Homemade Samoa Bars


I love Samoas! They are my favorite Girl Scout cookie. I’ve seen lots of different recipes for them online, but when I saw this recipe for samoa bars on Baking Bites that was easier to make, I decided they would be perfect to take to an upcoming church activity.

They were a big hit with my family and the ladies at church. The yummy caramel coconut topping tastes just like the cookie. The shortbread crust is delicious. Different than the cookie, but no one, including me, complained. Thanks Nicole for sharing the recipe.

Homemade Samoa Bars
 
Yield: 24 bar cookies
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
  1. First, make the crust.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
  3. (I lined mine with foil.)
  4. 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 prepared pan and press into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
Topping
  1. 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. (Mine was golden after 10 minutes.)Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.