Next time, could someone just send me a care package?
Is it that time of the year already?!?! Some people sink into depression right around now because of the unrelenting gloomy weather. I get the winter blues because I know there are Girl Scout cookies to be had by all, but not for me….
Back in the days when a $1 box of cookies still seemed outrageous, my brother and I would find ourselves lingering around the house this time of year, waiting for the Girl Scouts to come knocking at the door. We knew that if we missed our chance to order from our neighborhood Girl Scout, we would be S.O.L. for the rest of the year. Because even though our mother was sure to order from her co-worker’s daughter, she always ordered the wrong cookies. What would possess her to order Trefoils when you could buy shortbread cookies at any grocery store? Didn’t she know that we spent 11 months out of the year waiting for our boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas? Did she not know us at all?
My brother was the Thin Mint fan. As soon as the boxes arrived, he would pull out a sleeve, peel off the chocolate wafers and pop them into his mouth one by one. He’d finish off the first sleeve in ten minutes, drink a tall glass of cold milk, and then demolish the second sleeve in another ten minutes. Afterwards, he’d look around at the empty box and crumpled plastic in stupefaction, and then try to beg a cookie off of me.
I would of course flatly deny him, because my Samoas were precious to me. I would carefully pull the plastic bag open, slide out the plastic tray, and savor the first whiff of chocolate, coconut and caramel. For the first day only, I’d indulge myself and eat one entire cookie. Then I’d lovingly push the tray back in the bag, seal it up with tape, press the tab back into its slot in the cardboard box, and put the whole thing in the refrigerator. The next day, I’d allow myself half a cookie. After a week, the box would go into the freezer. I could make my one box of Samoas last for months and months. It was only years later that it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember ever eating the last cookie of any of my boxes. When I confronted my brother, he gleefully admitted to stealing my cookies. He would wait until I’d let so much time go between cookies that I’d forget how many were left and he could pilfer with ease.
Nowadays, the Girl Scout troops sell their cookies in shopping malls and outside grocery stores. No need to order and wait weeks for delivery, you can get instant gratification! But not for me….
We moved to Hong Kong two years ago. I had my kids enrolled in an American school and my daughter registered with the Girl Scouts. But it was only after we moved that I learned that they don’t sell Girl Scout cookies here because the manufacturers won’t ship them here. Had I known, it might have been a deal breaker for the move. I don’t understand the reasoning or the politics behind it. I don’t care. I just want to know where and when I can get my Samoas.
So it was with great pleasure that I answered the call of the Kitchen Challenge. This year, I will have my Samoas!
...and next year I won't again. Because do you have any idea how much trouble it is to make them?!?! One hour to roll out and bake the sugar cookie base. Thirty minutes to make the caramel and mix in the coconut. (It's possible that this stage should have taken less time. But I didn't have a candy thermometer and it was only after I dropped the meat thermometer into the caramel the second time that I realized it wasn't giving me an accurate reading anyway....) Another 30 minutes and 5 burnt fingers to spread and shape the caramel coconut on the cookies. And one hour to melt, dip and drizzle the chocolate onto the cookies.
Et voila! The taste is authentic. The texture is close. The burning pain of 245 degree Fahrenheit caramel stuck to your fingers is unbelievable.