Wednesday, April 6, 2011


So. Last night I did some baking. For my Business Man.

Leaning tower of... cookie bars?

Before I tell you all about it, let's rewind a bit...

Last week when I was gone traversing the Midwest, our order of Girl Scout cookies came in. (finally!) They got here on Monday. When I spoke with my Business Man Tuesday night, he informed me that the box of Caramel Delights was gone. Gone! I would have been shocked and horrified and disappointed if I actually liked coconut, but alas I just shook my head and laughed. Those cookies didn't stand a chance with my Business Man locked in the same apartment for any length of time.

The real deal.

Just to prove his love for Caramel Delights even further, let me tell you this little story. Last year I came out to visit one weekend and take the oh-so-enjoyable Praxis tests. We stopped at Family Video after the tests to pick up a few movies for the afternoon/evening. There happened to be some cute lil' Girl Scouts trying to sell the rest of their cookies, and of course we were sucked in by their cuteness and bought a few boxes. The Caramel Delights were gone by the end of the night. And remember, I don't like coconut. You do the math.

So, while he was gone yesterday evening, I got to work in the kitchen to re-create his favs. I've already made one knock-off Girl Scout Tagalong cookie, which turned out so so yummy, so I was hoping for success again.

Side note: Where we grew up, these cookies were called Caramel Delights. All around the Bean Town (and Ohio), they are called Samoas. What the junk?! Why can't the Girl Scouts just pick one name for the cookies all across the US? It would make all our lives a lot easier, methinks.

Anyways, I made a "Samoas" bar cookie knock-off, because although the little circular cookies with the holes in them are cute, they are not all that time or user-friendly to re-create. So cookie bars seemed to be the way to go.

You start by creating a shortbread cookie base. Once it bakes and cools, you make a caramel-toasted coconut topping and spread it over the base. After a couple hours in the fridge, you cut them into bars and dip in melted chocolate! Easy peasy!

I did not taste-test these bars. (That whole not liking coconut thing... is not so beneficial. It's not the taste, it's the texture!  It feels like hair in your mouth! I love the smell of fresh coconut and the flavoring of coconut extract.) 

But my Business Man tasted a few and described them as "good and chewy." Such profound words, I know. He did say the chocolate is a bit overwhelming, but to me there can never be too much chocolate. So I guess if you are not a big chocolate-lover, you might want to skip dipping the bottoms in chocolate and just go for the drizzle on top! 

Here's the recipe! Hope you enjoy!

Samoas Cookie Bars
Makes 16 bars.

For the crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
5 tbsp. sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
splash milk

For the filling:
2 cups shredded coconut
8-oz. chewy caramels (about 30 unwrapped)
pinch salt
2 tbsp. milk

For the chocolatey-topping:
12-oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil, and spray foil with cooking spray. In medium bowl, beat together all crust ingredients until crumbly. If necessary, add a bit more milk. Press crust into pan and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.

While bars are baking, spread coconut onto baking sheet and toast in oven about 12-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to keep it from burning. Let cool.

Once coconut is cool and bars are out of the oven, melt caramels with salt in milk over medium heat in a saucepan. Once caramel is melted, stir in toasted coconut and spread over crust. Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours until firm.

Remove from refrigerator and remove bars from pan by picking up the foil. Cut into 16 bars. Melt chocolate in microwave at 30 seconds intervals, stirring between each, until smooth. Very carefully dip bottom of each cookie bar into chocolate and place onto wax paper-lined baking sheet. You will probably get cookie crumbs into the chocolate. That is okay. It will still taste good. :-)

Drizzle tops of bars with leftover chocolate. Let sit on counter to set up chocolate, or return to refrigerator for a speedier set-up of the chocolate. Store bars in an airtight container.

Source: Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen


theAlmostRunner said...

thank you so much for following my blog! and GIVE ME THOSE COOKIE BARS. give them to me.

Cortney said...

Just an FYI for your Business Man, Fiber One makes a bar that tastes like "Samoas". They are quite delish. Also, where I grew up in NE Ohio we called them Carmel Delights. I just thought that was something they called them 100 years ago when I sold them. I am with you in thinking that these name changes are quite confusing. :)

Sara said...

Haha... the AlmostRunner, if you lived nearby I'd be more than willing to share!

Cortney-- I might have to check that out! He eats granola bars everyday, so he would probably love that. That's weird that in NE Ohio they used to be called Caramel Delights, because that's we live in NE Ohio right now! Maybe they just changed the name?

SeeAliEatSeeAliRun said...

WHOA those bars look good!! Thanks for the recipe idea!

theAlmostRunner said...

another question- would you mind answering it in a comment to me or your next blog post... did you create your layout yourself or have someone layout your blog design for you? it is TOO cute.

Jenn╩╗s Adventure╩╗s said...

OH MY GOSH! Those look ridiculously good... I've been drooling over recipes ALL DAY.. still haven't gone to the store. I may have to add these to the list. ...YUP! Following you now FOR SURE! =) said...

Aren't these just incredible!? I am so glad that you enjoyed them!! :)

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