Samoas Cookie Bars

Samoas Cookie Bars are a Girl Scout Cookie lovers dream. Now you can have your favorite cookies year round! These amazing cookies got their start in 1917 when Girl Scouts in Muskogee, Oklahoma began selling homemade sugar cookies in their high school cafeteria as a service project. At the time you could buy a dozen of the cookies for 25 cents. Ninety-four years later, this cookie sensation now sells over 200 million boxes per year. I remember when I was a little girl being in Girl Scouts. Selling the cookies was always the most exciting part of the year. We would all dream about the amazing prizes that we could earn if we sold enough boxes. So we would go door to door, smile and hope that our neighbors would buy a few boxes from us. Sadly, I never sold that many..20 to 30 at the most, just enough to get the cookie patch.

These days I have friend’s daughters who are easily selling over a hundred boxes! The incentives that the girls earn now are crazy! If one Girl Scout sells 2000 boxes by herself, she earns a laptop. Yes, you read that right-a laptop! Crazy! I think the best prize when I was in Girl Scouts was an AM/FM cassette boom box! Samoas (in some areas called Caramel deLites) are my favorite Girl Scout cookie, so when I stumbled across this recipe, I immediately bookmarked it. Buttery shortbread crust smothered in caramel and coconut, dipped in chocolate, and then finished with a drizzling of chocolate stripes. Does it get much better then this? I think not! :)

Samoas Cookie Bars

Yield: 30 bar cookies

Ingredients:

For the 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

For the Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. On low speed, mix in the flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. Pour the dough into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Reduce oven to 300 degrees F. Spread coconut on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and toast 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until coconut is golden brown. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine caramels, salt and milk. Place in microwave and cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir. When the mixture is smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Pour mixture over the cooled cookie base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Using a small piece of parchment paper, press mixture evenly into pan. Set aside to cool completely.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer all remaining chocolate into a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set.

Source: Baking Bites