homemade Samoa cookies

by Kristina Sloggett

in baking,Dessert,Gluten Free,recipes,Vegan

I was a Girl Scout.

First, a brownie. I wore the uniform (even though brown and orange are not my best colors), earned badges, sold cookies. Fun stuff.

As a brownie, I looked forward to graduating to a Junior. New uniforms – in green and more choices! I had visions of camping and all the fun adventures we would have. and camping. I really wanted to go camping.

I remember the “graduation ceremony” like it was yesterday – it took place at my friend Shelley’s house. We had to “walk the bridge” from Brownie to Junior status, and… well… ours was a makeshift bridge.

The bridge consisted of several Playboy magazines fanned out over a long piece of aluminum foil (signifying water, of course). I should have seen that as a big red flag.

We never went camping. Not once. Actually, I don’t really remember doing much of anything.

I am a Girl Scout Drop Out.

I made up for the camping thing in high school and college – my friends and I went nearly every weekend. I have some amazing and fun memories of all those weekends.

If I could still earn badges, I’d try to earn all the cooking and baking badges.

My mom would still have to sew them for me – I never did earn those.

homemade Samoa cookies

makes 20-24 cookies

gluten, dairy, egg and soy free, vegan

cookie dough base:

1 cup butter (Earth Balance soy free)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
2 cups flour (gluten free ap)
1/4 cup milk (vanilla almond)

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time, adding milk by the tablespoon as necessary. Combine until dough forms, do not over mix. Knead into a ball, cool in refrigerator 10 minutes. Roll to 1/4 to 1/3 inch thickness and cut into circle shapes (I used a glass about 2 1/2 inches diameter). I did not cut circles in the middle. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, until just golden brown on edges. Cool completely. 

caramel coconut topping:

1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup coconut milk*
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter (Earth Balance soy free)
2 tablespoons coconut spread (or use more butter)

*carton, not canned coconut milk – or sub milk of choice

Spread coconut in layer on prepared baking sheet (silpat or parchment), bake at 350 for 3 minutes – remove from oven, stir – replace and bake for another 3-4 minutes or until toasted. In saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and milk, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Add butter and coconut spread, stirring until combined. Let cool.

Combine toasted coconut and caramel sauce, top each cookie with about a tablespoon. Let set (I placed cookies in refrigerator).

dark chocolate drizzle topping:

3-4 ounces dark chocolate
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut spread (or butter)

Melt chocolate in saucepan over medium heat, add coconut spread or butter if you want a thinner shinier consistency. Drizzle over cookies after caramel coconut has set.

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The chocolate remains slightly tacky, but I wanted a shiny appearance. If you’d rather have the chocolate harden completely, omit the coconut / butter spread from the melted chocolate, and simply melt chocolate alone.

Were you a Scout?

What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Do the Boys sell anything?


{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather (Where's the Beach) March 7, 2012 at 5:28 am

I was a Brownie and Girl Scout very briefly. I only remember camping one night actually. I love love thin mints and the samoa cookies. MMMMM I think the boys sell popcorn – or they do around here.


2 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

I was ROBBED. ;) we went to “girl scout camp” in the summertime, but that’s different. I think I was expecting to do more “cool stuff” in general… so I quit! :D


3 Mickey January 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

it depends on the troop lol i know a lot of troops that do real camping and hiking and stuff (they’re badasses) i’m actually trying to earn my gold award at the moment


4 Kristina Sloggett January 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm

well, you Mickey, are one of the lucky ones then! :) good luck with the Gold Award!


5 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 7, 2012 at 5:53 am

I never did the girl scout thing. I was so vehemently opposed to it as a kid. No idea why but I wanted to play sports and be “tough” instead. No badges or stickers for me. But I sure as heck loved their cookies :)


6 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

haa haa, I suppose I should have been too! ;) I liked it as a brownie, though… I think it was the leader, or lack thereof… yeah, the cookies rock.


7 Allie March 7, 2012 at 5:54 am

Boy Scouts sell popcorn. Quite mediocre popcorn. Because tinned popcorn is just never that good.

