Sharing a healthier take on the classic Girl Scout cookie with these Healthy…ish Homemade Samoas Cookies. Lightly sweetened, buttery, whole grain shortbread cookies, topped with a toasted coconut and maple syrup-based “caramel”, then dipped and drizzled in sweet chocolate. Every last bite is sweet, coconutty, hinted with caramel, extra chocolatey, and so DELICIOUS. Absolutely nothing not to love about these homemade Samoa Cookies. Bonus? These Samoa Cookies are easy to make, have no processed sugars, and can even be made vegan.
Happy, happy Friday!!! You guys, I just have to bring you all the positive vibes today because the world is out of control crazy and my brain simply cannot handle any more negativity…or scary news. Where is all this coming from? Well, we just got yet another, not so awesome, emergency alert sent to our phones (those notification sounds are frightening!). I just can’t stress about it anymore. No thank you. Instead, I’m going to be happy and excited and share some positivity with you guys. It’s Friday, so let’s celebrate and bake up some cookies!
Yes, there is a lot happening out there in the world, but this is going to be our escape from it all. And you know what? We’ll all have some seriously good cookies to chat about. So let’s get started.
We’ll talk cookies and then plan our weekend baking out to a T…I’m excited.
Now, the inspiration for these cookies…
I am sure you are all aware of the ever so popular Samoas Girl Scout cookies. These caramel and toasted coconut covered cookies tend to be everyone’s favorite Girl Scout cookie. Well, there could be some debate on that, but my point is that just about everyone loves a Samoas cookie.
Myself included. But what I don’t love? How overly sugary and full of processed ingredients they are. No offense to the Girls Scouts, but I figured I might be able to develop a recipe that’s similar in taste, but healthier.
Which brings me to these sweet little healthy…ish homemade Samoas cookies. They took me a while to get right, but I finally perfected the recipe and I’m so excited to share it with you all.
And with all of us staying at home right now, it gives us the opportunity to bake all weekend long. I’m not going to complain about that.
(before adding chocolate)
Here’s how you make these homemade Samoas.
Shockingly this recipe is a lot easier and simpler than you might think. It all starts with the buttery shortbread cookie base.
It’s a mix of butter, real maple syrup, and vanilla. I tried this recipe using a few other fats, but in the end, butter is BEST. That said, you can certainly use your favorite vegan stick butter to easily make these cookies completely vegan. Do what’s best for you!
Cream everything together until light and fluffy, this will take a few extra minutes since the maple takes longer to incorporate into the butter than a drier sugar. Add the whole wheat flour and a pinch of salt. These cookies are soft, buttery, and perfectly sweet with hints of both maple and vanilla throughout.
Once the dough comes together, roll it out. Then cut the dough into circles with the centers cut out.
Next, make the toasted coconut caramel. This is not your average caramel, but it’s just as delicious. I use maple for sweetness, coconut milk for creaminess, and nut butter to thicken the caramel up. It is delicious, and so simple to throw together.
Just boil everything on the stove until combined. Done. Then stir in plenty of toasted coconut and spread the mix over each cookie. And finally, dip, then drizzle each cookie with chocolate.
And that’s it! Simple, pretty healthy, and…
A few tips for success…
Tip one, use a finely shredded coconut. This is the exact coconut I use and I find it to work really well for these bars. It’s finer shred creates the perfect cookie-like texture.
Tip two, use full-fat coconut milk and only use the cream, discard or save the coconut water for another use. Here’s the one that I use. You’ll want to use just the cream to ensure your caramel sets up nicely and is not too runny.
Tip three, make sure the cookies are thoroughly chilled before dipping into chocolate. This is probably my biggest tip. If the cookies are frozen, the chocolate will quickly set up on the bars and be easier to work with. Trust me, freeze the bars, then dip through the melted chocolate.
Added bonus? There are no yeast, all-purpose flour (using whole wheat flour for these!), or eggs in this recipe…just in case you’re beginning to run low on these staple baking ingredients. I’ve heard some scary stories this week…
So, what do these Samoas really taste like?
These cookies taste like true Samoas. Really, they do…and personally everyone on this side of the screen finds them to be so much better.
They’re buttery, heavy on the coconut, have hints of caramel, are very generously dipped in chocolate, and are even finished with a pinch of flaky sea salt too. The biggest difference is that these cookies are made minus any processed sugars, use whole grain flour, and instead of a sugar-induced headache, these Somoas will leave you feeling nothing but happy.
Very very much needed these days. So with that, who’s up for Friday night baking? I might just give the full how-to’s on my Instagram stories. I’m feeling the need to stress bake…
Looking for other things to bake this weekend? These are on my list…
If you make these healthy…ish homemade Samoas cookies., be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Healthy-ish Homemade Samoas Cookies
Servings: 14 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 375 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup (or granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut cream using only the coconut cream, no water
- 1 tablespoon creamy tahini, almond, or cashew butter
- 2 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- flaky sea salt (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and vanilla until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, beat until combined and the dough begins to form a ball. If the dough is crumbly, add 1 tablespoon water until the dough comes together.3. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you're using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut the cookies using a 3 inch circle cookie cutter. Using a 1 inch circle cookie cutter, cut out the center of each cookie. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat until all the dough has been used. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.4. In a medium pot, combine 3/4 cup maple syrup and the coconut cream and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 5-8 minutes or until thickened to a caramel-like sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the tahini. Let the mix cool slightly, then stir in the toasted coconut. Press 1 tablespoon of the coconut mixture onto each cookie. Place the cookies in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill, this will make dipping them in chocolate easier. 5. Melt the chocolate. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and return to the parchment lined baking sheet. Use a fork to drizzle the tops with chocolate, return to the freezer to let the chocolate set up, about 10 minutes. Keep stored in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Using Sweetened Coconut: If you are using sweetened coconut, omit the tahini from the recipe. The sweetened coconut thickens the sauce, so the tahini is not needed. For very best result, I would recommend using unsweetened coconut if you can. Tahini: if you don't have tahini or almond butter, you can leave this out. Your caramel will be a little looser, but still delicious. To make Vegan: use you favorite vegan stick butter. To Make Gluten Free: I have not tested using GF flours, but I would recommend using an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the whole wheat flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour. I have not had success using only almond or only coconut flour. I recommend a blend for best results.