I’m finally, finally making the Samoas bars and Tagalongs from Baking Bites. Actually, I started making them about 40 minutes ago, but due to technical issues I haven’t been able to start liveblogging about it until now. I’ve never done this before, and I don’t know what makes me think anyone will find it interesting now, but who knows: Maybe you’re stuck at the office on a Friday afternoon and would prefer cookie updates to actual work!
I won’t be posting the full recipes here, as you can find them at the links above, but I’ll post my metric conversions since I do all baking by weight. No measuring cups here, kthx. I’ve started with the Samoas bars, because I think they’ll need more cooling and setting up time to be ready for dipping in chocolate.
1:00pm – toasting the coconut. Excitement galore as I try to keep Noodle off the counter! The recipe calls for 3c of toasted coconut, but I’m using 1-1/2c, because it looks like enough to me (I prefer a higher cookie-to-topping ratio) and also because I’m cheap. All that was available at the store was sweetened shredded, which was another reason to use less (don’t want to rot anyone’s teeth out).
1:20 – While the coconut was in the oven, I had to take it out every five minutes or so and give it a little stir to keep it from turning into burntonut. In the interim, I had lunch: Salsaria’s, a pretty OK local Mexican place, but the real reason to go there is the salsa. My bloodstream consists of 98% salsa and was in need of replenishment. I feel better now.
I also started to make the cookie dough for the Samoas bars. Baking Bites gives her recipe in volume, which is more familiar for most folks, but here’s the weight conversion for the dough:
1/2t vanilla (what, you think you can weigh that? ha!)
228g AP flour
And as I typed this up, I just realized that I only put 1/2c. of butter in the dough, so whoops! My bad on that one. I’ll let you know how that error turns out. It might explain the slight dry-looking thing I’ve got going on. So, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla:
I elected to go with the hand-held mixer, even though there are two KitchenAids available here; for small batches of stuff, I just find it to be less trouble, plus there’s something pleasingly retro about it. I never used a stand mixer growing up, so it reminds me of baking Christmas cookies with family. Anyway, next we add the flour, and stir just to combine. BB mentioned the dough might be crumbly, but I suspect yours should be less so, because you’ll use the right amount of butter. Right?
OK, Internet Explorer? Is really annoying. Anyway, I figured that looked about like fairly moist pie dough, and turned it out into the only 9×13″ pan in the house: a Pyrex dish. We haven’t moved our stuff over yet and I was somewhat aghast at the lack of bakeware, but I shall remedy that shortly.
You can sort of see there that the dough was a bit dry. Maybe I should’ve clued in. Oh well! It patted in pretty well, not too sticky, so I just used my hands (which run notoriously hot, particularly in the summer) and made it into an approximation of an even surface. If I were making these to sell, I’d have worried about leveling it off, but for cookies to eat at home? Meh.
Into the oven at 350F for about 23 minutes, and this is where we currently stand at 2pm. Now that I’m done wrestling with WordPress, it’s back into the kitchen to start on the Tagalong dough and filling, and maybe do a few more dishes.
2:25 – slight delay due to my having to, um, clean? the beaters. Yup. Just got done making the dough for the Tagalongs, shaping, and getting them into the oven. First up, the ingredients:
So here we have:
1c butter (2 sticks)
228g AP flour
1/4t baking powder
1/2t vanilla extract
As is usual in these matters, first you cream the butter and sugar. Like so. While you blog about it, the oven will beep incessantly because IT thinks the cookies are done, but they are not.
Subsequently we add the dry ingredients, vroom it all together, then last the vanilla extract and milk. I might’ve put a little less milk, because it’s humid and my opinion is that the dough was a little bit too soft.
3:24 and time for toppings! I tried to take a pic of the ingredients for the coconut-caramel Samoas topping, but somehow the peanut butter snuck in, and I was like, you know, nobody really needs to see a pile of unwrapped Milk Maid caramels. Instead, here’s what it looks like after melting the caramels, milk, and salt together:
4:00 – I put the peanut butter on the delicious Tagalong bases and rather to my chagrin, I think I overbaked them a little. They’re quite crisp, and I’m afraid of what will happen when they hit the chocolate. I guess if worse comes to worst I can just use it as an ice cream topping — you know, the thing you do with all failed desserts, right?
5:00 – Since I only got one bag of chocolate chips, and apparently MILK chocolate chips at that, I decided to do the half-dip with the Samoas. Holy cow, dude; I can feel my teeth rotting. I can’t say I’m a huge fan and will probably not make them again, but instead use the recipe as a basis for a more grown-up version with a burnt caramel coconut topping, or something. Admittedly having sweetened coconut plus milk chocolate didn’t help their case for me, but ho. ly. cats, Batman. I haven’t dipped the Tagalongs yet and may pick up a bar of semisweet chocolate before I do so. I guess when you get down to it, I don’t like Girl Scout cookies as much as I think I do.
Oh — and my camera battery died, and the charger’s still at the old house. Oops. Sorry for no finished pics, but they look kind of not so hot anyway. An anticlimactic end to a cookie-baking day — and now I am going to go drink pickle juice to make up for all the sugar. If I do the “liveblogging” thing again, I’ll probably use a recipe I know. Or maybe video tutorials are more the thing. I really need a video camera. And now I’m rambling.
Signing off for now — if ever I get “finished product” photos (i.e. if Zack doesn’t eat all the cookies before I go get the battery charger), I’ll add them here! I’d say the recipes are definitely worth a try; I have a less-sweet tooth than most and overall they pretty much deliver the goods.
Recipe rating: B+ (points deducted for lack of weight measurements as well as being AMGSWEET; recommend NOT using sweetened coconut in the Samoas bars)