What are samoas? In case you live under a rock, I'll explain. Vanilla cookie, layered in luscious caramel, sprinkled with coconut, and drizzled with stripes of chocolate. YUM is what samoas are! There are probably many ways to create an ice cream based on the samoas cookie. Of course, I have to be inventive, since I don't have any cookies in hand yet and this prohibits me from making some vanilla ice cream and adding chunks of samoas. I decided to go out on a limb and start with a base of coconut ice cream, swirled with rich homemade caramel, and chock full of vanilla shortbread cookie bits dipped in chocolate. The result? Grown-up version of a favorite childhood cookie.
Samoas Ice Cream
Coconut ice cream adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini
Caramel and (adapted) shortbread from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
~ 1/2 cup egg beaters
~ 1 can (13 fl. oz.) reduced fat unsweetened evaporated milk
~ 1 can (13 fl. oz.) coconut milk
~ 1 to 2 tablespoons light rum (optional)
~ 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
~ 3/4 cup sugar or 1/3 cup agave nectar
~10 chocolate covered shortbread cookies (store bought or homemade), crushed
~1/2 cup caramel sauce (store bought or homemade)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg beaters, evaporated milk, coconut milk, rum, vanilla, and sugar until blended. Refrigerate at least four hours, or overnight. Whisk again before using, and freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions. In the last 5 minutes of churning, add the chocolate covered cookie bits. Layer 1/2 the ice cream in a freezer container, then smooth over 1/4 cup of completely cooled caramel sauce. Repeat, then freeze container to cure ice cream.
Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
Yield: about 10 cookies
~1/2 cup all-purpose flour
~1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
~5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
~1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
~about 1 cup chocolate chips, for dipping cookies
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and cloves. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated.
Using a rubber spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9×10-1/2-inch rectangle that’s 1/4-inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-1/2 inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale - they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.
When cookies are cool, melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Dip the cookies in chocolate and lay on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, then break up into chunks.
~1 cup sugar
~3 T water
~1 T light corn syrup
~3/4 cup heavy cream
~1 T unsalted butter
Put the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat without stirring, until the caramel turns a deep amber color, 5-10 minutes. Lower the heat, stand back from the saucepan and add the cream and butter. Stir to smooth and calm down the caramel. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the caramel into a heatproof jar and cool until it is slightly warm-for about an hour. The sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week. Just reheat in the microwave.