I know we all look forward to that time of year. You know what time I mean right? That's right, Girl Scout Cookies Season! If the classic Samoa is one of your favorites, then I have the super simple to make, super delicious recipe for you! Coconut clusters, not only are they packed with melt in your mouth flavor, but they also are gluten free, paleo friendly, and have absolutely no added sugars! So....I'll take 10!
I need to confess. Yes, I was a Girl Scout. I did it for 9 years and have a lot of extremely fond memories. Cookie season was easily my favorite time of the year. It taught us so many important life skills. Through the process, we learned social skills, how to manage money, and sorta kinda how to run our own little small businesses. It was a great learning experience and I think it gives me even more of an emotional attachment to recipes like this because I am instantly reminded of that flavor that connects me to his childhood.
Samoas (in my neck of the woods we called them Caramel Delights) were always one of my favorites, and my Mom's too. My Mom was our troops cookie mom so we always had cases upon cases in our home. Not good if you're trying to watch some calories! We had quite a hard time resisting, I mean if you had a room full of Girl Scout Cookies, wouldn't you have a hard time too?
That is why I created these Coconut Clusters. The flavor is there and they taste almost identical, but you don't have to deal with any gluten or added sugars. I love any no guilt version of one of my childhood favorites and this is absolutely no exception.
Luckily, you only need a few ingredients on hand to make this tasty treat, some of which you might have laying around in your pantry!
- Unsweetened Coconut
- Cashew Butter
- Coconut oil (unrefined)
- Vanila Extract
- Maple Syrup
- Paleo Chocolate Chips
Another win for this recipe is the minimal amount of kitchen appliances needed. Did I hear less dishes anyone?
Just a side note, no, you are not baking these sweet treats! I use a baking sheet because it is easy to lay them all out on it to drizzle the chocolate and then immediately transfer them to the fridge so they can set!
Melt the coconut oil in a small sauce pan on the stove. Then add in the cashew butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix together as they melt together. I melt them all together because it makes it much easier to mix it in with the shredded coconut. It also helps assure that all of the coconut becomes submerged in the cashew butter mixture.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the shredded unsweetened coconut. Pour the cashew butter mixture into the shredded coconut. Use a rubber spatula to mix in the cashew butter mixture until all of the coconut is completely covered. Place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes so that the cashew butter mixture can set before you create the clusters.
Remove the mixture from the fridge. Using your hands, roll the coconut mixture into 1 inch balls. I slightly flatten the bottom so it makes it easier to lay flat after dipping it in the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with coconut oil. The coconut oil helps the chocolate melt so it does not dry up. Dip each coconut cluster in the melted chocolate and place on a baking sheet. Once they have all been dipped, take a spoon and drizzle the remaining chocolate on top of the clusters. Place them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the chocolate can set and then dig in!
Make sure you store your clusters in the fridge! Otherwise they will melt because of the coconut oil!
Can I sub out any Ingredients?
Maple Syrup- Maple syrup can be subbed out for honey with a one to one ratio. Since honey is an animal product, if you follow a vegan diet maple syrup would be your answer! If you do switch out the maple syrup for honey, you can do that with a 1:1 ratio. Both are natural sweeteners so it will not do much for the flavor. Make sure if you are using maple syrup that you use one that is grade A, that way it does not have a super strong maple flavor.
Unrefined Coconut Oil- The reason unrefined coconut oil is used is because it has more of a coconut flavor. Since this is a coconut recipe, I like to add in a little extra kick of coconut. If the extra coconut flavor is too much for you, you can use refined coconut oil. When you use refined coconut oil, it adds no extra coconut flavor.
Cashew Butter- I use cashew butter because it has a mild flavor that pairs well with the coconut. You can sub this out for any nut butter of your choice with a 1:1 ratio! If you are nut free, you could also use sunflower seed butter. I would not suggest using peanut butter though because the flavor would be very overpowering.
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- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Sauce Pan
- Baking Sheet
- Rubber Spatula
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup cashew butter
- ⅓ cup unrefined coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil to help melt chocolate chips
- ½ cup paleo chocolate chips
- In a sauce pan on medium low heat, melt together coconut oil, cashew butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Make sure you are mixing often so that the ingredients do not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the shredded coconut.
- Once the cashew butter mixture is all melted together and mixed well, pour it on top of the shredded coconut.
- Use a rubber spatula to mix in the cashew butter mixture into the shredded coconut until all of the coconut is covered.
- Place the bowl in the fridge and let it cool for 30 minutes. This also allows the cashew butter mixture to set.
- Remove the bowl from the fridge. Using your hands, roll the coconut and cashew butter mixture into one inch balls. I usually flatten the bottom of each ball slightly too to make it easier to sit on the baking sheet after being dipped in chocolate.
- Melt together the tablespoon of coconut oil and chocolate chips. Do this either on the stove in a sauce pan, or in the microwave for 30 second increments at a time, removing the bowl and mixing every 30 seconds until melted.
- Dip each coconut cluster in the chocolate and place on the baking sheet.
- Once all of the cluster have been dipped in the chocolate, use a spoon to drizzle the remaining chocolate over the clusters.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.
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