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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Samoas Bars

Samoas Bars

I have been seeing these homemade samoas bars in the food blogosphere for a long time and when it came to planning my 24, 24, 24 party, they were one of the first recipes I had set my mind on making. I absolutely love samoas, but I try not to indulge in them too much because they aren't so great for you and they contain some questionable ingredients. These bars are super simple. Basically you make a shortbread crust, toast some coconut and mix it with some caramel and then dip them in chocolate. Since these bars use high quality ingredients, they are a bit richer than the stuff that comes from those little girls at the grocery store so you probably will only be able to eat one, but don't worry because if they aren't all gobbled down at the party, you can take them to work and people will love you more than they already do. They keep well in the refrigerator for days too. One of my coworkers commented that they taste more like coconut macaroons than samoas, but they are still delish. When I was dipping these in chocolate, I placed the finished cookies on wax paper and once the chocolate had set, a lot of the chocolate on the bottom peeled off so I will probably spray the wax paper or try parchment next time, but I was very happy with the results. Toasted coconut is my new favorite ingredient and I am trying to find more ways to use it. Suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments.

Samoas Bars

Samoas Bars
(From Baking Bites)

Makes 28-30 bars

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

Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12 ounces chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350. 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 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 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.

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21 comments:

Maria said...

I love bar treats! These look fantastic!

Dolce said...

If you ever find manioc (Cassava root), grated, you can pair it with shredded coconut, and work it in pancakes. I have eaten such things a loooong time ago in Brazil and have fond memories of it.

Sharon said...

Esi, I could make a new blog entirely composed of all the recipes I bookmark from your website! If you're curious, its almost up to 99%, haha :) These look great!

kellypea said...

These things look seriously dangerous -- and definitely easy. I've seen them around quite a bit, too, but have never tried them. Thank goodness for people at work who eat our food, right?

Lisa Michelle said...

Esi, I am bookmarking these right now! They look unbelievably amazing!! I love the GS Samoa cookies, and even though you said they don't taste that much like them, it doesn't matter..they look and sound delicious! Thank you for posting this!

ttfn300 said...

samoas are hands down, by far, my most fav girl scout cookie :)

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

Have you ever tried using a product called "Almond Bark?" It comes in a big block of chocolate or white chocolate and its right next to the chocolate chips. If you google images of "almond bark" you will see what it looks like.

Its basically a chocolate that melts super easy in the microwave, and it dries in less than a minute. You can use it to make these fantastic bars, or I make home made kit kat bars. Using a graham cracker, with peanut butter in between dipped in the chocolate. AND, it won't stick to parchment paper or wax paper.

I've also done chocolate covered almonds, just add almonds to the chocolate and drop by spoonfuls.

I've also done chocolate covered pretzel logs dipped in chocolate and covered with sprinkles for my daughters birthday.

You can use it for so many things! I hope that will help next time!

And, a big block at my regular grocery store is $2.50!

Erica said...

Pure heaven! Nothing like bringing me back to my childhood! I bet your guests LOVED these!! Have a nice afternoon

Junglefrog said...

They do look tasty. I love coconut but for some reason I hardly ever use it in cooking other then coconut milk... Hmm, maybe I should be changing that soon!

Diana said...

My mom and I cheated when we made these. Instead of dipping the shortbread in the chocolate, we spread the chocolate layer on top of the shortbread, topped it with the caramel coconut layer and then finished it with more chocolate. It didn't turn out quite right, but we were being lazy. :)

I think you were the one that had me craving Samoas after all our e-mails about them! Darn you and your ice cream!!!

Justin said...

oh man, i would love to have one of those to eat right now

Reeni♥ said...

What sweet treats these are! They look much better than the cookies!

Finsmom said...

Ive been dying to make these! Yours look fantastic! Yum!

The Food Librarian said...

You are a super girl scout for making these! :) Even though I hate coconut, I would so eat these!

Esi said...

Thank you everyone!!!

Dolce, I am going to look up grated Cassava root. I have had cassava a lot in life.

Sharon, you are too kind! Let's start a blog together :) :)

Kelly, I think I am able to bake more now that I have more people to share it with. Dangerous and so good at the same time ;)

Lisa Michelle, samoas are my favorite. These definitely come close.

Diana - samoas, samoas, samoas, samoas. hahaha. I kid!

Mary, I actually was a super Girl scout at one point in life. My mom and dad used to help me sell a crap load of cookies!

Suzie said...

These look fantastic - and I have a suggestion for toasted coconut. Toss it in with the crumble topping for a mango, nectarine and raspberry crumble. A perfect summer dessert.

Kiki (Run Kiki Run) said...

this looks so fab, I am now mentally going through the ingredients to figure out what I have at home and what i need to buy to make these babies x

Donna-FFW said...

I love everything about this bar cookie. They look perfect!

Kevin said...

Those bars look so good! What a nice flavour combination!

Sara said...

Those just look too good for words.

Erin said...

Made these and loved the flavor, but had some issues with the shortbread layer splitting. Thanks so much for posting the recipe. I blogged about my experience and linked back to you here:http://nagle5.blogspot.com/2009/08/samoas-barsa-mixed-review-for-this.html