Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cookies
For weeks (maybe even months) now my husband has been asking me to make Samoa cookies. You know what I’m referring to, those girl scout cookies that everybody goes crazy for every year. In some locations in the country they are labeled as Caramel DeLites. If you are not familiar with these cookies, they are essentially a shortbread cookie base, covered in a caramel mixed with coconut, and drizzled with chocolate. Now, I didn’t want to copy these cookies exactly, I didn’t particularly like the shortbread base anyways. So I took my The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER and pretty much changed some of the ingredient amounts and other parts of the recipe, just because I felt like it was the right thing to do. To be totally honest, this cookie was a total experiment fueled by husbands constant whispers in my ear (samoa… samoa… samoa). I just made it up as I went, and I am so glad I trusted my gut. This cookie came out PERFECT. Even days later it still maintained the perfect level of chewy, and the balance of flavors were exactly what I had been hoping for! I honestly was surprised myself. We were planning to go to a friend’s house for a game night, which was where I was planning to take these cookies, and I had already mentally prepared myself to whip up a batch of my chocolate chip cookies as a back up. Luckily the need never arose =).
Before you make this recipe, you will first need to make my Homemade Easy Caramel Sauce recipe. I use this not only in the cookie dough, but also in the topping. Now the topping is option. These cookies are really, really good without the additional caramel/coconut/chocolate topping. If you are short on time, or just don’t feel like going the extra mile… trust me I’ve been there, you can definitely just completely leave out the topping. There is already caramel, coconut and chocolate in the cookie dough. And I had already gotten my husbands double thumbs up for the cookie by itself before I even added the topping. But, if you do have the time/desire, the topping really does make it clear what the cookie is and in addition to making it pretty, it also adds another dimension of flavor and texture. I leave the decision up to you =).
Now before I start rambling on forever, let me walk you through how I came to make these cookies =) (for just the recipe card with ingredients and basic instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post).
First things first, we need to toast our coconut. We will start with Unsweetened Shredded Coconut. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper, and spread all of the coconut you will need for this recipe on the baking sheet. Make sure your oven is preheated to 350deg and place this into the oven for 5-6 minutes. It should not need more than 6 minutes. You may not be able to find this coconut at a regular grocery store, you will find it at whole foods, or a health food store like it. But the regular grocery stores will most likely only sell the sweetened coconut.
Your coconut should look like this when you take it out of the oven. As soon as you remove it from the oven, mix it around, and transfer it into a bowl to cool for later. If you leave it on the baking sheet it will continue toasting from the heat of the baking sheet. Once the coconut is done, reduce the heat in the oven to 325deg.
Next mix your AP flour, baking soda, and salt together and keep it on the side for later.
Now we will start to bring everything together. Unlike in my chocolate chip cookie recipe, we will start here with room temperature butter, not melted butter. So cream together your room temperature butter with your white and brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer or the bowl you will use with your hand mixer. (ignore the brown sugar stuck to the side of the bowl in the first picture, I had just finished making a fresh batch of Easy Homemade Brown Sugar right before making this).
Once your butter and sugar are creamed, add in some of the Homemade Easy Caramel Sauce and vanilla extract and mix it in thoroughly. Then add in the egg and egg yolk and continue mixing on medium/medium high until the mixture gets fluffy.
It should look something like this. Lighter in color, and fluffy.
Next we will add in our flour 1/2 cup at a time while our stand mixer is mixing on low-speed. As soon as it is all combined stop. After that we will add our chocolate chips and some of the coconut we toasted earlier. Just mix it in until it is just combined.
Next we will put our cookies onto our baking sheet. Our oven should have reduced to 325deg by now. I like to use a Small Cookie Scoop to portion out the cookies. Bake the cookies in the oven for 15-17 min or until the edges are just starting to get golden brown. They will be a little inflated when you first remove them from the oven.
After the cookies have cooled they will flatten a little bit. Our next steps are all for the topping. If you choose not to make the topping, then you are already done! If you are making the topping, wait for 20-30 minutes for all the cookies to cool completely.
