Courtesty of Jess at Chubb Kitchen (http://chubbkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/04/perfection-in-bar-samoa-bars.html)
Monday, April 27, 2009So Girlscout season came and went, and all I was left with was one box of Samoas, my all time favorite girl scout cookies. Sure, tag-a-longs are good, and thin mints are a close runners-up, but be serious. Samoas are the best. Coconut, caramel and chocolate is possibly the most awesome flavor combination there is. While perusing Tastespotting, as I do almost daily these days, I kept noticing gorgeous pictures of homemade samoas, and then samoa bars. Samoa bars...yum. All the flavors of samoas without having to use two completely different sized cookie cutters and rolling pins and other kitchen equipment I was simply not inspired to use at the time. Sometimes I love a good complex recipe that allows me to show off my creative genius. Other times I just want something quick, relatively easy, and oh so fulfilling. This recipe definitely fits into the latter. I used a homemade Samoa cookie recipe by Baking Bites.
- Keep the dough as thin as possible while maintaining some structural integrity. I know this is a tough line to navigate, but I did feel like the shortbread was a bit thick on my cookies. Also, I may use the shortbread recipe on the actual Samoa Bar recipe Baking Bites has, and not the recipe for the cookies. The shortbread recipes are a little bit different, and I think using the bar version will lead to a shortbread that sticks together better when cut and dipped, as mine had a tendency to fall apart, especially when dipped in the chocolate. (Still tasted great though, once you chew it a couple times it all gets to the same state of destruction.) The dough will puff slightly as it cooks, so I would even recommend erring on the thinner side than the thicker one.
- Pour the coconut mixture on while the shortbread is still rather hot, and while the caramels are still hot and melted. Mine started to cool just a bit too much and it made it difficult to spread evenly. I ended up with a thick part in the center. Reheat the caramel/coconut mixture if necessary to ensure easy spreadability. The thicker this layer, the harder to cut- leading to fragmented shortbread, and the harder to chew, leading to sore jaws.
- Keep the chocolate as hot as possible. I'm not sure if there's a way to thin out chocolate, but if you know the secret, please, let me know and use it to dip the cookies in. The chocolate was so heavy (for lack of a better word) that the cookie would stick to the chocolate and fall apart instead of sticking to the coconut.
- Be careful. Once you eat one, you'll want to eat the whole batch. They're THAT good.
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.
Makes 30 bar cookies.