Sunday, July 11, 2010

Samoas Bars

This recipe came from Baking Bites and when I saw it I knew I had to make them! I love the girl scout samoas cookies! These were really really good and tasted a lot like the cookie, but in bar form. Matt doesn't even like coconut but he tried these and thought they were really good. I think because the coconut was toasted so it had a different texture. Either way, that's success to me. The only downfall was they took some time to complete. It's not one of those things you can whip up and be eating soon.
Ok, so I have a few tips. First of all, if you've never toasted coconut before (like me..before this recipe) it's really easy but it burns fast! I checked it several times and it was still white, then I checked again just a couple minutes later and some of it was burned. I was able to use most of it but I had to do a second small batch. Also don't forget to stir it so it's evenly toasted. Next, when it came to dipping the bottoms in the chocolate, I found it a lot easier to just coat the bottom of the bar using a spoon rather than dipping. When I dipped, some of the bottom would crumble off. I made these the night before I needed them and just stored them in the refrigerator then let them warm to room temperature when I needed them. Anyway, I really think you should go make these!
Homemade Samoas Bars

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)- I used sweetened
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. (I needed more) 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.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.
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