Samoa Meringue Cookies

 

Back in the day, Samoas were called Caramel Delights, and even though I told my mom REPEATEDLY that I did not like coconut, I LOVED these cookies.  Crispy shortbread covered in caramel and coconut and drizzled with chocolate, I could devour an entire box in one sitting.  Now I understand why my mom would order 30 boxes and stick them in the freezer.  Otherwise we would have eaten 30 boxes in one week…..or less. 🙂

Samoa Meringue Cookies

The cookies I baked today are a tribute to my favorite Girl Scout cookie, Caramel Delights Samoas! 🙂 I replaced the crispy shortbread cookie with a crispy, crumbly meringue cookie (why not?), dipped them in chocolate, added a dollop of homemade caramel, a sprinkle of toasted coconut and a drizzle of chocolate.  Wow, I’m drooling just writing this, they were THAT good!  Notice I said were…..they’re gone already!  Should have frozen some like Mom did, darn it!!!  Luckily, they’re pretty easy to make, so I could whip up another batch anytime I want!  Simple ingredients, simple preparation, simply delicious! Enjoy! 🙂

Samoa Meringue Cookies

Yields:  about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2 egg whites

1 cup sugar, divided

1/4 tsp vanilla

2 TBSP unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use the Ghirardelli brand)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

Directions

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer with double beaters, whip the egg whites for 30 seconds on medium speed.  Then add 1/2 cup sugar, adding one tablespoon at a time while continuously whipping the egg whites on medium speed.  Once all the sugar is added, increase to medium high speed and whip until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes or so.  Add vanilla extract, whip until just combined.  Spoon meringue mixture into a gallon size ziplock bag and snip one corner to mae a piping bag. Pipe the mixture onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet in 2 inch diameter circles.  **(Or dollop the mixture onto the baking sheet with a spoon!  I don’t judge, they’ll taste just as good, even if they aren’t uniform in size.)  Using the back of a small spoon, make an indentation in the center of each meringue.  This will hold the homemade caramel sauce. 🙂  Bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, then turn stove off and allow to dry in the oven for at least an hour and up to 2 hours.

Measure out 1/2 cup sugar and place in a small bowl.  Put cream, butter, spatula and whisk next to the stove so it will be at hand when you need it.  The process of making caramel moves very quickly, and if you step away from the stove for a moment your caramel will be burnt.  I know.  It has happened to me before. More than once. 🙁  Put two tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium high heat.  When the sugar is melted around the edges and starts to turn amber (about 2 minutes) stir with a spatula and add the rest of the sugar.  When the caramel is a deep amber color, remove pan from the heat and add the butter.  Whisk until smooth.  Then add the cream slowly.  The mixture will bubble up violently.  When the bubbling subsides, transfer caramel  to a microwave proof bowl to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spread shredded coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast until golded brown, about 2 – 3 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a microwave proof bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until melted.  Dip the bottom of each meringue in the melted chocolate and place on a wax paper lined plate.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Add a dollop of caramel (microwave for a few seconds if it’s hardened too much) to each cookie, then sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Drizzle remaining melted chocolate over the cookies using a spoon.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Store in refrigerator.

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Samoa Meringue Cookies ~ Pearls + Girls