Friday, February 17, 2012

Samoa Bars

It's Girl Scout cookie time...and Samoas (and thin mints) are definitely the Girl Scout cookie of choice around this house. Well, my friend Emily made these awesome Samoa Bars for our small group awhile back and they were soooo yummy that I asked her for the recipe and made them for the staff and teachers at Ellie's school last month. They were definitely a big hit, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you (she got the recipe from a blog called C and J's Good

Samoa Bars
*Makes 30 bar cookies.
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon 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 (I used one 14 oz. package of the Kraft brand)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips work fine)
*Cara's Note: I chose not to do the drizzle thing in the piping bag---see below, so
I did more like 2 cups of melted chocolate chips and just put it all over the top

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 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 (mine took about 25 minutes). 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 50% power for 1-2 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 (I kind of had to use my hands on this part to get it into an even layer). 
Let topping set until cooled. 

Then melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second 

intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Put melted chocolate into a 
piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate 
to finish. Let chocolate set completely. When set, cut into 30 bars with a large knife
 or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping). Store in an airtight container.

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