Homemade Samoa Cookie Bars

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time! And we bought a few boxes from the neighbor girls, and of course, they’re good…but I have to admit that I can taste a difference since they changed which baker they used this year, and it’s not for the better.

However, I found this recipe for a homemade version of one of our favorites, Samoas. (The more time-consuming cookie version is here). And I have to say, they are pretty darn good! Luke and I agree that there is a bit too much shortbread cookie compared to the other ingredients…I think next time, I’ll bake this in a jelly roll pan instead, or just not use a small amount of the dough for the cookies.

I made a couple of very slight changes from the original, using slightly more caramel and slightly less coconut.

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

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.

2 1/2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
14-oz good-quality chewy caramels (I used a bag of Kraft Caramels)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. chocolate (chocolate chips are fine, as is chocolate bark)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet with sides and toast 20-25 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.

Makes 30 bar cookies.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. illinigirl
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 12:36:31

    Oooh, these are my favorite girl scout cookies! Can’t wait to try them!!! 😀


  2. Nana Jo
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 18:26:04

    I liked the GS version of these just “OK”–but I know I would LOVE this homemade version!


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