Monday, February 11, 2013
Samoa Cookie Bars
It's Girl Scout cookie season again, and while I still haven't been asked by any Girl Scouts if I'd like to buy them, I may not need them for my Samoa fix this year. While you know coconut isn't my first love, Samoas have always been one of my most favorite Girl Scout cookies (right up there with Thin Mints). Coconut wrapped in caramel topping a shortbread cookie and drizzled with dark chocolate is a decadent and delicious treat. And baked up into these bars, this version is a nice replica. Even though these bars don't have chocolate on the bottom, the extra drizzle on top maintains the chocolate to coconut/caramel to shortbread ratio. If those purple boxes of cookies are calling your name every time you see a Girl Scout, do yourself a favor and make these bars. Compare and you'll see these are just as good as their namesake--and you can make them year round.
It's that time again! Time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal. Each Monday a group of bloggers post a recipe they've made from another blogger's repertoire. Nobody knows who's featuring their blog until that day and it's a fun chance to visit new blogs and try something different. Visit some of the other bloggers in my group by checking out the blog hop at the bottom of this post. To learn more about Secret Recipe Club, click here. This month I had the pleasure to bake from Flavors by Four, a collaborative blog by Nicole, Susan, John and Kathy. This family started their blog around the same time I did and include step by step instructions for their recipes, which you know I like (although of course that means I dropped the ball and missed two steps worth of photos for this recipe). I was tempted to make one of Nicole's many dip recipes, like this one for Spinach and Artichoke Dip. I also thought about the Buffalo Chicken Bites. And of course I toyed with making the Samoa Bark and Samoa Brownies. But in the end, these Samoa Cookie Bars won my heart. I used a little less chocolate than Susan's recipe and drizzled it over the top. There was more than enough to coat and still have a nice balance of flavors. These bars were delicious the same day, but actually got better a day or two later when the caramel got easier to chew. I'm sure you'll find these a wonderful replacement when your purple boxes run out. Or help you save your money for more Thin Mints.
Samoa Cookie Bars
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
4 cups shredded coconut
12 ounces chewy caramel candies
2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounce dark chocolate chips
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating to combine. Gradually add flour, mixing to incorporate.
Turn dough out into a parchment lined 9 x 13 pan. Using a spatula or fingers, press dough into an even layer in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden and set. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Spread coconut out on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Toast at 300 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and taking care not to burn.
While coconut toasts, begin melting caramel. Place caramels and milk in a large microwave safe bowl and melt in microwave in 30 second increments on high, stirring until smooth.
While still hot and liquid, stir salt and toasted coconut into melted caramel. Once coconut is fully coated, spread evenly on top of cookie layer.
Melt dark chocolate chips in microwave on low in 45 second intervals. (Note: I used my Wilton Candy Pro). Drizzle melted chocolate evenly over caramel layer.
Let set completely (note: you may want to chill to set chocolate) before lifting out of pan, remove parchment and cutting into bars.
Makes 24 bars.
The Cookie Princess
Printer Friendly Recipe