If there were a way to put the title of this week’s recipe in flashing neon capital letters, I would have. I am always excited about the recipes we feature on the column, but every so often, I am so excited that I just want to run around knocking on everybody’s door to say, “Don’t miss Friday’s recipe!!!” Photographer Lara Ferroni is the author of one of my favorite cookbooks, Doughnuts, an itty-bitty book that punches far above its size in value and quality. When I received the press release for her new book, Real Snacks, I knew there would be something great in it to share. I don’t want to discourage you from buying cookies from your favorite Girl Scout, but you might be sorely tempted after you see Lara’s recipe for Chocolate Coconut Caramel Cookies. — Kristina
About Lara: Lara Ferroni is a food geek who can’t quite decide what she wants to do: write about, style or photograph food. But as long as she gets to eat it in the end, she stays pretty happy. Lara is author of two cookbooks, Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home and Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats without All the Junk, as well as a photography book, Food Photography: Pro Secrets for Styling, Lighting and Shooting. She shoots regularly for Epicurious.com, Gourmet Live, Imbibe Magazine and Portland Monthly’s Bride & Groom, among others. You can see more of Lara’s work on her blog, laraferroni.com. Her previous recipes on ITKW are here and here.
See Lara’s recipe after the jump!
Chocolate Coconut Caramel Cookies
Makes about 14 large cookies
This recipe calls for a caramel sauce like the one in the pantry section of Real Snacks, which is buttery and sweet and free of corn syrup. You can substitute any caramel sauce, but I definitely recommend one that has a hint of salt.
- 1 cup (120 grams) spelt or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) oat or cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (70 grams) Sucanat or cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- 1 cup caramel sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, tempered or melted
1. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
2. Sift the white spelt flour, oat flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well blended, about 1 minute. If the mixture is too crumbly, mix in the other tablespoon of milk.
4. Place the dough between two 18″ x 18″ squares of parchment paper, and roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick (if it is a little sticky, feel free to refrigerate it for a bit). Use a cookie cutter to punch out cookies to your desired shape. Place the cut cookies on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each cookie.
5. Bake until golden on the edges, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Cool on a wire rack.
6. While the cookies are cooling, make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the coconut, caramel sauce and salt. If the caramel is too thick to stir, heat it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Top each cooled cookie with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the topping. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and allow the cookies to set before serving.
For added indulgence, dip the bottoms of the cookies in the melted chocolate before topping.
When it comes to Girl Scout cookies, there are Samoa® people and non-Samoa® people. I was always in the latter camp, but when I asked around for favorite junk-food suggestions, it was clear that I was in the minority. So I knew it was important to create a homemade Samoa recipe, and as it turns out, this is a cookie I love. Made with the Real Snacks caramel sauce, unsweetened coconut and whole grain flours, they are rich and buttery without being cloying. Unfortunately, to get all the photos I wanted in the book, we had to cut a few recipes, and the Real Snacks Thin Mints won out by a narrow margin. (I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a Thin Mint!) So I’m thrilled to share this recipe with you here!