I did the whole Daisy/Brownie/Girl Scout thing! I was a terrible cookie seller though–I’d get my parents to buy a box or two, and that would be it. While other girls would come in with sales sheets with hundreds of boxes. I guess that’s when I knew I was destined to be an English major with a tech job, not a salesperson or politician…


8 Evan Thomas March 7, 2012 at 6:22 am

Yep. These are getting made.


9 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:39 am
10 jobo March 7, 2012 at 6:50 am

you have outdone yourself. I LOVE samoa cookies and have some in my cabinet and these look WAY better than the girl scout version by a long shot. Set up that etsy shop… ;-)


11 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 7:01 am

hee! I know, I KNOW. one of these days, you know, with all my free time! ;) and thank you… your cheerleading always makes me smile! XO


12 Cara March 7, 2012 at 7:10 am

Um you can’t mention that you walked the bridge with Playboy-lined pictures and not explain what the hell that is about??? BAHAHA! That is some serious messed up GS group! I was never a part of them but I also do the Scout’s Honor whenever I’m giving my word, does that count? :)


13 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

shhhh… I already feel like I shared too much. yeah, it was a low point for the Girl Scouts, for sure. Scout’s Honor really should only be used by those who have walked the bridge, missy. get yourself some foil and some magazines, NOW!!


14 Jess March 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

Um hi, you’re a genius – these look incredible!!! Like my sis said, these are BOUND to be way tastier than some pre-packaged girl scout cookie EVER could taste. We were both girl scouts and made it all the way to junior – girl scout pride! LOL. Although, we both HATED camping, it was like the worst thing ever to us – spiders in the tents, dirty bathrooms, etc. hehe ;-)


15 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm

ah, well, I could definitely do without the spiders… but YOUR troop is the one I wanted to be in!! :D


16 Joe April 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

these are the best Ive seen, gorgeous pics as well. cant wait to try the recipe


17 Heather @ Better With Veggies March 7, 2012 at 7:53 am

I was only a girl scout through elementary school really. I tried one year in middle school and it wasn’t for me. BUT – I was a girl scout leader for 4 or 5 years in my 20s, which was SO much fun. My troop was so much fun – we went whitewater rafting, skiing, and I tried to encourage the kids to be active as much as possible (you’re surprised, right? ;)).

These cookies were my favorite in my pre-plant-based days and I really need to make your version. I bet your recipe will be even better than the original. :)


18 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm

AW, see??? I wanted YOU for my GS leader!! shoot, your girls were SO LUCKY to have you!! (yeah, so surprising – gosh, you weren’t inside teaching them to sew??) :D

you should make these!! so SO good! and fun too. XO


19 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga March 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

One of the very first raw/vegan/GF things I ever made for my blog was Samoas. I couldnt take pictures back then, I had no idea a chocolate drizzle could go so far to make something look pretty, and I was new with my dehydrator, too.

So that’s my way of saying, what you just made blows my mind, it looks GORGEOUS!, and also….delicious. I’ll take 2 dozen :)


20 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

oh, I’m going to have to look those up, I never thought of a raw Samoa!! Mmm… :D


21 Laura Podrasky March 7, 2012 at 8:11 am

I was a brownie and graduated to girl scout but then we moved to another state and that was that. My daughter did was both a daisy and a brownie but now has no interest. Well, she’d like to just sell the cookies and then go on the retreats.
I think we’ll try to make these, too. She is really getting interested in cooking and working in the kitchen so they would be fun.


22 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm

this would be really fun to make with your daughter, if she is showing interest in cooking! they are easy but take several steps, and it would be a great thing for her to learn! and tasty rewards, too! :)


23 katie March 7, 2012 at 8:43 am

Holy crap! In a good way, haha! I just got home from hot yoga and I come to your post, bad idea! I want a samoa cookie now for lunch! Well cookie (s) not just one!

These look amazing! Samoas and thin mints were my favorite!

Happy Wednesday! Hope all is well, hope your dad is doing ok! xo


24 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

happy Wednesday to you, Katie!! I wish I could share these with you! :D Dad is okay right now, having a good week, feeling good. starts chemo again tomorrow, and that usually wears him out for a couple weeks. thank you XXO


25 Lisa March 7, 2012 at 9:15 am

Damn you. :)
Those are my favorite Girl Scout Cookies. The ice cream is fantastic too!


