Caramel Delights (Samoa Cookies or Caramel Delites)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, omit salt)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Caramel and Coconut Topping:
- 15 ounces store-bought or homemade soft caramels
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 8 ounces dark semi-sweet chocolate (1½ cups dark chocolate chips)
Cream butter in a work bowl.
- Add sugar and mix in until light and fluffy.
- Add flour, baking powder, and optional salt to the work bowl.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture on low speed until incorporated.
- In a small bowl, mix together the milk and the vanilla.
- Add the milk and vanilla to the flour mixture.
- Mix until the dough comes together.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for 1 hour.
- While the cookie dough is chilling, prepare the toasted coconut.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cover the bottom of a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the unsweetened coconut evenly over the parchment paper.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes, tossing frequently, until evenly browned. Keep an eye on the coconut, as it can burn quickly.
- Remove toasted coconut from oven and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to regular bake 350° or pure convection 325°.
- Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets and set aside.
- Roll the chilled dough out on a lightly flour surface. Dough should be about ¼-inch thick.
- Cut out cookies using a doughnut cutter. If you do not have a doughnut cutter use a large and small circular cutter.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool the cookies completely on racks.
- Melt the caramels, milk and salt in a double-boiler by placing the caramels in a medium saucepan or heatproof bowl that is set over a large saucepan of simmering water.
- Cook, stirring, until the caramels are fully melted.
- Remove the double boiler from the heat.
- Carefully press a portion of the coconut caramel mixture onto each cookie.
- This is best done with the cookie placed on the palm of your hand. Use a very thin and pliable frosting knife to press the coconut caramel onto each cookie. If you don't have a frosting knife use a regular table knife.
- If the caramel-coconut mixture thickens too much at any point while pressing it onto the cookies, return it to the stovetop and warm it until it's spreadable again.
- Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave.
- Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
- Dip a fork in the melted chocolate and drizzle chocolate over the top of each cookie.
- Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully, 30 minutes to 1 hour.