I’m from Pennsylvania, so naturally, I take Groundhog’s Day very seriously (obviously, you know that Punxsutawney Phil is from Pennsylvania). In elementary school, our teachers would take bets of whether or not we thought the groundhog would see his shadow (we had a 50% chance of being right) and then watch the whole thing unfold on tv. It was an unspoken rule that you never, ever say that there will be 6 more weeks of winter because who doesn’t want spring?! But as it more often than not turned out, we would never get the nice weather until the snowed cleared away in April anyway.
But this year, no one’s going to be wrong! Is anyone else as concerned with this perfectly pleasant, non humid, gorgeous spring time weather that we’ve been getting in the dead of winter?! As much as it was taboo in elementary school, I’m secretly hoping that the groundhog will catch on and change things back around so seasons can take their course as they are supposed to. It’s February, people!
But the one truly seasonal, unaffected-by-the-weather event that is occurring is the selling of girl scout cookies. After a winter like this, I very much appreciate that those girl scouts are dependable and will sell me a box of unassumingly delicious cookies around this time of year. Things are as they should be.
But, let’s be honest: we have already jolted our bearings of time. So while waiting for your box of girl scout cookies to arrive, you should just make your own. I mean, as much as it bothers me that winter has taken a little vacation, it’s hard not to take advantage of this 60 degree weather, and as much as I love to buy my box of cookies every year, the homemade ones are just so so yummy. So there we go. Good luck, groundhog.
Homemade Samoas (recipe from Baking Bites)
I’m not gonna lie to you: these are time consuming. And messy. But are just so good! And so worth the time it takes to make them. I needed to sit afterwards though. So I encourage that. Sit outside, even! The weather’s nice.
1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla. The dough should come together into a ball. Divide the dough in half and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using 1/2 the dough at a time, roll the dough to just over 1/8 inch thickness and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, the end of a wide straw, or a smaller round cookie cutter to cut a smaller center hole (I used the cannoli tubes that I needed for these). Repeat with remaining dough.
3. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set.
4. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
12-oz chewy caramels
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cream
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, divided
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
2. Melt 5 oz. of the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the base of each cookie into the melted chocolate and let it dry on a wire rack, chocolate side up. You can also place them in the refrigerator to set up.
3. While the chocolate on the cookies is setting up, melt the unwrapped caramel candies in a double boiler with the cream and salt. Heat until it has become a smooth sauce. Add the toasted coconut and stir well. Place about a tablespoon of the coconut mixture on top of the cooled cookies (chocolate side down).
4. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Place in a squeeze bottle or a zip-lock bag. If using a bag, cut off the corner, and pipe lines on to the coconut side of the cookies. Let the chocolate set.