First of all, I'm not going to get in the middle of the very divisive debate over what these incredible Girl Scout Cookies should be called. But if you are curious, here's the difference.
I made these cookies the other night for our friends Patrick and Bonnie who just had a very cute and squeezable baby. If Bonnie's awesome baby shower didn't convince all of you childless folks to be my friend when you have a baby, these cookies will. They are a very slightly altered version of a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. The original recipe, called "Lazy Samoas", used soy milk instead of coconut milk, didn't have the coconut extract, and didn't have carmel or the extra coconut on top but those are the only changes I made so this is still pretty much her recipe. I found that the chocolate sauce wasn't enough to cover the bottoms and drizzle over the top so I ended up making another batch. The amount below should be enough. In hindsight, the caramels just made them hard to chew so I think next time I will do a carmel sauce instead of melting caramels, which I did to make it easier but I'm pretty sure it made it harder. When I make these next time I'll figure out a better caramel solution and update the recipe. All that being said, these are delicious and surprisingly similar to the original without all the added preservatives and such. Although, I'm not sure why they're called "Lazy Samoas" since making these is way harder than buying a box of cookies from the little Girl Scouts at a T Stop.
A Little Less Lazy Samoas
Makes 2 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups grated unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
One small bag of caramels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour the grated coconut into a large heavy skillet and toast over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally and toast coconut to a light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Promptly remove the coconut from the heat and stir it occasionally as it cools. If the coconut continues to turn overly brown promptly pour from skillet into a large dish and spread around to help hasten cooling and stop cooking.
In large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, coconut milk, flax seeds, vanilla and coconut extract until well blended and smooth. Sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix to form a thick batter. Fold in 2 cups of the toasted coconut.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Flatten each cookie with the back of a measuring cup and use your fingertip to work a small hole into each center. Bake for 8 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Transfer the cooled cookies onto a cutting board lined with wax paper or other firm surface that can be easily slid onto a refrigerator shelf.
While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler, then stir the coconut oil into the melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Dip cookie bottoms into the chocolate and return them to the waxed paper. Melt caramels in the microwave and drizzle over the cookies with a fork. (As I mentioned above, the caramels made the cookies too chewy, so next time I will make or buy some sort of caramel sauce that will firm up a little but not as much as caramels.) Now drizzle the remaining chocolate over the cookies, either by dipping a fork into the melted chocolate or by pouring it into a pastry bag fitted with a very small round tip. Sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top of each cookie. Chill the cookies for at least 30 minutes to completely firm up the chocolate.