperature before you add the caramel mixture.
  • Do NOT apply pressure to the cookies when adding the caramel on top. The cookies are quite thin and therefore very fragile.
  • Let the caramel cool and set completely before dipping and drizzling.

When you make these Homemade Samoas Cookies, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

overhead shot of samoas cookies in round pie plate with more cookies around, a measuring cup of toasted coconut, a glass of milk, and flowers around on marble surface.
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Samoas Cookies

Author: Traci
Everyone's favorite girl scout cookie…now made at home! These Samoas Cookies are perfectly sweet, caramel-y, extra coconutty, with a tender shortbread cookie, and dark chocolate to compliment every bite. They are SO. GOOD.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Assembly Time 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 32

Ingredients

Cookies

  • ½ cup salted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Coconut Caramel

  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Tablespoons corn syrup
  • cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Chocolate

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Instructions

Cookies

  • Heat oven to 375 °F.
  • Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Mix in vanilla
  • Add flour.
  • Mix only to blend.
  • Form dough into a ball.
  • Place on sheet of parchment paper.
  • Flatten into a disc.
  • Cover with another sheet of parchment paper.
  • Roll to 3/16-inch thick.
  • Cut cookies using a 2-inch round cutter.
  • Cut out centers using ½ inch round cutter.
  • Transfer to prepared pans.
  • Gather scraps and re-roll until all the dough is used.
  • Bake for 9 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on pans.

Coconut Caramel

  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 °F.
  • Spread coconut evenly on sheet pan.
  • Bake, stirring occasionally, until coconut is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1¼ cups cream, and butter.
  • Cook and stir over medium low heat until sugar melts.
  • Stop stirring and brush down sides with a silicone brush dipped in warm water.
  • Continue cooking caramel to 245 °F.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in vanilla and toasted coconut.
  • Immediately transfer to heatproof glass bowl.
  • Add ¼ cup cream.
  • Place over a pot of simmering water.
  • Heat and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Carefully place 1½ teaspoons, or desired amount, on top of each cookie.
  • Set aside to cool.

Chocolate

  • In a microwave proof glass bowl, combine chocolate and oil.
  • Microwave on high in 15 second increments, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate.
  • Drain.
  • Set on parchment.
  • Drizzle chocolate over top of each cookie.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • You can use store-bought soft caramels for this recipe rather than making your own caramel.
  • Milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate will work for these cookies.
 
Expert Tips:
  • For cutting the cookies, if you do not have a small enough cutter for the middle circle, you can actually use the back of a piping tip!
  • Do NOT over-bake the shortbread! This is super important. The cookies need to just be baked/barely beginning to color.
  • You will need to test your thermometer before using it for the candy. The best way to do this is boil a pot of water with your thermometer in it. A pot of boiling water should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t let the thermometer sit at the bottom of the pot when you are cooking.
  • Use a bigger pot than you think you need! The caramel bubbles up very high when you’re cooking.
  • Don’t skip brushing down the sides for the caramel! This keeps it from crystalizing.
  • Once you add the toasted coconut to the caramel, it will thicken quite a bit. Adding the extra cream and placing it over a simmering pot of water not only loosens the caramel, but also keeps it warm (without being too hot!), which makes it sticky and easy to place on the cookies.
  • The cookies to be room temperature before you add the caramel mixture.
  • Do NOT apply pressure to the cookies when adding the caramel on top. The cookies are quite thin and therefore very fragile.
  • Let the caramel cool and set completely before dipping and drizzling.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 277IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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