“Samoa” Shortbread Cookies

Girl Scout cookie season is here.  My favorite are samoas. How about you?  I recently found a recipe on Just a Taste for homemade samoas.  They look just like the “real” cookies!  I really appreciate the time and effort she went to, to perfect recreate the yummy coconut, caramel and chocolate morsels.  But I gotta admit, I’m a little lazy and it seemed like alot of effort with the rolling and cutting etc.  When I saw the cookie had a shortbread base, I thought to myself “self, why not top your favorite shortbread cookie with the samoa toppings?”.  So, here are my “Samoa” Shortbread Cookies. They look at little different from the original, but they taste fabulous…. and to take them up a notch, I finished them with a touch of extra coarse sea salt.

This is not a quick recipe, so I suggest breaking the tasks into several sessions. I baked and cut the shortbread in the morning and allowed them to cool.  Later in the afternoon, I melted the chocolate, coated the cookies and allowed them to set. Then, in the evening, I made the coconut/caramel topping and assembled the cookies.  This recipe makes a sheet pan’s worth of cookies – and since these babies are so rich, you can cut them into small pieces.  I got 60 cookies from my batch, but some of those cookies were quite large.  I would recommend cutting them even smaller than I did – so perhaps 72 cookies, per batch – certainly more than I need to keep around the house! Luckily, I volunteered to provide some goodies for a bake sale at work, this week. Guess what I’m bringing?!

samoa shortbread








Samoas Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 60 - 72 cookies


  • 1 lb (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • Topping
  • 5 cups shredded coconut
  • 30 oz caramels, unwrapped
  • 6 Tblsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 oz dark chocolate
  • coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer or by hand.
  3. Add the flour, in two sessions, and mix a wooden spoon. You may need to use your hands to get all the flour incorporated.
  4. Put the mixture into a sheet pan and use your hands to push it so it covers the entire pan. Use a knife to flatten the edges and smooth out the batter.
  5. Prick the batter (down to the pan) with a fork, all over .
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for 40 more minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 2 minutes, then cut the cookies. They will be soft but will stay in place. Cool in the pan. (Warning: Don’t wait too long to cut the cookies or they will be too hard to cut)
  9. Chocolate Coating
  10. Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave, stirring ever 20 seconds
  11. Spread the bottom side of the cookie with a thin layer of the dark chocolate and place on a wire rack, chocolate side up, to set.
  12. Put remaining melted chocolate aside.
  13. Topping
  14. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  15. Spread the coconut on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, tossing frequently to avoid burning the coconut - which can happen quickly, so keep your eyes peeled ! No multi-tasking here, please.
  16. Remove the coconut from the oven and set aside.
  17. Melt the caramels, milk and salt in a double boiler, stirring often.
  18. Put 2/3 cup of the melted caramels aside and stir the remaining caramel and coconut together in a large bowl.
  19. Spread the non-chocolate side, of the cookie, with the caramel and then immediately top with coconut/caramel mixture. I found it helpful to wet my hand frequently during this part of the process.
  20. Place cookies on a wire rack to set for 30 minutes, chocolate side down.
  21. Reheat the dark chocolate. If it is too thick to drizzle, add a dribble of canola oil and stir to incorporate.
  22. Drizzle the remaining chocolate onto the coconut topping, using the tines of a fork.
  23. Sprinkle sparingly with coarse sea salt.


You may need to "re-melt' the coconut and chocolate toppings during the assembly process. Be sure to unwrap the caramels in advance, perhaps while the shortbread is baking - it will take longer than you think. I found it helpful, when toasting the coconut, to use parchment paper that was a few linches larger than the pan - it made the tossing of the coconut less messy. Shortbread cookies freeze well - so it this recipe is too much - only make 1/2 the toppings and then freeze half the plain shortbreads cookies.
















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