Category Archives: Nostalgia

Recipe du Jour: Homemade Samoas!

If there’s one thing I learned from being a Girl Scout for seven years (dirty little secret), it’s to NEVER buy Girl Scout cookies. They’re delicious and expensive, a lethal combination. I stumbled upon Once Upon A Plate, a sweets/baking blog that had a DIY copy cat recipe for Samoas. They’re totes my favorite Girl Scout cookie, so I decided to give it a try.

Here’s the deal: I cook the way my Grandma taught me…no measuring, lots of taste testing, and generally no recipe — just a bunch of ingredients and a bit of culinary cunning. That’s why I like taking other people’s clever recipes, and making my own variation. Mine turned out amazing, but I’ll put all of the “proper” measurements here for you like to cook by the books.

Homemade Samoas

these make your problems into not problems.

COOKIES

1 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

***I opted to NOT bake my own cookies for a couple reasons: 1. I’m lazy; and 2. I have a small Brooklyn kitchen with limited baking essentials. Instead, I just bought a package of what I like to call “redneck cookies” — they’re little flower shaped vanilla cookies that are crunchy, cheap, and almost always on the table at a Southern family reunion from the relative who consider buying prepackaged cookies as “contributing” to the smorgasbord. If you’re a real baker and want to make your own cookies, you can see the baking instructions here. Otherwise, let’s skip ahead with my prepackaged cookies and get to the good stuff: Caramel Coconut topping.

TOPPING

3 cups shredded coconut

12 oz chewy caramels (My grocery store didn’t have any plain caramels so I bought a bunch of Rolos and peeled the chocolate off. Whatever. It was snowing outside and I didn’t want to go to another store. Painstakingly de-chocolated Rolos worked just fine.)

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

8 oz semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Spread your shredded coconut on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the coconut is evenly browned.

Brown n Tasty

While the coconut is toasting, melt your semisweet chocolate on medium heat in a small saucepan. After the chocolate is melted, dip one side of each cookie in the sweet brown sludge and set on a baking sheet or wax paper.

Make sure to lick the chocolate off your fingers like you're in a bad porno.

Set the cookies to the side for the chocolate to firm. You can put them in the fridge if you have space.

When nicely browned, remove the coconut from the oven and set aside to cool.

In another saucepan, combine the caramels, milk and salt. Stir constantly to get dat shit nice and creamy. Mmm…caramel…

Stir in the coconut until it is thoroughly mixed.

Using a spoon (or your fingers ’cause the work pretty well too), scoop the topping onto each cookie. I take a bit of wax paper and pat the top of each glob down a bit to ensure it sticks to the cookie.

That'll do, pig.

After every cookie is caramel coconut goopilicious, put the remaining melted semisweet chocolate into a ziplock baggie (Reheat on low heat if needed). Cut the tip off of the baggie and drizzle the chocolate sauce onto each cookie.

It's a chewy, drizzle, beautiful mess.

Stick them suckers in the fridge for 10 minutes, and take them to your coworkers. They’ll love you more.

iWant the 90’s…iThink.

For the last few days [see: weeks], ALL I have been wanting is random toys and doo-dads from my childhood. I’m talking Nano Puppies, original airings of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, the plastic Chicken Nuggets that came with HappyMeals (McIdiot), and GameBoy Color with Pokemon Red, Blue, AND Yellow. I am attributing this reminiscent longing to my Christmas vacay, which was doubly extended due to the NYC SNOWPOCALYPSE, where I was able to dig through a box of my early elementary school projects and papers, most covered with stickers, doodles, and “Stop doodling on your schoolwork!” notes in red ink from my teacher. The thing I desire most of all, however, is not a Yak Bak or a pack of Gelly Roll pens. It is something much more.

Puppy Surprise

The pink puppy surprise which girlhood 90's dreams are made of.

Puppy Surprise was THE DEAL in Miss Ankney’s 1992 Kindergarten Class (Room 102, if you’re interested). Naturally my kindergarten boytoy, P.J., wasn’t a big fan, but the girls were bonkers over these lil guys. Why wouldn’t you be? It’s a giant stuffed toy (albeit a bit creepy with the hard plastic head) with MORE TOYS INSIDE?!?!?11!!?! Hi. iWant you. iWant lots of you.

With Puppy or Kitty (or as my inner horse-people tended to favor, Pony) Surprise, the belly was filled with either 3, 4, or 5 babies inside a velcro-sealed pouch. How many would you get?? If you’re lucky, you’d get four. If you were REALLY lucky and extremely cool, you’d get five. If you had no luck at all and were completely average, you got three babies. I fell into the latter category, repeatedly. My first puppy surprise was white with brown polka dots, and had three little “puppies” in it’s belly. I was fine with the three pups, as I was a first time mother at the ripe age of 5. I took it with me to school, since we were allowed one toy at nap time (EXCEPT I HAD 4 TOYS IN ONE. SUCK IT.). I’d meet up with my Room 102 best friend, Meghan, we’d lay on our nap time cots, and pull out our puppies. I was proud to show off my three bouncing baby pups, but when my counterpart revealed HER surprise, FIVE PUPS, I immediately felt unlucky, uncool, and embarrassed. I’d turn over on my cot as not to face her, cuddling my three little puppies with Momma Puppy Surprise overlooking us all as I’d lay for the next half hour, pretending to sleep.

I can’t remember how, but I ended up losing this first Puppy Surprise (I’m guessing because it was brown, since every little girl cares for her pink things more than her brown things. Duh. 90s.), and it was replaced with the classic PINK Puppy Surprise. This was it. This was MY CHANCE for redemption! This one even felt heavier — she looked more puppy preggers! She had to have more than three puppies in that velcro snatch of hers. Fuck it. FAIL! Epic 1992 Fail: THREE PUPPIES. Yet again, with a toy that most people only buy once, that I was lucky enough to get two of, I am stuck with the oh-so-common triplet result. It wasn’t even a surprise at this point. It was just Puppy. I got over the initial shock of my prototypical new toy, and loved those three little bean-stuffed pups, and their pink fuzzy momma Pup until they were nothing more than stuffed lumps, black and brown from dirt, crusty from my naptime drools, and splattered with yellow paint chunks from the day i dragged Momma Pup by her tail across the art supplies table.

I’m not so sure why I want one of these so desperately. Maybe I have an inferiority complex rooting in being stuck with my run-of-the-mill Puppy Surprise while my kindergarten BFF was granted a prize worthy rarity, and I secretly want the satisfaction of discovering five little munchkin puppies in a tender velcro womb. Perhaps I want the admiration and envy of those who out-Puppied me in my past. Don’t know, don’t care. iWant.

To add to the childishness of my desires, here is the source of my current ceramic cat envy: The beautiful and innovative Clare Connolly (see: Not Me.), living the Kitty Surprise Dream.

Clare is not merely a cat lady's apprentice.

Au Revoir, suckaz.