Sounds amazing, right??? I am absolutely obsessed (like everyone else out there) with Girl Scout Cookies and my favorite are definitely the Samoa cookies. A round shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate, topped with toasted coconut caramel and drizzled with even more chocolate. How could anything be wrong with that? So I figured why not turn it in to the ultimate hamantaschen for Purim, which is coming up in just a few weeks! While all of my friends are working on their kids costumes and planning their themed shalach manot, I’ve been thinking about what crazy things I could do with this traditional three-cornered holiday cookie. I must mention that I haven’t made hamantaschen in like 15-20 years, when I was a kid attempting to make the perfect shapes with my mom and sisters. My hamantaschen would ALWAYS open while they baked and it drove me nuts. For years, I just refused to make them…until now! So while I got my dough ready to make this recipe, I was pretty much freaking out. Would they turn out okay? Would my new dough recipe (with no eggs) from my Aunty Bobbee taste good? Would the cookies keep their shape or completely flatten in the oven? So many scary questions but I knew I had to go for it! Just follow my advice and learn from my mistakes and you should be okay…
Girl Scout Samoa Hamantashen
makes 30-40 cookies
4 sticks (2 cups) vegan butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) container whipping cream, not-whipped
6 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup caramel (homemade or store-bought melted caramels)
1 1/2 cups shredded toasted coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 egg white
I started with the dough, which needed some time to chill before baking. I beat together the margarine and sugar then added the whipping cream and vanilla extract. Once everything was combined, I slowly added the flour until the mixture was completely combined. I divided the dough in half, wrapped in plastic wrap and froze for 10 minutes. You can also place in the fridge for up to 3 days before using. I made my dough a few days in advance.
While the dough was cooling, I prepared the caramel. If you are making homemade caramel, you can use my salted peanut butter caramel recipe but use 2 tablespoons of margarine (instead of 4), 1/2 cup whipping cream (instead of 1 cup) and leave out the peanut butter at the end of the process. You can also purchase melted caramel directly from me here. If you are using caramel candy, just follow the melting directions. While the caramel cooled to room temperature, I made the toasted coconut. Sure, you can toast the coconut in the oven but you are likely to burn it when you get distracted…or at least that’s what happens to me. Not too long ago, I learned a new method that I am obsessed with so I’m excited to pass it along to you: microwaved toasted coconut! All you do is spread out the coconut on a flat plate, cook for 30 seconds, mix the coconut and follow the process a few more times until your coconut begins to brown and get crunchy. You’re done!
I stirred together the caramel and 1 cup of the toasted coconut. I place the mixture aside.
I took the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes, just to warm it up a bit. It’s much easier to roll out at room temperature. I lightly floured (and I really mean lightly flour) my counter and rolled out the dough. Don’t make the dough too thin or it won’t hold together while it bakes. I cut out rounds of dough using a cookie cutter. You can pretty much use whatever size cookie cutter you want based on the size of the hamantaschen you are looking for! You gotta love my favorite new cookbook, Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking by Leah Schapira, sitting right by the dough! She makes a beautiful savory hamantaschen so I was using it for reference. I told you I was very nervous while I made this recipe and I needed all the help I could get!
I moved the dough rounds to a parchment lined cookie sheet then added the filling and pinched the edges together to create a triangle. I baked at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Now here comes the fun part…my first batch didn’t turn out too well! Here is where you want to learn from my mistake: don’t add a lot of filling! You might think you are doing your friends a favor by adding more delicious filling but the cookies won’t keep their shape while they bake and you will be left with a mess. These might look pretty now…but not for long!
The second batch came out much better and I was so relieved! While I was making the cookies, I was on Twitter and Facebook with some foodie friends and they gave me great advice. Ilana from Ilana’s Oven told me to connect the corners until they are practically closed in the center and just keep pinching the edges! Leah from Cook Kosher (and author of Fresh & Easy) and Miriam from Overtime Cook told me to use egg whites around the edges of the dough to help keep the cookies together. It all worked! Thanks for the help, Ladies!
Check out the hamantaschen messes and the successes!!!
While the cookies cooled, I melted the chocolate chips until they were smooth. You can either use a double boiler or you can carefully microwave them. Just place in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds and mix. Cook for another 30 seconds and mix. Then cook one last time for 30 seconds and mix. Done! I placed a small amount of chocolate in a sandwich bag for the drizzle. Once the hamantaschen were cool, I dipped the bottom of each cookie in the melted chocolate, let the excess chocolate drip off then set on parchment paper to set.
I cut a small piece out of the corner of the chocolate-filled sandwich bag and drizzled over the cookies. There is no right or wrong way to drizzle the chocolate! Just have fun.
I sprinkled the rest of the toasted coconut over the chocolate and let the cookies and chocolate set for a bit. Okay, so maybe I tried one while the chocolate was still soft. Yum!
I literally have nothing bad to say about these hamantaschen!!!
What a great way to eat a Girl Scout Samoa cookie without desperately tracking down a girl scout. The shortbread dough had a beautiful buttery flavor and fell apart in my mouth, just like a traditional shortbread. You wouldn’t believe I used margarine instead of butter! But hey, if you’re making your hamantaschen dairy, go ahead and use regular delicious butter. And how cool that there are no eggs in the dough! The toasted coconut caramel filling was creamy and crunchy and the sweetness certainly balanced out the almost-savory dough. Oh man, and the chocolate…that delicious chocolate. What else can I say? You must make these cookies. You must!
Yields 30-40 cookies