It's Girl Scout cookie season—again. This time last year I created a refined sugar free version of my favorite Girl Scout cookie, a thin mint raw bite. This year, my Dad asked me to create a raw bite based on his favorite Girl Scout cookie, the samoa. You can't go wrong with a buttery cookie base, a layer of soft caramel and coconut, topped with chocolate drizzle. So Dad, this one's for you.
There's a few steps to this multi-layered confection, but they are all extremely simple.
Take a minute to boil some water and pour over 1 cup of pitted dates (I like medjool or California dates). Let them sit and soak for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, make your bottom layer. Pulse your raw cashews for 10-15 seconds until a course meal forms.
Add a cup of pitted dates and some melted, sustainably sourced coconut oil and pulse again for another 10-15 seconds. Pour into a lined pan and press with clean hands or the bottom of a measuring cup to compact the layer.
Now for the "caramel" layer. Drain the soaked dates and put a little squeeze on them (don't go crazy here) to get some of the water out of them. Place them in your clean food processor and add almond butter, kosher salt, vanilla extract, water and melted coconut oil. Pulse for a total of 20-25 seconds, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides. When you are done, you will have a delicious caramel flavored filling.
You are welcome for that gem of a recipe all by itself. But we are building samoas today so spread the caramel evenly over the bottom layer and set aside.
Now for the easiest layer, the coconut. So a word about coconut before we move on. Finding shredded coconut that is NOT sweetened can be hard! I tend to like coconut flakes—which are usually unsweetened—but traditional samoas have a nice thinly shredded coconut layer. I either make this recipe by leaving the flakes large or just by taking a large knife to the flakes and making them smaller. Regardless if you use coconut flakes or find unsweetened shredded coconut, spread your layer of coconut over the caramel.
On to the final chocolate layer. As you know from past blog posts, I like to use pure cacao powder in recipes. Cacao powder is the ground up seed of the bean from which chocolate is made. All those health benefits you hear related to eating chocolate—yep, cacao is what they are actually talking about. This top layer is just warm melted coconut oil, cacao powder and pure maple syrup.
Pour over your coconut layer and set the pan flat in the freezer for 2 hours to set. After it has hardened, remove from the freezer and let slightly thaw for about 5 minutes before cutting into your bites. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer.
So if you and your family are craving samoa Girl Scout cookies this year but trying to eat clean, write the girls a donation check on your way into the grocery store and buy the stuff to make this healthier option. Remember, everything in moderation. Although these are a better option and contain natural sugars and heart healthy fats, you still don't want to eat the whole container. Store it in your freezer and pull a bite out just to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Use the comment section below to tell me what you think. Enjoy!
Time: 30 minutes, 2 hours in freezer to set
2 c. raw cashews
1 1/2 c. pitted medjool or California dates
3 tbsp. liquid, sustainably sourced coconut oil
1 c. pitted medjool or California dates, soaked
2 tbsp. almond butter
1 tbsp. liquid, sustainably sourced coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. course kosher salt
2 tbsp. water
3/4 c. unsweetened coconut, shredded or flakes
1/3 c. liquid, sustainably sourced coconut oil (warm)
1/3. c. cacao powder
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
Boil 3 c. water. In a bowl with the hot water, soak 1 cup of dates for 15 minutes.
Line a pan with parchment paper.
Start your bottom layer while those dates are soaking. In your food processor pulse your cashews for 10-15 seconds to a course meal. To the food processor with the processed cashews, add 1 1/2 c. of unsoaked dates and 3 tbsp. of liquid coconut oil (heat lightly to liquify) and pulse another 10-15 seconds to combine. Dump this bottom layer into your lined pan and press with clean hands (or the bottom of a measuring cup) to compact the layer. Set aside.
Drain the soaked dates and squeeze lightly to remove most of the water from the dates. Place the dates in your clean food processor. Add the almond butter, 1 tbsp. of liquid coconut oil, kosher salt, 2 tbsp. of fresh water, and vanilla extract. Pulse for approximately 20-25 seconds in total, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. This is your caramel sauce. Spread it evenly over the bottom cashew layer in your lined pan.
Sprinkle a layer of unsweetened coconut over the caramel layer and set aside.
In a small bowl make your cacao topping by whisking 1/3 c. of warm liquid coconut oil, pure maple syrup and cacao powder until it resembles a chocolate sauce. Drizzle over your coconut layer.
Place pan on a flat surface in your freezer for 2 hours. Remove and let soften for 5 minutes before cutting into bites.
Store in the freezer in an airtight container.