26 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I’ve SEEN that ice cream… damn YOU, now I must go find some! :D


27 Lisa March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

The ice cream is decadent. OMG


28 natalie (the sweets life) March 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

i made samoa bars last year and fell in love with them! these look delish as well–so gorgeous!

ps. where did you get that milk jar? i need a bunch of those for a baby shower i’m hosting :)


29 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm

that is funny, I almost made these into bars! :) I didn’t want to cut holes in them, so I was thinking they weren’t going to look original anyway. I’ll remember that for next time!

those milk bottles are vintage – actual half pint bottles they used to serve in grade schools… I got that one at an antique store ages ago. I bet you could find some on eBay or etsy? they aren’t cheap, though, for cute ones like these. good luck! (and what a FUN idea for a baby shower!!)


30 christina March 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

you stop it.
no, wait. please don’t. girl scout drop out and still making kickass cookies? YES YOU DID.


31 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

hmm… maybe it was baking that took place of my sad non camping girl scout days… ;)


32 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. March 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm

these rock!


33 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

thank you, Alison! :D


34 Shannon Roche March 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I was a Girl Scout from Brownies to Seniors. I even earned all of the possible Junior badges. I think my sister and I use to sell around 800 boxes of cookies. They would fill my parent’s dining room for weeks.


35 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

dang, 800 boxes? that is awesome!! and great for you going so far… I don’t know anyone that went that far in girl scouts… we had a couple guys who were still in during high school – pretty neat. I loved selling cookies!


36 Cookin' Canuck March 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Love the bridge fashioned out of Playboys!

As much as I feel like I’m cheating on Thin Mints, I have to say that Samoas are my favorite Girl Scout cookies. This recipe is going to be very dangerous in our house!


37 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm

that bridge, I can laugh about it now. I think I was MORTIFIED then. ;)

it is actually kinda difficult to pick a favorite… I really love Samoas, I really love the chocolate peanut butter ones, I really love the shortbreads. Mmm, those classic shortbreads. :)


38 beti March 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm

this is just cruel, they look amazingly good


39 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm

cruel, perhaps – they aren’t difficult to make, but they are several steps that take some time. worth it though! :D


40 Rhonda (@diningalone) March 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I am a girl scout drop out too, didn’t make it past brownies. I think your cookies look better than the real thing.


41 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm

thank you Rhonda! :D cheers to a fellow drop out!


42 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) March 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Yum! I was always a Thin Mint girl growing up, but in my adulthood, it’s all about the Samoa. So very tasty and comforting.

PS – I was a TERRIBLE Brownie. I barely earned badges. I think I was only in it for the cookies!


43 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm

haa haa, OF COURSE you were. ;) all I wanted to do was go on adventures. whatever that means.


44 Ashley F. March 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I was a Brownie as well – never made it to the actual Girl Scouts though – I was a drop out too :)

Coconut is something that I’ve only recently started to enjoy, so I’m excited to try these out!


45 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm

me too – I was never a big coconut fan, and I’m STILL kinda iffy. I love coconut milk, and can do fresh coconut… shredded in small doses. I suppose when you mix it with CARAMEL, it’s okay by me! ;) cheers to a fellow GS drop out!!


46 Pure2raw twins March 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I will take all of them please! the funny thing is just a few years ago I really started loving samoa cookies, as a kid I was not a fan but now yes :)
love your version of them too!! YUM



47 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

these were always one of my favorites, although I still love the shortbread too. Mmm. :D


48 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) March 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Yes! I was a brownie and a girl scout! I loved going camping then. I don’t remember the details as much as I just remember loving it (I think that is a sign of my age!). I’ve made the tagalongs, but not the samoas. I definitely need to try these out. I felt bad telling the girl scout that we couldn’t eat the cookies. I want to support them, but I can’t waste the money and while I know the boys could eat them, well, I would rather them have homemade versions. I know that sounds so bad…


49 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I know, I feel bad too. um, sometimes I fib and say I already bought some… eep! (I don’t say WHEN I bought them… I used to, you know!!) ;) although the more they hear people want gf df etc versions, maybe they will make some!! :D


50 Jessica March 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Just saw this on Pinterest and had to check it out. 2 quick questions: what is vanilla paste and when you say coconut spread, do you mean coconut oil (solid)?
I was a girl scout & I’m a leader now for my oldest daughter. 2nd daughter is gluten & casein free and can’t enjoy GS cookies at all. Can’t wait to make these for her!!! Thanks


