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Healthy Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Homemade & healthy Samoas Girl Scout Cookies!

samoas

My computer has decided to come down with the flu.

And by flu, I mean some obnoxious error message that won’t let me go past the home screen to access my blog posts and pictures. Completely frustrating, and sad for me… But not at all sad for you, because it means you get to see a crazy exciting guest post today: Healthy Samoas Girl Scout Cookies.

About a year ago, I posted a recipe for Healthy Tagalongs Girl Scout Cookies, but Samoas were always my favorite… When I saw these beautiful homemade Samoas, I completely fell in love. Hopefully you will too!

healthy samoas cookies

Hi everyone! I’m Melinda from over at cooking ala mel, where I – just like Katie – share mostly healthy recipes, as well as a few geeky recipes/crafts and lots of kitties sprinkled in the mix! I believe in the “everything in moderation” rule, so while I do mostly try to make recipes healthier, it won’t stop me from treating myself to a butter and sugar filled treat every once in a while!  

I am so excited to be here today; I’ve been following Katie’s blog for as long as I can remember. If I’m in a pinch for a healthy recipe at a moment’s notice, I always turn here, and I’ve never been disappointed! You can always trust Katie’s recipes to be tested and true.

Today, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite Girl Scout cookies made healthier! Samoas. Who can resist the combination of a buttery shortbread crust dipped in chocolate and covered with caramel and coconut?!But then you look at the box and see those pesky hydrogenated oils, and those little cookies seem a whole lot less friendly with all the trans fats and chemicals. I set out to make a healthier version, and they are just as tasty as the original.

I originally made these into little round cookies just like traditional Samoas, but if you value your time (and sanity), I recommend making these into bars. The dough is pretty finicky for cutting out into shapes, although it can be done if you’re determined like I was. The bars, on the other hand, are super easy and just as delicious! They are best straight out of the freezer (does anybody else love eating their Girl Scout cookies frozen?).  Oh, and did I mention they’re also gluten free?

healthy samoas

Healthy Samoas Cookies Or Bars

  •          2 cups walnuts
  •          1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  •          1/4 cup raw honey (or agave for vegans)
  •          1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •          1/4 tsp salt

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and coconut together until in fine crumbs.  Add in the honey, vanilla, and sea salt, and process until a moist dough forms. Press the dough into a parchment lined 9×9″ baking pan.

  •          1 1/2 cups dates, soaked 10 minutes in hot water
  •          1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  •          1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •          1/8 tsp salt
  •          1 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut

Toast the coconut at 350ºF for 5-8 minutes or until golden (be careful not to burn).  Allow it to cool while you make the “caramel” topping. Drain the soaked dates and pulse in a food processor until a paste forms. Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt, and process until smooth. Add the coconut and pulse again until just combined. Scoop out the coconut “caramel” mixture, and spread it evenly across the top of the base. Cut into squares, then transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes, or until set.

  •          1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Melt on the stovetop, or place the chips in a microwaveable bowl, and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Remove the samoas from the freezer, and dip each into the chocolate to coat the bottom.  Once dipped, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat the process with each cookie. When all samoas are dipped, re-melt the remaining chocolate (if it has hardened), then transfer to a small ziplock bag, using a rubber spatula.  Snip off one corner of the bag, and drizzle the chocolate over the bars. Return to the freezer for 15 minutes to set the chocolate, then transfer to an airtight container and store leftovers in the freezer.

*If you’d prefer cookies over bars, follow the above recipe but roll out the dough with a rolling pin and cut it into circles.  Use a smaller circle to cut out the centers to make a ring.  The circles may crumble slightly, so just press them back together when cutting/transferring. If you make cookies, you’ll want to freeze the dough after cutting so the circles are easier to handle. Then top each individual base with the caramel mixture, freeze again, then dip and drizzle with chocolate. Enjoy the bars, and thanks for having me, Katie!  For troubleshooting or recipe substitution questions, please ask at: cooking ala mel, or visit for more healthy goodies!

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Published on March 18, 2014

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58 Comments

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  1. janae @ bring joy says

    Melinda, these look marvelous! I love your attitude about treats. The world would be a rather lackluster place without treats now & then. And I love how simple & lovely these are–beautiful!

  2. EVA says

    The samosa were the one cookie I tried numerous times but could never enjoy no matter how much I wanted to. It’s because my tongue is cursed with hating coconut for some reason.
    S’too bad, because the ingredients for this are so damn simple that it’s criminal NOT to make them.

    Poo.

    • Tee Bone says

      Eva, I know it has been a while since you made this post but I just found the recipe in the hunt for something better but still indulgent for my dad to eat. 🙂 Anyway, when I read your comment I just couldn’t resist replying. I used to not be able to stand coconut either. BUT I found that the kind that is usually in the grocery store (sweetened and chemicals added) is FAR different from unsweetened (& no chemicals). Now I use the unsweetened and am able to enjoy many things I used to find awful. 🙂 So, you should at least try these & if you still don’t like them then you can share them at work or with neighbors! 🙂 I just thought maybe you had the same issue as me.

  3. Kim @FITsique says

    These look great! I am always looking for ways to get more walnuts in my diet since I actually do not like them very much, but they are SO nutritionally beneficial for you. If they have to come in the form of dessert than so be it 😉

  4. Leah @ goodnightcheese says

    These look great! Though I would probably make three in the pretty shapes and then go for the bar route. It’s the same reason that the third tray of cookies always has a couple of giant ones – I just dump the rest of the dough.

  5. Caroline says

    I could hug you right now! You just took my favorite Girl Scout cookie that I avoid at all costs (because I could eat a whole box at one sitting!) and made it healthy? Yay! These look incredible! Sharing on Facebook now!

