Gluten Free Samoas-Style Cookies (Nut-Free or Not)

Inspired by the Girl Scout Samoas, this cookie is much larger, crisper, and instead of shredded coconut, it calls for nuts. (I used walnuts. If have a nut allergy, use desiccated coconut.) With its caramel topping and chocolate coated bottoms, they are definitely indulgent.

Gluten Free Samoas-Style Cookies


Yield: Makes ten to eleven 1-3/4-inch cookies

Gluten Free Samoas-Style Cookies

This is a gluten free samoas-style girl scout cookie recipe on a larger scale, with the traditional caramel topping. Instead of coconut, nuts are are sprinkled on top. The cookie is crisper, but still has that buttery flavor.


    For the Shortbread Cookies:
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter (or unsalted + 1/4 tsp salt)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 11/8 cup Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • Roll out to 1/3-inch high. Bake on chilled baking sheets for 8 -12 minutes. The longer you bake them, the higher and lighter they turn out.
  • For the Caramel Coating:
  • 1/2 recipe Soft Gluten Free Caramel Candy (or 6 oz. store-bought GF caramels*
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • For the Nut Topping:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • For the Chocolate Coating and Drizzle:
  • 1/2 package Nestle's Chocolate Chips (Semi-Sweet, or Milk Chocolate)


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed. Add vanilla and mix on low just until incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add it to the butter mixture; and beat on low speed until combined.
  3. Transfer the dough to silicone baking mat or starch dusted surface and roll out to 1/3-inch high. Cut using a donut cutter and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough and the baking sheet until the dough becomes firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. (The longer you bake them, the lighter and higher they bake to.
  6. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. To Make the Caramel:
  9. Make half of the caramel candy recipe or use 6 oz. store-bought GF caramels. When making the homemade caramel recipe, cook the caramel to about 260F the second time.
  10. Add heavy cream to the caramels in the saucepan and mix to combine.
  11. Stir 1/2 cup nuts into the caramel. Alternatively, do not mix any nuts in at all.
  12. Using a butter knife or tiny spatula, paint the tops of each cookie with caramel and nut mixture.
  14. Immediately, sprinkle on some of the 3/4 cup of walnuts and press into the caramel mixture. Set aside to cool completely.
  15. To Make the Chocolate Coating:
  16. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  17. Melt your favorite gluten free chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water. Using a butter knife or tiny spatula, paint each cookie's bottom with chocolate.
  18. Place the cookie on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle additional stripes of chocolate on the tops of each cookie; and allow to set.
  19. Refrigerate cookies if your weather is warm or you live in a humid client.


*In my recipe for all-purpose gluten-free flour, you have a choice of using tapioca flour or cornstarch. I used cornstarch due to my tapioca allergies and the texture. Tapioca makes cookies just a little chewier and they brown easier.

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