What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Everyone (living in the US of A) has one. Thin Mints, Samoa, Tagalongs, Lemon Chalet Cremes…. ? My mom’s favorite is the Thin Mint. Subtle mint flavoring covered in chocolate deliciousness. Yes please! But I have grown to love Samoas and Tagalongs just as much (if not a little more). In fact, and I hate to admit this, I would inhale boxes of them in college. Because really – Girl Scout cookie-time comes but once a year.
I gave up my box-a-day habit many years ago but, each Spring when I get accosted by little girls in uniform, I secretly long for a tray of Samoas. This year I gave in, but not as I had previously imagined. I decided to try making my own. A quick Google search lead me to BakingBites.com’s Homemade Girl Scout Cookies and a grocery list was quickly assembled.
A couple of notes: do not cheap out on ingredients with this dessert. Look for unsweetened, shredded coconut and the best dark chocolate you can find. Also, good caramel is a must – make your own if you have to. Safeway brand caramel squares will not cut it. Just trust me on this one.
Samoa Bars (makes 30)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan. Set aside.
Beat sugar and butter in mixing bowl until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Lower speed and gradually incorporate flour and salt. The mixture should be crumbly. Transfer to pan and press into an even layer with a spatula or large spoon.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are light brown in color. Let cool completely.
3 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened (you can use sweetened, but I highly recommend the unsweetened)
12 oz chewy caramels (or try making your own caramel)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbs milk
10 oz dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped (chocolate chips will also work)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly distribute coconut and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
Place (unwrapped, if store purchased) caramels in microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir every 60 seconds. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut.
Using a spatula, spread topping into an even layer over the cookie base. Let set until completely cool. Cut into bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter.
Melt chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of boiling water. Transfer chocolate into a piping or ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate OR dip the bottom of each bar into the chocolate and place onto a clean piece of parchment paper. If you choose option two, take the remaining chocolate and decorate the top of the bars.