  6. gary says

    These look great, can’t wait to try them at the weekend. I made some Vegan Nanaimo bars from a recipe over on greedyvegangirl.com yesterday, so got to get through them first! They are delicious also!!

  7. Mia (Mia in Germany) says

    This kind of cookie is totally unknown in Germany, but I read about them often, and I think I have to give them a try 😉
    Melinda, I totally share your philosophy of “everything in moderation”!
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful guest post, Katie 🙂

  8. Kate @Almond Butter Binge says

    These look incredible — and Paleo and gluten-free? Almost too good to be true. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing! These will definitely help me resist those tables full of little cookie-shilling munchkins at every grocery store.

  9. michelle says

    Your determination to make these into the traditional shape was well worth it. These are a work of art, you can see the effort in your photos!

  10. Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen says

    Oh wow, this recipe looks fantastic. I may just have to try it! Samoas were my favorite back in the day–I remember thinking, “I could eat a whole cake-sized Samoa!” Never did, of course, but I still think they’re by far the best Girl Scout Cookie.

  11. Sue says

    I adore coconut and my all time favorite cookie is the samoa!!! I cannot wait to try these cookies – thanks sooooo much for the recipe!!

  12. Casey B says

    These look WONDERFUL!! Problem is, I do not care for walnuts in the slightest. I’m thinking about making an exchange. I might do raw cashews… I’ll see what else I can come up with. Pecans maybe? If I make them, I’ll report back. Has anyone else tried them with a different nut? I’m welcome to suggestions!

    • Madison @ Eating for Balance says

      I haven’t tried them with a different nut Casey, but I was thinking about cashews too because walnuts are kind of bitter in my opinion. Cashews are most often used in cookie-type grain-free recipes (or almonds) so as long as the texture didn’t change I think they’d taste delicious that way.

  13. Karen says

    Perhaps it’s been way too long since I ate an actual Samoa but these were nothing like I remembered the originals to be. The base of walnut/coconut is not a replacement for an actual cookie layer. The only thing you can really taste is gooey coconut, which while good was not what I thought these “cookies” would be. Overall, disappointing. Good but not delicious.

    • Greta says

      This is what I thought too after making these cookies just now. I was thinking maybe I didn’t use enough walnuts? The cookie base actually tasted right when I tried some by itself, but the flavor and crunch gets lost among the (almost overwhelming) sweetness of the “caramel” topping. I liked them, but they were more like just the top part of a samoa rather than the whole cookie.

      On another note, I found pressing the dough and topping into a muffin tin, chilling, and then cutting out the centers worked really well for getting that ring shape!

  14. Alexandra Aimee says

    What a great idea! I LOVE samoas, so I’m totally going to have to try this out. I really like idea of not having that not-amazing little cookie in there.

    — Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

  15. Lex says

    I just made these and they turned out perfectly. They are so yum. I have never tried the original version as we don’t have girl scouts in Australia. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Lauren says

    Hi Mel and Katie,
    Katie – love your blog!!! Fabulous recipes!! Mel- I am excited to check yours out! Just saw this post- love the idea of a walnut base for the shortbread! I recently made a gluten-free vegan of the Samoas/Carmel deLites- using a oat flour shortbread base. Check it out here if you’re interested:
    http://alovelysideproject.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/gluten-free-vegan-caramel-delights/
    Love fellow health bloggers!!
    xoxo, Lauren

    http://alovelysideproject.wordpress.com/

  17. Jacque says

    Sorry, but I haven’t cooked much with canned coconut; however, I know there is cream and liquid in a full-fat can. Which part are you referring to in your recipe?

  18. Tahemeem says

    These look absolutely wonderful!!! I love Samoas and these are great!!! Was just wondering about the nutritional information. Could you please provide it? Thank you.

    • kiki79 says

      i’m on WW and just calculated the entire recipe to be about 100 points!! to give you an idea, 1 point = 50 calories. this is the entire batch though not just a serving.

        • Tahemeem says

          Wow… thanks a bunch!!! That seems a lot but one or two cookies at a time must be perfect portion. And they have lots of good fats and everything!!!

          • Fara says

            Since that is about 5000 calories for the whole recipe, I would imagine this could make, what, 30 cookies? The ingredients are around 7 cups worth, so maybe 3 1/2 cups condensed, or 56 tbsp. That’s about 2 tbsp per cookie. Seems like a reasonable guesstimate. And then that’s 150 calories per cookie. A little steep, but the ingredients are much higher quality.

  19. Sylvie says

    Is it correct that these are “no bake”? Mine are currently setting in the freezer, but it seems like there was a step missing…like baking the base before adding the date layer. I hope not because if they are supposed to bake, then mine are already ruined. (Btw, the base is soooo yummy!)

  20. Shanna says

    Trying this recipe now. I had about 1/2 of what I needed of everything but if it works out I’m sure I’ll be tripling the recipe next time. I don’t even have to wait for the coconut to finish toasting, the dough is yummmmm

  21. Barbara says

    I made these. They are tasty, but far too gooey to serve at room temperature. I think they will have to stay in the freezer to be served. I think a better solution would be to make a baked walnut shortbread crust, and then have the gooey stuff and chocolate over it. The dates make a pretty good approximation of a caramel sauce. Good to know!

  22. Hannah says

    Thank you so much for creating/sharing this recipe Melinda & Katie! Samoas were always my favorite girl scout cookies, until I stopped consuming things like hydrogenated oils. I am so glad that I can finally enjoy them again!!

  23. Honey Bee says

    I have actually made these and although they are labor intensive, they are amazing. They freeze well and you can pop one out of the freezer for a quick treat.

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