I was on the hunt for homemade Samoas…those irresistible Girl Scout cookies with a shortbread base, caramel and coconut plus a chocolate drizzle. I’m a sucker for any scout or brownie who stops by to sell their cookies…and we have to have a stash of Samoas, Thin Mints and Tagalongs in our freezer.
I had a New Year’s Day party to attend and I was bringing dessert…I thought some freshly baked Samoas would be an excellent addition to a cookie tray. Unfortunately, all the recipes I saw involved rolling, cutting, dipping…ugh…lots of work. Baking Bites had a Homemade Samoa Bars recipe, but it still required more steps than I had time for…so instead of the dipping and drizzling, I just topped these with a decadent layer of chocolate ganache. The base and filling were perfect…I’m thinking, though, that I’d like even more of the caramel/coconut mixture. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the chocolate topping may have been a wee bit too rich for these bars. I may try them again with just a drizzle of melted chocolate chips. I need to get over my fear of fussy finishes…I’m thinking I could do a simple cross-hatch pattern without ripping my hair out…uh, well, maybe…stay tuned…
This month’s Chocolate Party theme is coconut. Feel free to add any recipe using chocolate and coconut that you’ve shared on your blog during the month of January to the linky party below. To join the Chocolate Party, please check out the information on our hostess’ site, Roxana’s Home Baking. Thanks Roxana for featuring one of my favorite flavor combinations this month!
- Adapted from Baking Bites
- Cookie Base:
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- 12 ounces caramels
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
- Cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly.. Pour 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.
- Preheat oven to 300º. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- 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 spoonfuls of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
- Heat cream and butter on stove or in microwave, but do not allow to boil. Remove from stove and pour over chocolate. Stir till completely combined. Add powdered sugar and whisk until combined and smooth. Pour over cooled bars. Refrigerate overnight, then cut with pizza cutter into bars to serve.
- Makes approximately 30 bars.