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Monday, February 11, 2013

Samoas Truffles with Coconut and Bacon


I have great news: your wait is almost over.  And what wait is that?  Why, the wait for Girl Scout Cookie season, of course.  As soon as March 1st, and continuing until the 17th, you can satisfy your craving for Thin Mints and Samoas (and whichever your faves are) just by hopping in the car and cruising by your local grocery store to see if there's a table with smiling girls out front.  Or save time and take advantage of the Girl Scout Cookie Locator and plan your route ahead of time.  Better yet, download and use the free iPhone/Android Cookie Locator app that's new this year.




Now, what happens if you get halfway through that third box of Samoas and you want to change it up a little?  Don't worry, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington are here to help.  For the second year in a row, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington are teaming up with local food bloggers to develop creative recipes using Girl Scout Cookies (check out the contest and eventually vote here).  I entered last year with this Thai noodle stir-fry that used Do-Si-Dos in the peanut sauce and I am participating again this year with these yummy-looking truffles.



According to Wikipedia, Samoas account for almost 20 percent of cookie sales and it's easy to see why--they have chocolate, caramel and coconut all in one delicious little package.  Using Samoas for a recipe was a no-brainer for me and I figured that since they're already pretty darn good, I would stick with the winning combination of flavors.  With one tiny exception.  Bacon.  Because bacon makes everything better, right?


These truffles turned out a little differently than I envisioned and I like them better for it.  The coconut cream I added to the Samoas crumbs makes the truffle smooth and creamy, while the toasted coconut adds nuttiness and texture.  My bacon-loving friend Amy noted as a joke that the only thing missing from these delicious truffles was bacon, but I quickly saw how adding a salty, smoky element could only improve things and it did.  I have a fondness for all the recipes on my site, but I have to say that this is definitely one of my favorites.  I feel boastful saying it, but it's true (and verified by others), these truffles are really, really good.


Save yourself some trouble and click here to print the recipe.



Samoas truffles
with dark chocolate, toasted coconut and bacon
Makes: one dozen 1 1/2-inch truffles     Total Time: 90 minutes (30 minutes hands-on)

INGREDIENTS

14 Samoas Girl Scout Cookies (one box minus one cookie)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup coconut milk cream (the thick cream on the top of a can of coconut milk)
3 strips smoked bacon
8 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate

PREPARATION


1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the shredded coconut.  Toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown—this will take about five minutes.  Coconut can burn quickly and easily, so keep an eye on it.  Once toasted, pour the coconut in a bowl to cool and return the pan to the heat and add the bacon. 
2.  Cook the bacon until browned and crispy.  Place the crisped bacon on a paper towel to drain and let cool.  Once the bacon is cool to the touch, crumble into small pieces and set aside. 
3.  While the bacon cooks, add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cookies are finely chopped.  Add the coconut milk and 1/3 cup of the toasted coconut to the bowl and pulse until fully combined.
4.  Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop (or a large melon-baller) portion the truffle filling onto a parchment-lined baking tray and once all the filling has been scooped, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5.   Once the truffle filling has firmed-up, remove from the refrigerator and prepare the chocolate.  Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and microwave on high in one-minute increments until almost fully melted, and then stir until smooth.
6.  To coat the truffles, take one ball and roll lightly between your palms to smooth any rough edges, then place in the chocolate and quickly roll to coat with a small fork.  Using the fork or a toothpick, pick up the truffle and briefly let any excess drip back into the bowl, then place on a piece of parchment.  Sprinkle with the reserved toasted coconut and place a couple bacon pieces on the top.
7.  Repeat the chocolate coating and garnishing for all remaining truffles.  You will likely have leftover chocolate, so scrape the remaining chocolate onto an open spot of the parchment you are using and top with the remaining coconut and bacon for a bonus treat (also add crumbled bits of the extra Samoa cookie if it’s still available, wink wink).
8.  Chill the finished truffles to set and serve as soon as the chocolate has hardened.



Are you buying cookies this year?  Which ones are your favorites?

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