Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Homemade Samoa Bars

I have a slight problem with self control when it comes to girl scout cookies. I swear. I could eat a box at a time. I guess I probably shouldn’t admit that, but it's true. Oh well, now you know. My favorite one of their cookies is definitely the Samoas.  They have such a delicious crunchy bottom topped with a chewy coconut topping.  Plus not to mention the addition of chocolate…yes please!
I first saw these on Pinterest and could not wait to make them. I searched around on Google and came across Baking Bites recipe for homemade samoas bars. 
After reading through the recipe, I thought these were going to come out a mess. But surprisingly, my prediction was false. These are a bit more involved than most bar cookies and the kitchen did end up a disaster, BUT they are totally worth the effort.  
*Note: These bars are VERY rich...the original recipe calls for each cookie to be dipped in chocolate but I have decided not to do this. I just drizzled the chocolate on top of each bar. You don't get the full effect of a Samoa cookie, but trust me, they are still just as tasty!
Homemade Samoa Bars
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites

For the Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

For the Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut, toasted
12 oz. chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
1/2 bag of chocolate chips 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line  a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
2. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly (dough doesn't need to come together).
3. Pour dough into pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, until set and edges are lightly browned. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Add unwrapped caramel candies with milk and salt in a large microwaveable bowl. Cook on high, 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir occasionally. Once caramel is melted and smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
5. Place dollops of topping on shortbread crust. Spread evenly with a spatula and allow to set until cooled. Once cooled, cut into evenly sized bars.
6. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl mixing every 30 seconds until smooth. Spoon into a Ziploc with a corner cut off and drizzle bars with chocolate. Let chocolate set before storing in an airtight container. 


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