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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Samoa Bars

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Samoas/Caramel DeLites are my favorite Girl Scout cookie, tied with Thin Mints that is. When I saw this recipe on Baking Bites (quite a long time ago!), I was so excited and quickly bookmarked it. As usual, I took my time getting to this recipe but finally decided it was time. I thought these bar cookies were great! They really do taste like Samoas! I love the combination of the toasted coconut and caramel - I could eat that by itself!

Samoa Bars

Yield: 30 bar cookies

Ingredients:
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened), toasted
12 ounces good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine) (I needed about 2 ounces more for drizzling the bars)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.
1. Make the crust: Lightly grease a 13 x 9-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.

2. 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.

3. Make the topping: Place the unwrapped caramels 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.

4. Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.

5. When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (I used a large pizza chopper) .

6. Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl by heating on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the bottom of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper.

7. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a sandwich/storage bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container. These bars also freeze well.

Note: For an easier finish, you can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing. You will not need as much chocolate as noted above, and you will not exactly get the Samoas look, but the results will still be delicious.

Source: Adapted from Baking Bites

15 comments:

  1. Woah. Ok, so I immediately want to categorize these as "coconut macaroon brownies". How far off am I?

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  2. You little devil! These look AMAZING!!!

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  3. I am in LOVE!! I am not typically a coconut fan but have a serious weakness for Samoas!! You just saved me $$ on Girl Scout cookies!

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  4. Wow. Those look just like the real deal, but I bet they taste 1,000 times better!

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  5. I made this same recipe awhile back--I was highly impressed. I think I just might have to make em again now that you reminded me :-)

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  6. First, these look wicked good. Second, where is my sample. Third, who eats all this stuff. I would weigh A LOT if I was baking all these good desserts.

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  7. I tasted them, and they are addictive. They are definitely more of a cookie bar than a brownie, the inside was like a shortbread, but the caramel makes them chewy. Pretty, pretty, pretty......good.

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  8. how many days do they stay fresh? want to make them a day or two before i'm planning to serve!

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  9. These look amazing!! I'm definitely going to have to make these!

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  10. Wow, I'm drooling - these look so amazing! Samoas and thin mints tie for my favorites too :)

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  11. Samoas are my favorites too...I've got to try these bars.

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  12. Eric - I don't think I'd call these brownies since there's no chocolate cake/baked good component. I did however post "Magic Brownies" in the past which probably would qualify as coconut macaroon brownies - there's a brownie layer covered in a macaroon-like topping with chocolate and butterscotch chips - mmm I think I need to make some of those soon! :)

    AS - I still have some in the freezer if you want to come over and try them!

    Natalie - After making them, I immediately put some in fridge and took them to work the next day, and put the rest in the freezer, so I can't say for sure how long they last at room temp, but I would think if you stored them in an airtight container they should be fine! If you decide to store them in the fridge, I'd recommend letting them sit out at room temp for a bit before serving - the caramel gets softer and you can taste everything more when it's not cold.

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  13. I just ordered some Caramel Delites (or Samoas as they were called when I was a Girl Scout :) today ... but now I can't wait to make these ... they look divine!

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  14. Were the ones you froze ok after thawing? Your pictures have totally convinced me to make these!

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  15. Hi Stephanie, Yes they were ok- not quite as good as fresh but still tasted good to me! :)

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