I reported last week that I had hit my goal for the Great American Bake Off (Yay!), but that I was still taking donations in exchange for baked goods. Another one of my friends, Randi, decided to take me up on the offer and requested not too much chocolate. I went to my now favorite blog for recipes, Baked Perfection, and found this recipe for Samoas (aka Caramel deLites to some) Bars because I know that the kids of Club Haven love Girl Scout cookies. These bars were quite involved and took me pretty much an entire half day to complete. First you bake the cookie base and let it cool:
Then you toast the coconut and let it cool:
Next, you melt the caramels and fold in the coconut and spread it on the cookie base and let it cool before cutting into bars:
Finally, you melt the chocolate and dip the bottoms of the bars in chocolate (I actually ended up spreading it on the bottoms since the cookie base was almost getting suctioned off the coconut top) and then drizzle chocolate on the tops of the bars. And voila, final product:
Hope Randi and whoever she decides to share with at Club Haven enjoy the newest confections from kitchen de Jaclyn! Here is the recipe as I made it:
Homemade Samoas Bars
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
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. 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.
5 cups shredded coconut (sweetened Baker’s coconut)
19-oz good-quality chewy caramels (Werther's)
1/2 t salt
4.5 T milk
16 oz. semisweet chocolate (Nestle chocolate morsels)
Preheat oven to 350. 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 a spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled. When cooled, cut into 24 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter.
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. Spread chocolate on the base and sides of each bar and place on a clean piece of parchment 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.
Makes 24 bar cookies.
You can find the original recipe from Baked Perfection here: SAMOA BARS