homemade samoas

Girl Scout cookies. They bring back so many memories. I remember one year when I was a kid, my mom volunteered to be the "cookie mom" for my girl scout troop. It meant that every single box of cookies sold by the girls in my troop got delivered to our house. My mom and I spent hours sorting the boxes into giant piles for each girl to come and pick up. I remember Girl Scout camp. And "crossing the bridge" (I think going from Brownie to Girl Scout?) Oh, and I remember when Girl Scout cookies were $2.00 a box!

Samoas are Mr. LITK's favorite Girl Scout cookie. So when I came across this recipe for homemade samoas bars, I knew I HAD to make them for his birthday a couple of weeks ago. They turned out really well - the cookie base was a little crumbly, but I think that's because I didn't have any eggs (are we noticing a trend here? I'm always halfway through a recipe before I realize I'm missing something!) I subbed in a little bit of applesauce, but I think they would have held together better with an egg.

Honestly, if I closed my eyes and ate one of these, I would swear I was eating a real GS cookie. They were really good - and Mr. LITK loved them, which was the important part! If you love samoas or know someone who does, I definitely recommend making these!

Homemade Samoas Bars
recipe adapted from Baking Bites

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.

Make the crust first by lightly greasing a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment (I used a hand mixer), 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 prepared 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 - I used sweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)

In a dry non stick skillet over medium heat, add the coconut and toast on the stovetop. Be careful as they can toast up pretty quickly! Once toasted, set aside and allow to cool.

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 coconut and caramel topping all over the cooled shortbread base. Using a small spatula, spread the 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.

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