OH. MY. YUM!
Well, here are we again – February! The time of year you catch up on awards shows, paper work [taxes anyone?], laundry, or better yet, ignore all that stuff and stay clear of the rain with movies, cozy sweats and baked goods galore. Of course, the only thing better than movies and baked goods is when you don’t have to bake them yourself. And wouldn’t you know it, the adorable Girl Scouts are prepping their rain gear and smiles for their annual cookie sale starting on March 1st, and running through March 17th!
If you have been following the blog for the past year or more, you’ll recall last February I placed 3rd all around in the Girl Scouts of Western Washington 1st annual recipe contest for food bloggers [check out the awesome Girl Scouts of Western Washington site again here]. However, in true Sampson style, I’m not satisfied until I’ve fed you all and have the blue ribbon [or in this case girl scout green] to show for it. What does this mean? I’M BACK THIS YEAR, VYING FOR FIRST PLACE!
SAMOA SALTED CARAMEL TRUFFLES
It was really hard to decide this year if I was going to attempt another savory recipe, but in the end I decided to give the people what they want – and they want something a little sweet, a little salty and a lot satisfyingly-ooey-gooey! And so, my challenge was born – get the Samoa inside and outside the dish, and make something everyone could make at home or for a party, a shower, a game night or any old time! I have to say, making homemade caramel is actually SUPER easy, fool proof and rewarding [hello?! how could caramel NOT be rewarding, right?!].
You want to know the best part about these truffles? The filling is made of cheesecake, salted caramel and Samoas. Yum. Yum. YUM!
So, without further ado [I know you want to be able to make them at home, which I highly recommend], here’s the recipe:
SAMOA SALTED CARAMEL TRUFFLES
- 1 box Samoa Girl Scout Cookies
- 1 Cup butter
- 2 ¼ Cups packed brown sugar
- 1 Can (10-14oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 8oz packages reduced fat cream cheese
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup egg substitute
- Grey sea salt
- Spring form cake pan or round baking dish with high walls
- Two cookie sheets
- Parchment paper
- Mini muffin liners
- Small ice cream scooper
- Candy thermometer
- Saucepan (3-5 quarts)
- Rubber spatula
- Cooking spray
Part 1: Truffle Batter
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F and line your cake pan with parchment paper that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Take 10-12 Samoas and put in the freezer to chill [you’ll pull them out in 15 minutes or so].
- With cream cheese at room temperature, mix on medium with flour, granulated [white] sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla until mixed, stopping once to scrape down your bowl and ensure all contents are mixed thoroughly.
- Add egg substitute and mix on medium-low until smooth.
- Pour all ingredients into prepared pan and bake in water bath for 45-60 minutes [until outer 2” is set when jiggled].
- Meanwhile, cut 3-5 Samoas into tiny, ¼” bits and store in air tight container in freezer until ready to use for center of truffle.
- Take to 10-12 Samoas from the freezer and process in the food processor or chop finely into crumbs for truffle coating. Put in airtight container in freezer.
- When cake reaches room temperature, cover and chill in fridge at least 2hrs or overnight.
Part 2: Samoa Salted Caramel Center
- Line a small cookie sheet or brownie pan with parchment and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- In a saucepan [3-5 quarts] melt ½ cup butter, 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar, 5 oz sweetened condensed milk and ½ cup light corn syrup, stirring frequently.
- Once melted, turn to medium-high heat and clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan, continuing to stir till the mixture boils.
- Reduce the heat to medium, continue to boil and stir with a rubber spatula until caramel reaches hard ball stage which is about 250°F.
- Once caramel reaches temperature, pour onto sprayed parchment, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and stick Samoa bits into the soft caramel every ¼”.
- Chill the caramel in the fridge for 15-20 minutes till completely set. Once set, pull sheet out and cut into ½” squares and set aside.
Part 3: Assembling Truffles
- When cheesecake is set, use a small 1oz ice cream scoop to create the truffle balls. As you scoop each ball, push a caramel Samoa square into the center, then lightly roll with your palms till the square is covered and ball is round.
- Set on a parchment lined cookie sheet and stick batch in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
- Next, roll each truffle in Samoa crumbs till completely encrusted. Place in mini muffin liners on a cookie sheet and repeat process until all truffles are rolled in crumbs.
- Make your second half batch of caramel, just as you did above.
- When caramel is ready, use a large serving spoon to drizzle caramel over all prepared truffles.
- Sprinkle with flaked sea salt of your choice, and chill entire batch for 15-30 minutes up to overnight.
- To serve, plate the truffles in the mini muffin papers as is, or add a festive party pick for easy handling. Enjoy!
Now, I won’t find out until the end of the month if I’m a finalist – but in the meantime, there is an awesome cookie locator, as well as an app, that tells you exactly where girls are or will be selling cookies in your neighborhood! They won’t be updated until closer to the sale, but are very good to keep handy! And for even more Girl Scout cookie madness, check out http://www.facebook.com/GirlScoutsWW and https://twitter.com/#!/GirlScoutsWW. To promote my recipe or find other recipes on Twitter, the hash tag is: #GSCookieRecipe.