Homemade Girl Scout Cookies – Samoas Bars

I love love love love girl scout cookies. I swear. I could eat a box at a time. I probably shouldn’t admit to that….

Anyway, now that we have established that I love girl scout cookies I’m also betting that there are others out there who love them as much as I do. My favorite one of their cookies is hands down the Samoas. They have such a delicious crunchy bottom topped with a chewy coconut topping. Plus not to mention the addition of chocolate…yum!

I have been eying Baking Bites homemade samoas bars recipe for over a year. I’m not sure why it took me so long to make these gems but I finally got around to it yesterday. Amazing. Horribly amazing. The reason I say “horribly” is because all I wanted to do was eat them last night. I had to stop myself at two and boxed the rest up for Mr.NN to take to work. I was not going to be left home with all those bars today….it would not have been good….

Ingredients:
For Cookie Base:

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For Topping:

3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
12 ounces chewy caramels, unwrapped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons whole milk
10 ounces dark chocolate chips
Source: Baking Bites

Directions:
For cookie crust:
First, make the crust.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

For topping:
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.