Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Samoa Bars

Still waiting for your Girl Scout Cookie order to come in? I'm all for supporting the Girl Scouts (I used to be one!), but sometimes I need more immediate cookie gratification. I spied this recipe on another cooking blog, and was pretty excited to try making my own version of Samoas (sometimes they're also called Caramel DeLites). Samoas are little round cookies topped with toasted coconut and caramel, then drizzled with chocolate.

While these aren't difficult to make, they do take a lot of time due to all of the steps involved (luckily there have been a lot of snowy days spent indoors lately). You have to make each layer of these bars separately, so most of the prep time is spent waiting for things to set, cool, etc. These bars replicate the flavors of the Samoas really well. The one change I would make next time is to use a little less of the cookie crust. I felt that these needed a higher caramel to cookie crust ratio in order to be perfect. I'm posting the original recipe, but play around with the amounts as you like. Also, the recipe calls for "good" caramels... the only ones I could find were made by Kraft. They melted nicely and tasted awesome, so I'm going to say that they easily qualify as "good". Don't knock yourself out looking for anything fancy.

Samoa Bars
spotted on Joelen's Culinary Adventures, originally 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

First, make the crust.

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. The dough does not need to come together. 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.

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.

Makes about 30 bar cookies.

Download a printable recipe.


Memória said...

Your photos are perfect! These bars look so good! I'm bookmarking this recipe.

Jessica said...

I have to make these! Samoas are my all-time favorite Girl Scout cookie. Added bonus: my boyfriend hates coconut so I won't have to share!