Girl Scout Cookie Samoa Biscotti (Shhhh, It's Paleo!)

Move Over, Girl Scout Cookies: Introducing Paleo Samoa Biscotti!

It is that time of year again…the time of year when I avoid the super markets, local hardware stores, and school sporting events to evade the adorable little girls with their sashes covered in merit badges and their sweet little faces tempting me to devour three boxes of fat, gluten, preservative, and sugar filled carbohydrates; it is Girl Scout Cookie season. Just recently, after an evening out with Gabe, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items. I sat in the car, avoiding their table of treasures, then I finally gave into those sweet faces and bought a box of my favorite cookies, the Samoas, or Caramel De’Lites as they have recently been renamed. Before we arrived home from our 6 block drive, I ate the first row of cookies, and by the time we put the groceries away, I polished off the second row. As we settled in for the night with our movie rental and bowl of popcorn, I grabbed the third row of cookies and ate them throughout the movie. When I woke up in the middle of the night, the DVD menu playing on repeat, I heard the last row of cookies in the kitchen mocking me…so I had no other choice but to eat the last row in the box.

I did it. In one evening, I ate an entire box of Girl Scout cookies. My inner fitness goddess sobbed in the corner of shame as she shook her head at the inner chubby girl who won that particular battle.

Alas, I had a mission to create the ultimate Paleo-style Samoa biscotti. After researching a few different websites for biscotti recipes, I found refuge in Elana’s Pantry, a Paleo-friendly site with amazing recipes. I know these aren’t cookies, but they are an upgrade in more ways than one. There is also a little controversy in whether chocolate is “paleo,” but after much research, I found that the general consensus agrees that if it is dark chocolate, it is acceptable in moderation! Cue the angels singing and light flooding my laptop.

I adapted the recipe from Elena’s Pantry after a test-run, added Vanilla extract, and tripled the baking soda to create extra leavening and a thicker biscotti. And after a couple trial and errors, I also created the perfect caramel to fold in the toasted coconut. This caramel recipe is simple; no candy thermometer needed! 

I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable and available the healthier products were for my ingredient list; I was also happy to discover how easy and basic the recipes were to put together. Don’t be overwhelmed by the words “paleo,” “gluten-free,” or “vegan.” This is simple and delicious, and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. My first critique came from my friend’s co-worker, and her exact words were, “OMG….I need this recipe! This is soooo good! It’s really good! Like, stupid good! This is the best thing you have ever made.” I believe what we have here is a rave review. Drumroll please…

Ingredients:
For the Biscotti

  • 1 ¼ Cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Cup Local, Raw Unfiltered Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

For the Caramel

  • 1 Can Coconut Milk (I prefer the full-fat kind)
  • 2-3 Cups Toasted Coconut
  • ½ Cup Local, Raw Unfiltered Honey
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

For the Chocolate Dip/Topping

  • 8 Ounces Dark Chocolate Bar (preferably >60% cacao)
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey (this is my preference to take the bite out of the dark chocolate)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt

Directions
For the Biscotti

Step 1: In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until it makes a paste-like texture.

Step 2: Scrape the sides of the food processor and pulse a few more times until all of the ingredients combine.

Step 3: Lining your cookies sheet with parchment paper, drop your dough onto the cookie sheets; divide evenly and form into two loaves.

Step 4: Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; remove from oven; allow to cool.

Step 5: On a diagonal, cut the loaves into 1 inch pieces. Then spread them out on cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for an additional 10-12 minutes.

*Bake toward the middle to top rack of your oven to avoid the bottoms from getting too dark.*

For the Caramel Coconut Topping

Step 1: Spread your coconut onto parchment paper and toast at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes, stirring the coconut every 5 minutes to make sure it browns evenly and does not burn.

Step 2: Combine the coconut milk, honey, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a low boil. Stir occasionally and keep your eye on the caramel--nothing smells worse than scorched milk on the bottom of a saucepan! It will take about 20-30 minutes for your caramel to thicken and to turn that gorgeous color of brown.  Be careful not to over-cook it or your caramel will be very hard and difficult to spread onto the biscotti.

Step 3: Add the toasted coconut to the caramel; stir well and set aside.

For the Chocolate Dip

Step 1: In a double boiler, combine 8 ounces of chocolate, honey (optional) and sea salt. Stir until the chocolate melts into a shiny consistency. I am not a huge lover of dark chocolate, so I like the addition of the honey and sea salt; they bring out all of the flavors perfectly!

Putting the biscotti together:

Step 1: Dip the bottom half of the biscotti in the chocolate and turn over to allow the bottom to dry. If you are in a hurry, you can put the biscotti back on the cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set faster.

Step 2: Turn dried biscotti over so the top side of the biscotti is up; spread the coconut caramel heaven over the biscotti with a butter knife or a spoon; you could even pipe it over the cookie.

Step 3: Place the rest of the chocolate in a plastic storage bag, clip the corner of the bag and pipe the chocolate over the top of the coconut caramel. You can add as much or as little chocolate as you prefer. Allow the chocolate topping to set up; you may repeat the time in the refrigerator.

Enjoy with your favorite glass of wine, cup of tea or steaming cup of coffee. I would suggest storing these in a covered container in the refrigerator if you have any left over, but my entire batch was gone in less than two hours! 
 
 
 
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