A lot has changed since my days as a Girl Scout in my youth, but one thing has not: my undeniable weakness for Samoas! The crisp cookie base, made chewy by the addition of caramel and finished with scrumptious toasted coconut and drizzles of dark chocolate, is utterly irresistible. If ever a cookie was made to match my taste buds, this one is it.

They are a once a year treat, a splurge to be sure, and quite frankly, it never occurred to me to do anything with them other than eat them straight out of the box with a side of milk. That was until I received an email a few weeks ago from the Girl Scouts of Western Washington announcing a recipe contest among area food bloggers. I have an unofficial personal policy not to do these types of contests (which is in place for the prime objective of preserving my sanity), but for my beloved Samoas, I’m making an exception.

Girls Scouts' Samoas Cookies

My original thought was to go a more complicated route, creating a Samoa panna cotta with fresh orange gelee. Though it all sounded great in my mind, my recipe testing reminded me of something I already knew but apparently needed to learn again: complicated techniques do not always lead to superior results. And actually, in this case it resulted in a gloopy mess that I had to throw out. Oops.

With that, I went back to the drawing board and decided to focus on the two flavors that I wanted to shine: the Samoas, of course, and orange. The decadence of this Girl Scout cookie is definitely one of its assets, but I thought offsetting it with a fresh punch of citrus would be just the ticket.

Samoas Cookies and Orange Zest

Here’s what we’ve got: a couldn’t-get-any-easier recipe for a coconut milk-based ice cream that’s scented with fresh orange zest and studded with chewy morsels of Samoas. The high fat content of the coconut milk makes it perfect for churning straight out of the can (no eggs or complicated cooking techniques needed here!), and using sugar instead of maple syrup or honey allows for sweetening of the base without adding additional flavors that could muddle the mix.

The result is a late winter treat that, if I may be so bold, is even more satisfying than the cookies alone!

Girl Scout cookies will be available for sale to the public March 1st through the 17th. Use the Cookie Locator (or the mobile app) to find where they are being sold in your area. Contest finalists will be selected shortlly. The results are in, and I am a finalist! Please take a minute to VOTE FOR MY RECIPE. Thank you!

Voting is open through 4pm PST on March 1st. Winners will be announced March 4th.

Orange-Samoa Coconut Milk Ice Cream 2

Samoa Orange Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Makes: about 5 cups ice cream

Samoa Orange Coconut Milk Ice Cream


  • 2 14-ounce cans full fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lightly packed freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 package Samoas (15 cookies), chopped


  1. In the jar of a blender, combine the coconut milk (though they will separate after chilling, both the cream and lighter portion of the coconut milk should be added), granulated sugar, and orange zest. Blend on medium speed for 20 seconds, then pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. When the ice cream is just about done churning, slowly add in the chopped Samoas, and churn until they are evenly incorporated into the ice cream.
  3. Serve immediately or transfer the ice cream to a resealable container and freeze for several hours until firm.

Tips and Tidbits

  • The fat in the coconut milk will help keep this ice cream from freezing too hard, but you’ll have an easier time scooping firmly frozen ice cream if you let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes prior to serving. Alternatively, trying adding a tablespoon of light rum to the ice cream toward the end of churning, which will help keep it soft in the freezer.
  • Canned coconut milk is a versatile ingredient to keep on hand for whenever the ice cream craving strikes (I love being able to make a frozen treat from pantry staples!). In addition to the Samoa Orange flavor combo, one of my favorites is a simple Chocolate Maple ice cream. 1 can of coconut milk + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 3 tablespoons maple syrup = a dangerously delicious treat that’s ready to eat in less than 20 minutes!


Just so you know, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington is sponsoring this recipe contest and provided me with 5 boxes of Samoas at no charge to me. All opinions are my own.