51 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm

hi Jessica! vanilla paste is just that… it’s a more solid form of vanilla (actually more like a gel…) I LOVE vanilla so I have all sorts of forms, I brought home some vanilla powder from Mexico in December! if you cannot find it (or don’t want to), vanilla would work just fine.

the coconut spread I use is the Earth Balance brand, which is a blend of several “tropical oils” (coconut and palm fruit), water and sunflower lecithin… the reason I used it is to make the chocolate more “runny” – so regular coconut oil would work fine.

I am so happy you will be making these for your daughter – I hope you all enjoy them! :D


52 Tara Burner March 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Going to have to make these..
and ummmmm I’m a Brownie failure…I got KICKED OUT of Brownies!
something about me being too talkative and too assertive….
oh well….


53 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

haa HAAA… oh Tara I love that. just too awesome. :D


54 Kristina March 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm

What is vanilla paste?
And is coconut spread the same as coconut oil?


55 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm

hi Kristina!

vanilla paste is just that… it’s a more solid form of vanilla (actually more like a gel…) I LOVE vanilla so I have all sorts of forms, I brought home some vanilla powder from Mexico in December! if you cannot find it (or don’t want to), vanilla would work just fine.

the coconut spread I use is the Earth Balance brand, which is a blend of several “tropical oils” (coconut and palm fruit), water and sunflower lecithin… the reason I used it is to make the chocolate more “runny” – so regular coconut oil would work fine.


56 India-leigh March 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I now have a Samoa Cookie crush! I love the way you write…the rhythm is perfect. As for your photography and perfect assimilation and decoration of the cookies….Wow! Is it wrong to fall in love with a picture of a cookie?!


57 spabettie March 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

aw, thank you, India-leigh – your sweet comment just made my day! :) and no… it is not wrong. these cookies are pretty dang good ;) THANK YOU!!


58 Roz@weightingfor50 March 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hi Kris, amazing looking recipe. We don’t get as many varieties of Girl Scout cookies up here in Canada, there are the vanilla and chocolate cream ones in the summer, and the mint chocolate ones in fall. I was a Brownie when I was little and actually sold boxes of cookies door to door. Fun. Must ask, WHERE did you get those funky little bottles that the milk is in??? I LOVE them!!!!!! Hope you are doing well, all the best.


59 spabettie March 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

oh, WOW Roz… sounds like your GS cookies are different than ours? vanilla? chocolate cream? not sure if we have those… and we have a time of year (one time a year!!) where they are all sold, we don’t get them year round… which is good AND bad, I suppose? ;)


60 Char @ www.charskitchen.ca March 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm

oohhh yes <3 I've truthfully never had one of the samoas because they never looked super tasty to me. THESE make my mouth water!! This is absolutely a recipe I would make. As for the girl scout cookies, I used to really love the white ones AND the chocolate ones. Can't choose :D


61 spabettie March 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

Char you should definitely try these, and whatever made you think they weren’t good? you have control of how much goes in! ;) (I made a few with less coconut shreds because I’d like them more…)


62 Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack! March 8, 2012 at 12:17 am

These look fantastic! For the longest time Samoa cookies were my favorite, and this recipe looks so easy to make! I’ll definitely have to try these out soon. :)

Also, I’m sad that you didn’t get to go camping! When I was a Brownie and then a Junior, we went on quite a few camping trips. That reminds me.. I should do that again.


63 spabettie March 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

very easy, Jackie! and worth the time and steps…

I know, I have not been camping in a few years… each spring + summer Jason and I talk about going, we really need to!


64 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List March 8, 2012 at 5:46 am

PINNED!! You amaze me, Kris!! Seriously!


65 dorry March 8, 2012 at 10:21 am

I love this so much. I was never a girl scout, and to be honest, we never really ate the cookies! my parents weren’t big dessert/sweets people and my favorite cookies as a child were Soft Batch Chocolate Chip – remember those? mmmm. and I do have memories of eating frozen thin mints girl scout cookies at my best friend’s house as a kid. anyway, things have all changed now & I’d love to eat some GF, vegan girl scout cookies. :)


66 spabettie March 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

Soft Batch Chocolate Chip – I know you have mentioned those before! your childhood cookie! :D I do remember those, mmm.


