1. Country. Country encompassing the Western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962.
2. Noun. a circular Girl Scout Cookie made with sweet coconut, silky caramel, and a copious amount of hardened chocolate.
When I first tasted a Samoa cookie, the only definition of “Samoa” I knew was definition #2. And from that first sinfully delicious bite ever so many years ago, the line between the word “Samoa” and the delectable cookie has been burned into my mind. When I found out much later the term “Samoa” was first used to describe a set of islands in the Pacific ocean, it made sense to me. Why wouldn’t the Girl Scouts name their best cookie after a paradise island? The ring shape of the cookie also makes some more sense in this context: the little circle space in the center is surrounded by cookie, just as an island is surrounded by the sea.
Am I over-analyzing the name of a type of Girl Scout Cookie? Sorry, my brain must still be stuck on my AP English homework. Back to cookies…
The unique circular shape of the Samoa cookie is what inspired me to make these donuts. I thought I’d make donuts that would mirror Samoa cookies both in shape and flavor. Except my donuts would be healthier, with whole grains and less sugar. And I mostly succeeded in my venture.
These donuts were quite good. The batter baked up soft and not too sweet, but the coconut flakes I added provided the perfect burst of sweetness. What truly made these donuts was the chocolate fudge sauce on top. I got the idea from Kitchen Cici, who posted a wonderfully simple recipe for two-ingredient chocolate fudge sauce. I bumped up the ingredient count to 5 for my version, but it was still so much easier than most recipes out there with all the outlandish, unhealthy ingredients. On the donuts, the fudge sauce adds chocolatey decadence for a total melt-in-your-mouth effect.
My only qualm about these donuts was that they weren’t caramel-y enough. I put quite a bit of caramel sauce in the batter, but the flavor just didn’t really come out in the finished product. If anyone out there knows a way I could have made the caramel flavor stronger, please tell me!
So do these donuts match up to their cookie inspirations? Well, they have the coconut, they have the chocolate… maybe just a little tiny negligible hint of caramel…two out of three isn’t too bad! After all, they have the chocolate. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
Oh! And we mustn’t forget about the health factor. 100% Whole wheat flour and coconut are good sources of fiber. There is quite a bit of caramel syrup in the recipe, which is basically just sugar, so I guess these donuts have more sugar than some other things I’ve baked in the past. If anyone out there knows of a sugar-free caramel that doesn’t taste like chemicals, I’d seriously like to hear about it.
Overall, these are great donuts. I totally recommend baking them, as a cheaper alternative to a luxury cruise in the South Pacific. (Okay, one is no replacement for the other, but at least while one sits around at home lamenting the impossibility of a paradise vacation anytime soon, it is nice for one to have a donut while lamenting!)
“Samoa Cookie” Baked Donuts
makes 6 regular sized donuts
fudge sauce based on this recipe from Kitchen Cici
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- splash cinnamon
- 5 tbls + 1 tsp King’s Cupboard Cream Caramel Sauce (found at Whole Foods Market)
- 1/3 cup 2% milk (just what we happened to have in the house, probably other types of milk would work just as well)
- 1 1/2 tbls Egg Beaters egg substitute
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbls sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 tbls semi-sweet chocolate chips
for fudge sauce
- 2 tbls semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbl 2% milk (or try another type of milk)
- 1 tsp King’s Cupboard Cream Caramel Sauce
- 1 tsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of cinnamon
For donuts: Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Spray a Wilton donut pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Toss this mixture.
Add caramel sauce, milk, Egg Beaters, and vanilla. Mix well.
Stir in coconut flakes and chocolate chips.
Use a spoon to distribute batter among the 6 cavities of the donut pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 8-13 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
For Fudge Sauce: Fill a saucepan with one inch of water. Place a bowl on top of the saucepan with the fudge sauce ingredients inside the bowl. Turn the saucepan onto medium-low heat. Stir the ingredients in the bowl constantly until they are completely melted.
When donuts have cooled, spread the fudge sauce over each one.
Enjoy these donuts warm, with the hot fudge sauce flowing down your throat like a tropical river – mmm…
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Sources: definition of Samoa from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samoa