Samoas Cupcakes

I hate girl scouts.  Okay, I don’t hate girl scouts.  But I hate how I feel obligated to buy a box of cookies when I exit the grocery store where they are selling cookies.
Maybe it’s because I really hated selling them when I was a very shy girl scout.  It meant putting my book down… and talking to people.  Oh, the torture. : )  I guess it worked, since I don’t mind talking to people now.. though sometimes a book is still better. : )
Samoas are my favorite girl scout cookie, right next to thin mints of course. 
I made these for a church activity last week and after the onslaught of emails requesting the recipe, I guess they were a hit!  I have seen copycat recipes for samoas cookies, and that might be fun to make and put one sticking out of the frosting as well… all though that might be going a little overboard.
For the cake:
2 cups + 2 T sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup + 1 T cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  
Add to the dry ingredients, mix for about 2 minutes.
Add the boiling water and stir just until well combined.  Batter will be thin.
Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners and divide the batter among the 24 cups, filling about 2/3rds full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Cool in pans for a few minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the caramel frosting:
1 pound brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, optional
In a medium pot, bring the brown sugar and cream to a boil and let boil for 1 minute.
Add the baking soda, boil for 1 more minute.
Stir in salt, then add butter but don’t stir.
Chill for 1 1/2 hours in the fridge or until chilled.
Beat well, adding powdered sugar to desired consistency. (will be more like a glaze if you don’t add any)
To finish:
3/4 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
Spread coconut out on a cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.
Frost cupcakes with caramel frosting (or dip tops in frosting if left as a glaze), sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Melt chocolate and drizzle tops of cupcakes.
Recipe Sources: chocolate cupcakes slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats, frosting adapted from All Recipes
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