Samoa Bars – inspired by the famous girl scout cookies! Moist and crumbly shortbread crust topped with a chewy caramel coconut layer and drizzled with chocolate!
First item of business: It’s Wednesday and I already want it to be Friday. And Monday was a holiday! So really it’s basically only the second day of the week – how sad is that?! I love long weekends (three, four, nine-day weekends….) but it always feels way harder going back to the daily grind after a holiday weekend than it does after a regular plain-jane weekend.
Does anyone here agree with me??
Second item of business: How is February half-way over?? March is going to be her in two shakes and I just can’t even wrap my head around that. Except… I guess that’s not totally true. Because for anyone who doesn’t know, (how do you not know?!?) girl scout cookies go on sale in March and you know that I am all over that.
I adore girl scout cookies.
Scratch that. I am obsessed with one particular kind of girl scout cookie: the beautiful, perfect, dreamy… samoa.
All that caramel + coconut + shortbread + chocolate goodness, I cannot resist it. And I’m so completely ready to stockpile those bad boys that I’m jumping the gun here a little bit and re-creating those cookies in a bar version.
Hey. A girl’s gotta satisfy her cravings.
Here is the thing. I have made the real deal – like actual homemade samoa cookies from scratch. And they are good. They are crazy-lady good. But they are a little bit time consuming what with the chilling of the dough and the cutting of the circles and whatnot. So when you have a bit of time on your hands and can’t find any legit girl scout cookies in the stores, those cookies are your answered prayer.
But when you just really need your samoa fix in a hurry, these samoa bars are where it’s at.
This recipe features my all time favorite shortbread crust – so buttery and flakey it just melts in your mouth! Then you top that with a rich caramel coconut layer and add a drizzle of chocolate on top and right about now your held will be on the verge of exploding with pure delight.
Caution: bakers have been known to devour half the pan in one sitting. be warned.
- 1½ cups butter (3 sticks)
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 3 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups caramels, unwrapped (see note)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1½ cups coconut flakes
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
- optional: coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil and grease with nonstick spray.
- Prepare the crust by creaming together butter and powdered sugar for 2-3 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined. Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust starts to look "dry" and the edges are just barely golden.
- While your crust is baking, prepare the caramel layer. Stir the coconut flakes in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes until the flakes just start to brown (continue to stir throughout and do not cook too long or they will burn!) Remove from heat and immediately transfer to a bowl so they stop cooking.
- Add caramels and heavy cream/milk to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on half power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla, then add coconut flakes and stir.
- After removing crust from oven, pour caramel mixture over the crust. Allow to cool completely. (You can speed up the cooling process by putting it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes)
- Once completely cooled, drizzled melted chocolate chips over bars and sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired. Cut into squares and serve.