Since the days I went door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies (that miserable time when my shy self was pitted against my competitive, must-sell-the-most-in-my-troop self), I have loved Samoas Girl Scout cookies. (Or whatever you call them wherever you live. You know, the best ones, with the chocolate and caramel and toasted coconut.) So, when a couple back-to-back events called for baked goods, I decided to take what I loved in Samoas and combine it with my true dessert love—cheesecake—and make this cookie-inspired treat.
You should know by now that Greg is the cheesecake expert in our house. He knows how much I love them, so he mastered all the tricks for making them and hasn’t looked back. His own recipe for turtle cheesecake is quite possibly my favorite dessert of all time. This recipe is merely a modified version of his masterpiece. Thanks, Greg!
Though this recipe has many components and a long cooling time, it isn’t actually hard to make. Trust me—try this when your next off-season Girl Scout cookie craving hits. It’s amazing!
25 Oreos (generic brand is fine)
2 tablespoons melted butter
14 oz individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
5 oz evaporated milk
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs (room temperature)
7 1/2 oz individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces dark chocolate (2/3 cup chips)
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 teaspoons light corn syrup
Cheesecake, Filling & Crust
1. Food process the Oreos into a fine powder.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Lightly toast all 3 1/2 cups of coconut at 350 degrees on a baking sheet (< 10 min), stirring frequently.
4. Remove coconut from oven.
5. Add a pan (e.g., 13 x 9) of water on the bottom rack of the oven and leave at 350 degrees.
6. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
7. Mix melted butter with Oreo crumbs and press in the bottom of the springform pan and 1 1/2" up the sides, set aside.
8. In a double boiler, or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the caramels in the evaporated milk. Stir until smooth.
9. Mix 2 cups of toasted coconut in with the melted caramels and pour evenly over the Oreo crust.
10. In a bowl, combine the cheese, sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl several times.
11. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth.
12. Pour the cheesecake batter over the layer of caramel and coconut.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until barely set.
14. When barely set, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside to cool as close to room temperature as possible in the oven.
15. Chill overnight (or at least 8 hours) in the refrigerator.
1. Heat the caramels, milk and salt in a double boiler, or in a small metal bowl or saucepan set over a larger saucepan of simmering water, until the caramels are fully melted.
2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and combine 3/4 of the caramel with the remaining toasted coconut in a large bowl.
3. Spread the remaining 1/4 caramel over the top of the cooled cheesecake.
4. Spread the caramel-coconut mixture on top of the caramel.
1. Bring 1/4 cup of heavy cream to a boil and remove from heat.
2. Stir in 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate until smooth.
3. Stir in 3 teaspoons of corn syrup.
4. Cool slightly.
Once the ganache has set enough to pipe, finish the cheesecake with lines of ganache topping. For evenly spaced lines, I set wooden skewers lightly on top of the coconut topping to act as guides. With a ganache-filled pastry bag, I piped lines of chocolate across the top. If you’re in a hurry, just drizzle the chocolate over the top—it will still be beautiful and delicious!