Once the cookies are cooled completely, we are going to mix our remaining toasted coconut (leaving a spoon behind for garnish) with our Homemade Easy Caramel Sauce 1:1. For every spoon of coconut we will mix in a spoon of caramel. (if you follow me on Instagram (@saltyoversweet) you would have watched me figure out how to make these cookies as I was making it in my Instagram story… there I realized I had not toasted enough coconut for the topping, so the amount in the picture above is not enough to cover all the cookies, I made more after I used all of this up.. ingredient amounts have been adjusted in the recipe card to reflect this).
Spread a little bit of our coconut mixture onto each cookie in the center of each cookie.
Lastly, heat up some semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave (in 10-15 second increments) or on a double boiler until just melted, and drizzle on top of the cookies. (I used a spoon/fork to drizzle the chocolate on top). I did this over the parchment paper I baked the cookies on to reduce the mess. Once the chocolate is drizzled you can sprinkle on the little bit of toasted coconut you left on the side for garnish! =). If you are going to need to store these cookies in a stacked way, stick the cookies into the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the chocolate on top to harden. If you made the topping and are not planning to eat these cookies within 24 hours I would recommend storing them in the fridge until an hour before eating and then take them out, for food safety, since the caramel is normally stored in the fridge).
That’s it! It’s really not too complicated =). I hope you give this recipe a try for yourself! They are incredibly delicious and perfectly chewy, coconuty, chocolatey and carameley! Please be sure to let me know in the comments if you do! I would love to hear what you thought of it! Be sure to subscribe so that you can be notified when I post new recipes! (link in the sidebar). Follow me on Instagram @saltyoversweet (I also post a lot of Instagram stories of what I am making that day) and find me on Facebook (the link is in the sidebar). You can also tag me on Instagram @saltyoversweet if you make any of my recipes I would love to see! =)
- 2 cups - All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon - Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon - Salt
- 1/2 cup - Room Temperature Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup - Brown Sugar (loosely packed) or 3/4 cup tightly packed
- 1/4 cup - White Cane Sugar
- 2 Heaping Tablespoon - Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon - Vanilla
- 1 whole - Large Egg
- 1 - egg yolk
- 3/4 cup - Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup - Shredded Coconut (Unsweetened)
- 3-4 tablespoons - homemade caramel sauce (match the coconut 1:1)
- 1/2 cup - Semisweet chocolate chips
- (Remainder of toasted coconut from recipe)
- Heat Oven to 350deg
- Once heated, spread out shredded coconut onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 5-6 min until just turning golden brown.
- Once removed from the oven immediately transfer coconut to bowl to cool.
- Reduce oven temp to 325deg.
- Mix flour with baking soda and salt and keep on the side.
- Cream room temperature butter with white and brown sugar in the bowl of your stand or hand mixer.
- Once creamed add 2 heaping tablespoon of homemade caramel sauce and vanilla and mix in.
- Then add the whole egg and egg yolk one at a time. Mix on med/high speed until lighter in color and fluffy.
- Then add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Mix on low until just combined.
- After that, add 1/2 of the toasted coconut (1/2 cup) to the cookie dough, and 3/4cup of semisweet chocolate chips. mix until just combined.
- Distribute cookie dough onto baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-17 min until just golden brown around the edges. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- remove 1 teaspoon of coconut from the remaining coconut and leave on the side.
- Mix the remaining coconut with caramel sauce 1:1.
- Spread this mixture onto the center of each cookie.
- Next melt 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave in 15 second increments (checking everytime, until melted, don't burn them) or on a double boiler.
- Once melted use a spoon/fork to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Finish the cookies off by sprinkling the cookies with the little bit of toasted coconut you kept on the side as a garnish while the chocolate is still warm! =)
- If you are planning on stacking these cookies for storage or transportation, put them into fridge for 30 minutes to allow the chocolate on top to set properly. After that you can remove them for the fridge!
- If they are going to be eaten within 24 hours then you can leave them out, otherwise i recommend storing them in the fridge for safety reasons. You can take them out 1hr before you plan to eat them to let them come to room temperature. (this only matters if you made the topping)
- Enjoy! =)
- *Im not sure right now how to make this vegan or gluten-free - stay tuned, I may find a way =)
- *These cookies are pretty heavy, a single person cannot eat more than 1 MAYBE 2 if they're really hungry in one sitting.
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