Time for the final week of my gluten and dairy free Girl Scout Cookie makeover! To see part one (Do-Si-Dos) and to read my take on why I think the Girl Scouts need to develop a gluten free/allergen free cookie, head over to this post.  Part two featured Thin Mints, part three featured Trefoils, and week four brought Tagalongs.  In our house, we would love the Girl Scouts with allergies to actually be selling a product that is safe for them.  Contact the Girl Scouts here to encourage them to make a gluten free allergen free cookie. Thanks!

This cookie uses the same shortbread base cookie as the Trefoils and Tagalongs.  Why mess with a good thing?  You could make a double batch of the Trefoil dough, divide it in thirds, and use each third to make the three different cookies.  This is actually what I did, which is why you don’t see “makes ___ cookies,” because I am not sure right now.  At some point I’ll make full batches of these and update with the numbers.

You have two options for the Samoas.  The first is to make the cookies base, cut, bake and cool.  Make a gluten and dairy free carmel, such as my recipe.  Make as a softer caramel.  When still warm enough to pour, but cool enough to hold it’s shape, put a ring of caramel on each cookie base.  Sprinkle with toasted unsweetened coconut.  When caramel is set, dip bottoms in melted chocolate and drizzle chocolate stripes on top of the cookies.  That would probably be the most authentic way, however, that is a lot of steps.  Sometimes you just want to make a cookie, so that easier version is below.  Enjoy!

Gluten & Dairy Free Samoas (Caramel de-Lights)

One batch of gluten and dairy free Trefoil dough, chilled overnight

Caramel-coconut topping:

2 cups unsweetened coconut

1/4 cups gluten and dairy free margarine (such as Earth Balance sticks) or 3 T. coconut oil

1 cup light brown sugar (I used dark in the photo above, but light would be better)

1/4 cup  + 2 Tablespoons canned coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon tapioca starch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate drizzle:

9 ounces gluten and dairy free semi-sweet or dark gluten and dairy free chocolate

1/2 Tablespoon organic palm shortening (unless you want to temper your chocolate, then skip it)

Roll out chilled dough on plastic wrap to 1/4″ thick.  Cut out cookies using a circular 1 1/2″ cookie cuter.  Cut out a smaller 1/2″ circle in the center.  Bake cookies in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 7 to 8 minutes.  Allow to cool.

For filling:  In a dry saucepan or skillet over medium heat cook coconut until toasted and golden, stirring often.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In another saucepan heat margarine, brown sugar, 1/4 cup coconut milk, and salt over medium heat until simmering, stirring often.  Allow to simmer for 4 minutes.  Mix 2 tablespoons coconut milk with tapioca starch.  While whisking brown sugar mixture, slowly add the tapioca mixture.  Stirring constantly, cook for another 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla and toasted coconut, mix well.

While mixture is still warm (be very careful!  Sugar is HOT!) use two spoons to add caramel around cookie.  Do this for about 6 cookies, then go back to the first cookie.  It should be cool enough to carefully smooth around cookie base into a neat shape.  Continue with next six cookies until finished with caramel topping.  If the topping gets too stiff to work with re-warm to soften.  Allow cookies to cool completely.

Melt chocolate and shortening in a dry pan on the stove (stir constantly) or a bowl in the microwave.  Be sure to not let any water or moisture touch the chocolate as it will seize and ruin the chocolate.  When chocolate is mostly melted, but there is a few pieces left, remove from heat.  Stir chocolate more until all is incorporated into the chocolate and it is very smooth.

Balance a cooled cookie on a fork.  Lower cookie into chocolate, dipping just to cover the bottom of cookie.  Tap excess chocolate off cookie back into bowl.  Place cookie on a cooling rack covered in plastic wrap or parchment.  Drizzle chocolate in a stripe pattern over the cookies.  (I dipped all the bottoms, then drizzled all at once.  It is up to you)  Allow chocolate to set.  Chilling the cookies will speed the chocolate setting up.