Caramel, toasted coconut, and milk chocolate all come together in these beloved Girl Scout Cookie Copycats, Gluten Free Samoas!
Some of the items linked in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission.
These Gluten Free Samoas have been a LOOOOONG time comin’!!! We’ve made gluten free tagalongs and thin mints and they’re wonderful. But the one I’ve been saving for last is this cookie right here. The samoas is one of my favorites from childhood because–caramel and toasted coconut. I’m a coconut lover AND a caramel lover, so it’s a no brainer that putting these two flavors together will be a win in my book!
The Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Samoas
The Shortbread Cookie
- Powdered sugar
- Egg white
- Vanilla extract
- Kim’s all purpose gluten free flour blend — a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn’t been tested
- Kosher salt
- Baking powder
- Granulated sugar
- Corn syrup
- Heavy cream
- Coconut oil (refined or unrefined)
the coconut and chocolate
- unsweetened finely shredded coconut (affiliate link)
- milk chocolate (affiliate link)
- cocoa butter (affiliate link) — you can also use vegetable oil, canola oil, or coconut oil
Making Gluten Free Samoas
Bake Cookies and Toast Coconut
- Make the dough and chill. Roll out dough and cut into rounds. Use a 1/2-inch cake decorating tip to cut the middle out. If desired, press a “moat” around the middle of the cookie (to hold extra caramel).
- Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.
- Pour unsweetened coconut onto small baking sheet and place in already heated 350 degree oven. Toast until golden brown, 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Make the Caramel
- Pour water and corn syrup into small saucepan. Carefully pour granulated sugar over both, trying to hit the center of the pan so no sugar touches the sides of the pan.
- Swirl pan only (don’t stir) until sugar is completely melted and begins to turn amber on the sides of the pan.
- Once there is uniform color throughout the caramel, carefully and slowly pour heavy cream into caramel, stirring constantly. Add butter and clip on candy thermometer.
- Stirring continuously, bring caramel to 238-240 degrees F. Immediately remove from heat and pour into greased parchment paper-lined loaf pan. Allow to cool completely.
- Place caramel in piping bag and snip about 1/2-inch off bottom. Pipe a round of caramel around each cookie in the “moat”.
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler (or in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between).
- Add grated cocoa butter (or canola, vegetable, or coconut oil) and stir until completely smooth and all chocolate is melted.
Dip Cookies in Coconut and Chocolate
- Place toasted coconut in a medium bowl. Dip tops of cookies into coconut.
- Doing one at a time, place cookie on dipping fork and dip the bottom into the melted chocolate. Tap off excess chocolate.
- Slide cookie off fork onto parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet.
- Place leftover chocolate in piping bag and drizzle chocolate over tops of cookies. Allow cookies to set at room temperature (if using tempered chocolate), or in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Samoas Frequently Asked Questions
No, you can always buy a bag of caramels from the store and melt them in a small saucepan with 2-3 tbsp of milk. This won’t be quite as tasty as homemade caramel.
The cookies will be way too sweet if you use anything but unsweetened shredded coconut.
Yes, you can, although it’s much messier to do so. A piping bag really helps get even and full coverage. If you spread it on the cookies, use an offset spatula and use about 1 tbsp caramel for each cookie.
Gluten Free Samoas (A Girl Scout Cookie Copycat Recipe)
- 1 cup (226 g) butter, softened
- ½ cup (63 g) powdered sugar
- 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (210 g) Kim's all purpose gluten free flour blend (a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested)
- 2 tbsp (15 g) cornstarch
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) corn syrup
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 4 tbsp (56 g) butter
Coconut Topping and Chocolate Base
- 1 cup (95 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 12 oz (340 g) chopped milk chocolate
- 1 oz (28 g) finely grated cocoa butter (grated on a microplane grater) (the same amount of canola, vegetable, or melted coconut oil may be substituted)
Make Cookies and Toast Coconut
- Cream butter in a large bowl. Add powdered sugar and combine well. Add egg white and vanilla extract, beating until fully mixed. It will look a little curdled, which is normal.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until no flour is visible.
- Dump out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press together into a cohesive disk. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to a few days.
- Remove dough from fridge and let sit for 15-20 minutes to come to cool room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
- Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out with a round cookie cutter that's approximately 1¾-2 inches in diameter. Use a Wilton 1M round decorating tip or other similar object with a ½-inch round diameter to punch holes in the center of the circles. If desired, find an object that will make a ring depression ("moat" of sorts) around the middle of the cookie. This is not necessary, but the "moat" will hold extra caramel 😋
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the bottom edges. Cool completely on wire rack.
- While oven is still set at 350° F, spread coconut on a small sheet pan into an even layer. Toast until golden, 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Line a small loaf pan with well-greased parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small 2 qt saucepan, add water, corn syrup, and sugar. Place over medium heat and, without stirring, allow mixture to come to a boil. The sugar will begin to caramelize, which will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Swirl pan as you start to notice the caramelization.
- When sugar is uniformly an amber color, carefully and slowly add the heavy cream, stirring with a wooden spoon or heat-safe silicone spatula. Be careful as it will sputter and bubble. Then add butter and stir. Clip on candy thermometer.
- Cook caramel over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 238-240° F on a candy or digital thermometer. Immediately remove from heat. Carefully pour caramel into prepared pan and allow to cool completely before using, which will take at least a couple of hours.
- Melt ⅔ of chocolate in a heat-safe bowl (preferably stainless steel) over a double boiler (a smaller pan with one inch of simmering water).
- Add the final ⅓ of the finely chopped chocolate, along with the cocoa butter or oil, and stir gently until completely melted and smooth.
- Place caramel in a piping bag and pipe a circle of the caramel over the cooled cookies in the "moat" or in a ring around each cookie. Dip tops of the cookies in toasted coconut, pressing to adhere as much coconut as possible (and also to flatten out the caramel).
- One at a time, place a cookie on a dipping fork (or regular dinner fork) and dip just the bottom of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place on parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Put remaining chocolate in small piping bag or a regular baggie with a hole cut out of one corner. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Allow chocolate to set completely.
- Cookies will keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.