67 janetha March 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

color me impressed.. and craving.


68 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

I’ve bought boy scout popcorn from my nephew. Not good.
I was a girlscout but quit when I got to 4th grade, because it was no longer “cool.” I ROCKED at selling cookies as a brownie though because my dad would take my order form to work. I think I was top seller one year and got a big bag of loot! (well, in the form of stuffed animals and things)
I’m a thin mint girl. And samoas. I need to make THESE samoas (or maybe not- I might eat them all)


69 spabettie March 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

YES that was always awesome when the parents helped out with the cookie sales! ;) good for you, top seller!

and yeah… these things are dangerous. I gave ONE to Jason and said I still needed to photograph them, and I saw him SNEAK one later!! HAA.


70 Regina March 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I was mad. My brothers did awesome things as boy scouts. I joined the girl scouts. They taught how to care for your nails and what make up looks best with your hair color (not fun for a tomboy). The only outdoor thing I remember was a lesson under the trees about ticks. I stayed up all night worrying that a tick fell out of a tree and landed on my head.


71 spabettie March 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

see? same here – I don’t know if I was a tomboy, per se, but I REALLY wanted to go camping!! (without the ticks…) :D


72 Maureen March 9, 2012 at 1:02 am

I loved being a Brownie and Girl Scout – probably makes me dorky. It was way back in the last century but I still remember Girl Scout camp every summer.

I can’t wait to make these samoas !


73 spabettie March 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

me too!! the one time I got to “camp” with the girl scouts – so fun!


74 Tommy March 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I wanted to be a girl scout, but I did NOT want to camp!!


75 Natasha March 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Hey girl…get anything yet????? I’m getting worried here…I’ve had no notification – I’ll confirm addy later.
This look amaze…I think that my health food store carries the carton ccm…you never cease to amaze us Pretty.
Hope Papa is okay…


76 Shirley @ gfe March 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Totally awesome! You are a delectable genius! :-)



77 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} March 11, 2012 at 5:46 am

I resisted reading this post for too long. I knew I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t stay away. Now I’m totally craving samoa cookies! I’ll have to save this recipe for after Lent when I can have sweets again…


78 Francine March 11, 2012 at 8:02 am

these will be better than the original, I know! beautiful pictures too


79 Tracy @ Commit to Fit March 11, 2012 at 8:22 am

I wish we had cookies like this in Canada. I was in Guiding for many years and really enjoyed it, but we only have 3 kinds of cookies: Chocolate (not a big fan), vanilla and mint. I am making these for sure!


80 Kath (My Funny Little Life) March 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

I never even was a girl scout at all … ;) I went camping a lot with my family as a child, though. And I was afraid of other children anyway. ;)

The cookies look … awesome! :)


81 spabettie March 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

lucky! my family never went camping… probably why I did so often once I had my own car! ;)


82 susan March 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I need to do a little vegan something for someone and these are it! They look divine! When opening the coconut milk, will it last a long time in the fridge, similar to almond milk?


83 spabettie March 22, 2012 at 10:51 am

yes, I believe they have a pretty decent shelf life. they are the cartons in the cold section, with regular milk, so perhaps not AS long as one of the shelf stable milks… you *might* be able to sub a different milk you already have? since you are mixing the caramel with the coconut, the caramel consistency doesn’t have to be perfect. Enjoy, Susan – I hope you love them!


84 Nicole April 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

these look so good, can’t wait to try them!


85 Gina April 6, 2012 at 1:42 am

beautiful and so fun, can’t wait to try these


86 EA-The Spicy RD April 28, 2012 at 6:36 am

Fabulous! These were my favorite Girl Scout cookies in my pre- gluten-free days. Now I am a Girl Scout troop leader, and I have to keep cartons of these in my garage during cookie season and not touch them…Definitely going to give your yummy looking cookies a try!


87 spabettie April 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

oh my, that would be difficult to avoid, a garage full of cookies! I hope you try these, they are pretty darn close, I think! :)


88 Lara May 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

I love this cookie part along, best Ive ever made vegan. very impressed than you!!


89 sandra May 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

best ones I have seen, sound delicous


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