Homemade Samoa Bars

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    Happy New Years! I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe holiday weekend. We went to a friends house to have some snacks before heading out to ring in the new year, and I brought these bar cookies. They have been on my “bucket list” of things to make for a while now, but I was saving them for a special occasion. These babies are a rich treat and a homemade version of the classic Girl Scout cookies, also known as Caramel de-Lites.

    Homemade Samoa Bars

    This was adapted from Baking Bites, and while I did like the cookie bars, I will try a different recipe for the shortbread cookie base next time. I’m not sure exactly how I can change it, but it was way too thick for me so it did not turn out exactly like the originals. That being said, the topping that I adapted was to die for!

    Cookie base
    1/2 C sugar
    3/4 C butter, softened
    1 egg
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 C all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp salt

    3 C shredded coconut, sweetened
    14 oz chewy caramels
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 1/2 T milk
    10 oz semisweet chocolate chips

    The first thing I did was spread out the coconut on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and toast at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Bake until golden; cool on baking sheet and turn oven up to 350 degrees.

    While the coconut is toasting, spray a 9X13 baking dish with Baker’s Joy and begin making the cookie base. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Begin adding the adding the flour and salt and beat it together slowly until “mixture is crumbly, like wet sand.” This is where I think I would change the recipe because my mixture came together and was creamy; I think it needed more flour.  Press the dough into the prepared dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Place dish on wire rack to cool completely before topping.
    To make the topping, unwrap the caramels and place them in a large, microwaveable, bowl with milk and salt. Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir, until nice and smooth. 
    Fold in coconut with spatula. Spread topping evenly over cookie base and let cool. When cooled, cut into 24 bars with large knife (shortbread will be slightly crumbly). Melt chocolate and dip the base of the bars into the chocolate. Place on  parchment or wax paper to cool.
    Use left over chocolate to drizzle over cookies with a piping bag or a zip-lock bag with corer snipped off. Let chocolate set completely before storing in airtight container. 

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04719743619434148451 The Nashville Nosher

      Love your blog!!! I made these the other day & were planning on featuring them on my blog but my pictures were accidently erased from my camera. Would you mind if I use one of your photos? I will credit it to you of course!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06141069152710326641 Ellen Zames

      These look amazing!! I LOVE chocolate and coconut together. Thank you so much for linking up to our Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundsays

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16973924525398266766 Cookin’ Cowgirl

      Of course! I love the “linking up” idea. It’s like a party…with food….with OUT the calories! haha :)