Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Girl Scout Samoa Cookie Bars

As I promised my dear sister, I made these bars this morning. She found this recipe on Baking Bites (where I believe you can find recipes for most of the girl scout cookies). Then she promptly sent it to me and demanded that I make them. I'm not sure why, it's not like she lives within driving distance to come and eat the entire pan with me while we watch LOST tonight. So I suppose that task will be up to Colin. I doubt he'll have a problem with that. Anyhow, back to the cookie bars. AWESOME!!!! I mean come on they are Samoas. Of course they are incredible. The only thing I would change in the future is to make the cookie layer a little thinner.

For the cookie base:
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9"x13" 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 to 25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

For the topping:
3 c. shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12 oz. good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are OK)

Preheat oven to 300 F. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes. 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 to 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 cookie base. Using the spatula, spread the topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled. When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large kitchen knife. 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 wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate 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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