Monday, March 02, 2009

The Girl Scouts Cometh

Salted Caramel Samoa Tart, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

It's that time of year again. You know what I'm talking about, that time of year when on your way out of the grocery store you're bombarded with sweet young faces, vested outfits and most importantly boxes upon boxes of cookies. Oh, yes, the girl scouts are in full force. For the sake of my waistline and to spare seeing their disappointment when I say 'no thank you', I generally avoid them and make a beeline for the quickest exit with the least likelyhood that I'll be spotted. This year, however, I was anticipating their arrival. Not a day after I had wondered when they would show, there they were, standing outside of Haggen last Friday afternoon. I almost squealed with excitement. It's not that I was truly all that excited for their arrival, because while I do appreciate and enjoy girl-scout cookies, I am more than fully aware of how bad they are for me, and how little self control I have when it comes to the ultimate in cookie creation; the samoa. However, I have been asked to submit a few desserts for a dessert auction this weekend. I knew I was going to make an impressive layer cake, but I wondered what else? I also knew I wanted both desserts to be the ultimate crave worthy in appearance and flavor (the better looking the dessert, the more money it will bring in). I knew my cake was going to take a deal of attention and care, so I also wanted my second dessert to be less intensive. I also knew it had to be chocolate, because the layer cake has a vanilla base. After all, one must have balance in life, even desserts! That's when I came across Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy recipe for her Samoa Cheese Tart. Angels sang when I saw that post. The holy grail. This was it, this was the dessert I was destined to make. There was just one problem, I'd seen no girl scouts, and the addition of making homemade samoas for the crust turned an easy tart into a production tart. Alas, the girl-scout gods answered my prayers and all but a day after the recipes discovery, there were the girls, happily selling cookies. My other obstacle was that I had not tasted the recipe. I wasn't about to submit a tart I'd never experienced myself. I knew that it had to be good, after all it's from one of my favorite dessert sites, but I knew I was going to make a few minor adjustments and that I wanted to have tasted it myself before expecting others to bid and enjoy it.

This tart is going to make a lot of money. I know it. Not only is it one of the most visually appealing and drool-worthy tarts I've ever made, it tastes just as delicious, if not better. Thomas exclaimed it was the best dessert he'd ever tasted and tortured Ollie with his moans of taste bud delight. Since it's conception yesterday, only two pieces remain (Thomas went a little tart crazy). It's no bake, which I'm unfamiliar with and was a bit weary of. Though, not baking it makes the crust a chocolate-y layer with bits of coconut and cookie that's so satisfyingly chewy. The original recipe uses dulce de leche in the cheese layer and drizzled on top. I substituted dulce de leche for homemade salted caramel. The cool, tangy cheesiness plays of the salty sweet of the drizzle and the overwhelming sweetness of the crust so well. It really is like a party in your mouth! It's so well balanced and impossible to resist. I also made my tart paper thin by halving the cheese layer. The original recipe can be found over at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, right here in fact, below is my adaptation.

Salted Caramel Samoa Tart


1 box of girl scout samoa cookies
3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. mascarpone
1/2 cup of salted caramel
2 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup of toasted coconut


1. Throw all of the cookies in a food processor and blend until you've got a fine crumb
2. Mix crumbs and melted butter in a bowl and mix thoroughly
3. Press crumb mixture into 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom
4. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour
5. Blend cream cheese, mascarpone and little over 1/4 cup of salted caramel together until smooth
6. Spread cheese over cookie crust, top with toasted coconut and drizzle with chocolate and caramel.
7. Eat and swoon.

Salted Caramel

3/4 sugar
1/4 water
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup hot milk
1 Tablespoon Butter
Splash of vanilla
1 teaspoon fleur de sel


1. Heat sugar, tartar and water over high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
2. Reduce heat to medium and cook without stirring until liquid turns deep amber in color
3. Remove from heat and pour in hot milk, butter, vanilla and fleur de sel and stir until combined with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool.


RachelleLouise said...

This tart looks fabulous! It's so funny that on the same day we both wrote a post and included angels singing in it! How funny! I hope the auction goes well!

Susan @ SGCC said...

Angels singing, indeed! Your tart looks heavenly! I'm so flattered that you decided to use my recipe for your auction, and thrilled that you loved the result! Salted caramel is a perfect substitute for the dulce de leche.

I hope your entry makes tons of $$$$! :D

miss mallory opel said...

Thank you, thank you to you both!

Susan, I'm glad you approve! Your desserts and blog are heavenly! Thanks for stopping by!