Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Samoas
These copy cat Samoas cookies are super simple to make and they are dairy-free and gluten-free! We use organic dark chocolate, toasted coconut, and pre-made gluten-free cookies. The caramel is made with date syrup, coconut milk creamer, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. I’m surprised by how good they turned out to be honest.
Girl Scout Cookies
Don’t we all love the annual Girl Scout cookie sale, and did you know they have been selling cookies for over 100 years?! I used to sell them when I was a little girl. And now they even have a digital platform. Read more about Girl Scout cookie history here. Breweries have even started Girl Scout cookie pairings around Austin (not gluten-free).
When I could eat them, my favorites were the Samoas and Thin Mints for sure! We kept them in the freezer and I liked to eat them cold. I could eat the whole box if my mom didn’t stop me. 🙂 So when they start selling them each year, I get a little bummed. Because I can’t eat them anymore since I have to avoid gluten in my diet.
So I went on a quest to make the Samoas gluten-free and dairy-free at home. And I wanted to make a really good copy cat that wasn’t disruptive to our gut bacteria with some potential health benefits, too. Is that even possible?
For most of the copy cat recipes I searched through, they required me to make a shortbread cookie. I didn’t really want to try to mess with a “healthified” gluten-free shortbread recipe. I wasn’t sure which ancient grain gluten-free flour would work the best. So I thought about finding a good pre-made substitute.
Choosing Ingredients for Samoas Copy Cat Recipe
Simple Mills makes some great crunchy cookies. They didn’t have a plain shortbread cookie. But they did have a gluten-free version of pecan sandies, which are pretty much just pecans + shortbread.
So I choose the gluten-free Simple Mills Crunchy Toasted Pecan Cookies because they are:
- Made with plant powered, nutrient-dense ingredients like almond flour, pecan flour, coconut flour, and tigernuts (a prebiotic root vegetable)
- Sweetened with coconut sugar
- Certified Gluten-free; free of Grains, Soy, Corn, Dairy & Gums/Emulsifiers
- Non-GMO Project Verified
I like that they are free from gums and emulsifiers because those are known to disrupt the normal behavior of bacteria in our gut. There is a good summary of the scientific peer-reviewed research in this Civil Eats article.
Then I used organic dairy-free dark chocolate chips. I’m not sure what brand they are because we buy them in bulk at the local co-op.
And finally, the unsweetened organic shredded coconut (also a great prebiotic to feed good gut bacteria) is from Let’s Do Organic. All we do is toast it up a bit in the oven then set aside to cool. To learn more about probiotics and prebiotics, read this blog post.
Making a Dairy-Free Healthified Caramel
I was going to make caramel the normal way with sugar and goat butter. But I have these bottles of date syrup and date nectar that were sent to me by D’Vash Organics. And I thought why not try to make a caramel out of the date syrup first to see if that worked so I could keep it dairy-free.
The date nectar has a strong date flavor, but the syrup is much lighter so it seemed like the best place to start. Plus it is good for you.
It is a vegan alternative to honey with less sugar and low on the glycemic index. PLUS it contains a ton of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I really enjoyed learning more about the benefits of date syrup and nectar.
So I just mixed together date syrup, So Delicious organic coconut milk creamer, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. I am not going to lie to you – it actually tasted like caramel. For realz! I was so excited!!!
It was a little looser than caramel so I put it in the freezer to solidify a little more before adding the toasted coconut flakes and assembling the cookies.
Assembling the Copy Cat Samoas Cookies
So we have our pre-made cookie base, date syrup caramel, toasted coconut and now we need the chocolate component. I started with a cup of chocolate but you really only need half a cup for one box of cookies.
Put the dark chocolate chips in a Pyrex measuring glass and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between until it is melted. The chocolate I was using took about 1:45 minutes for one cup. I’ve cut it back to 1/2 cup for this recipe. Melting time may also vary based on the amount and type of chocolate you use.
Then I used a knife to transfer a blob of melted chocolate onto a parchment covered sheet pan. Then place a cookie on top. Finish this with all the cookies before going to the next step.
The next step is mixing the toasted coconut into the date syrup caramel and spooning it onto the cookies. Then we will drizzle with more chocolate.
You may have to reheat the chocolate just a bit, before adding the chocolate drizzle. I used a toothpick so the drizzle isn’t very pretty. But these cookies are delicious and actually remind me of the real thing.
After assembly, place the sheet pan in the freezer so the chocolate can harden. Then I transfer the cookies into a container to store in the freezer. Just take one out when craving a cookie and don’t feel any guilt about eating them! Unless you eat all at once, which is probably not the best idea.
All kinds of yay and hip hip hooray for my gluten-free dairy-free copy cat Samoas!!! I hope you like them, too! And you can enjoy easy homemade Girl Scout cookies again.
Want More Gluten-Free Sweet Treats?
- chocolate sweet potato brownies
- brown sugar chewy chocolate chip cookies
- kinda buttermilk pie
- pecan pie made with agave syrup
- fried puff pastry beignets
- dairy-free lemon ricotta cookies
- orange glazed cranberry muffins
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Samoas Copy Cat
These copy cat Samoas cookies are super simple to make and they are dairy-free and gluten-free! We use organic dark chocolate, toasted coconut, and pre-made gluten-free cookies. The caramel is made with date syrup, coconut milk creamer, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
- 1/2 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup D'vash organic date syrup
- 1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk creamer
- 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 box Simple Mills gluten-free crunchy toasted pecan cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the shredded unsweetened coconut on a baking sheet and place in the oven to toast for about 10 minutes. Remove and stir the coconut. Place back in the oven for about 4-5 minutes so that it is all evenly toasted. When done set aside to cool.
To make the caramel, mix date syrup, coconut milk creamer, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Place it in the freezer to harden a bit.
- Put the dark chocolate chips in a Pyrex measuring glass and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between until it is melted. The chocolate I was using took about 1:45 minutes. It may vary based on the type of chocolate you use.
Place parchement paper on a large baking sheet in order to assemble the cookies.
Then use knife or spoon to transfer a blob of melted chocolate onto the parchment covered sheet pan. Then place a cookie on top. Finish this with all the cookies before going to the next step.
- The next step is adding the coconut to the date syrup caramel and spooning it onto the cookies.
You may have to reheat the chocolate just a bit, before adding the chocolate drizzle. I used a toothpick and I’m not a baker so the drizzle isn’t very pretty but it serves it's purpose.
After assembly, place the sheet pan in the freezer so the chocolate can harden. Then transfer the cookies into a container to store in the freezer. Take one out when craving a cookie. Hope you enjoy!