Homemade Samoas Bars

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Ask and ye shall receive, my fellow coconut cookie lovers. Remember the Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies from February? Remember their buttery shortbread base, caramel-coconut topping and dark chocolate drizzle? Well, they’re back, and in bar form, all thanks to your requests!

Over the past three months, I’ve received countless emails, Facebook messages, Tweets and Instagram pleas for an abridged version of the iconic cookie recipe. Long story short: While the homemade Samoas cookies are spot-on for taste and texture when compared to the real deal, I wouldn’t exactly put them in the “quick and easy” dessert category.
These Samoa Cookie Bars are a copycat bar version of my favorite Girl Scout cookies! This tasty treat contains three of my favorite flavors – caramel, chocolate and coconut. They’re utter perfection!

When the freezer is void of those caramel, coconut, shortbread and chocolate Girl Scout cookies, it’s time to make some Homemade Samoa Bars!

I’m a sucker for any scout or brownie who stops by to sell their cookies. It’s a must to have a stash of Samoas, Thin Mints and Tagalongs in our freezer. But they eventually get eaten, and those cravings must be fulfilled!

 

Ingredients:

Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

 

Directions:

Cookie Base:
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.

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.

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