Ah Girl Scout Cookies, who doesn't love them. My favorite cookies are the Samoas. You can't beat the chocolaty, caramely, coconutty goodness. Of course, you can't get them all year, so to tide you over, I present to you, Samoas Cupcakes!
Step 1: Equipment
Measuring Cups & Spoons
Small Cooking Pot
Cookie Sheet or Large Frying Pan
A Small Sharp Knife
Hand Mixer (unless you really enjoy mixing by hand)
Optional but Handy:
1 inch cookie cutter or cupcake corer
#20 disher (fancy name for an ice cream scoop)
icing bag w/ 1M tip
Step 2: Ingredients
1 pound (4 beautiful sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
2 cups sugar 400g
1/3 cup light brown sugar 73g
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour 484g
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream 363g
1/4 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups packed brown sugar 434g
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar 460g
7 oz bag of coconut
1 can dulce de leche
left over ganache filling
Diligent readers will have noticed that we will be using a pound and a half of butter. The recipe yields about 42 cupcakes, so it's not health food but it could be worse :)
Step 3: Make the Cupcakes
Make the batter
Preheat your oven to 350° and fill 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners (If you're making the full batch you'll need more but you can deal with that while the first batch is baking). Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, take that one pound of softened butter and cream it with the 2 cups of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the four eggs one a time, mixing them well after each addition. Now alternately add the flour mixture with the sour cream and milk beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Congratulations! Your batter is done.
Fill the liners
Fill each cupcake liner about half full (use a no. 20 disher if you've got one).
Bake for 14-18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate your pans halfway through baking. Remove from oven when done and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely on a rack. Don't turn your oven off, but do turn it down to 300° (you'll see why in a minute).
Step 4: Make the Ganache
It's ganache time! Don't freak out, although it sounds fancy, ganache is just cream and chocolate.
Put your bittersweet chocolate in a heat proof bowl (glass if you're microwaving), simmer the cream and pour over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to rest for a minute or so and then until smooth. If all the chocolate has not melted you can place the bowl over a pan of simmering water or zap it in the microwave (while watching very closely and for short periods of time) and stir again. Allow the ganache to cool and then pour into your squeeze bottle (a funnel helps here).
I typically put the chocolate into a stainless steel bowl and put the bowl on top of a simmering pot of water (not touching the water) and leave it there while the cream is heating and while the chocolate is hanging out in the hot cream.
Step 5: Toast the Coconut
While your cupcakes are cooling and your ganache is hanging out in its squeeze bottle, it's time for coconut toasting.
The oven is the easiest method. Place the coconut in a single layer on a large cookie sheet and bake at 300° for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. You can also toast the coconut in a frying pan over medium heat but it is more labor intensive and you'll probably have to do multiple batches. Either way, let the toasted coconut cool and save it for final assembly.
Step 6: Fill the Cupcakes
It's time for cupcake surgery. Take a plug out of your cupcakes with a cupcake corer, 1 inch cookie cutter, grapefruit knife or whatever implement makes you happy. Now fill the hole with the ganche you've had hanging out in its squeeze bottle. Let the ganache cool completely before frosting. You should have a decent amount of ganache left over, save it for final assembly (you may want to put it in a hot water bath until needed).
Step 7: Make the Frosting
Melt two sticks of butter in the pot of your choice. Stir the salt and brown sugar into the butter and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Turn the heat to low and cook for two minutes. Stir in the coconut milk (watch out it may splatter) and return to a boil stirring constantly. Add vanilla (it might splatter again here) remove from heat and allow to cool till lukewarm. Gradually mix powdered sugar. The frosting may need to cool some more for it to be the correct consistency to pipe onto the cupcakes. If you're in a hurry, you can stick it in the refrigerator to speed things along, check and stir it periodically if you do.
Step 8: Frost and Top Your Cupcakes
Place waxed paper underneath your cooling racks (you'll thank me later). If you have a tip and icing bag, put a swirl on top of each cupcake. If not, put a generous dollop on with a butter knife or similar implement. Let the frosting set up a little bit while we work on the dulce de leche. You could be really ambitious and make some caramel for the topping but dulce de leche is pretty good and pretty easy. Open your can and empty it into a microwave safe dish and zap it until it is nice and runny (try 2-3 minutes at 50%). Carefully transfer your piping hot dulce de leche to a squeeze bottle, again a funnel may come in handy here. Your frosting may need a little more time, so let your ganache and dulce de leche hang out in a hot water bath until they are needed. When you're ready for topping, sprinkle toasted coconut over your cupcakes. Now take the chocolate and dulce de leche and squeeze stripes over the coconut layer. Top those layers with more toasted coconut. Congratulations, you're finished!