Girl Scout Cookie Cupcakes

I used to be a Girl Scout. I used to be 8-year-old LaChelle, with thick glasses and outrageous bangs, all decked out in my Brownie uniform, going to troop meetings each Friday after school. I think I was a pretty good little Girl Scout. Until the dreaded annual cookie-peddling season rolled around.

I wasn’t blessed with the door-to-door sales gene. And I wasn’t a cute enough 8-year-old to make up for it.

So my mom was usually one of my only buyers. Which worked out nicely because, well, she’s my mom and we lived in the same house. Free cookies for 8-year-old LaChelle.

Thin Mints were always the first ones I’d go for. But I think I was in high school (and, luckily, long past my Brownie Scout days) before I realized that Samoas were the true Queen of Girl Scout cookies. Chewy, chocolatey, caramely, coconuty. Perfect.

Girl Scout Cookie Cupcakes - unfinished

A word about these. They’re insane and addicting, and so sweet you want to stop after eating half of one, but you can’t. This caramel frosting recipe was unlike any frosting I’ve ever put together. Just to warn you. But it’s completely delicious. And so rich, you really don’t need much before you start feeling sugared out. Also, I used store-bought chocolate syrup. Time constraints that day. But if you can, I’d recommend mixing up a nice homemade chocolate sauce. This one is pretty fabulous.

Girl Scout Cookie Cupcakes 2

Samoas Cupcakes

(adapted from KAF Baker’s Companion)

12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1-3/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

2 cups flour

3/4 cup natural cocoa powder

4 large eggs, room temperature

1-1/2 cups milk or water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and coconut extract until fluffy and light, at least 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. If lumps remain, sift the mixture.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly blend one third of the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, then half the milk, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally throughout this process.

Line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners. Scoop the batter into each liner, filling about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Tilt each cupcake in the muffin pan so it sits at an angle. Cool like that for 10 minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Caramel Frosting

(from KAF Baker’s Companion)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Directions:

Melt the butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is totally dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to lukewarm (30-40 minutes) stirring occasionally. Stir in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar. Adjust consistency with a little more milk, if necessary.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle with coconut (toasted or not).