It is safe to say that my husband is obsessed with the Samoa Girl Scout cookies. He will buy numerous boxes and eat them row by row. If I'm lucky, I get 1 or 2 cookies for myself. I have to be quick though! So, after he polished off his last box, he begged me to make a homemade version of the beloved Samoa. I obliged and was excited to try a new recipe. I opted to make bars instead of cookies because rolling and cutting out cookies is a bit time consuming. My husband hovered and salivated while I whipped these up. We dove into them as soon as I finished pouring the caramel mixture on. Yum and yum. So sweet and gooey. We actually liked them better the second day after they set up. I found the recipe on Baking Bites. My husband and I thank you!
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. 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 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)
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. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Be sure to check every few minutes so the coconut doesn't burn.
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.
*Next time I make these, I will double the caramel topping. It's the best part and you can never have too much gooey goodness!!