Monday, July 13, 2009

Caramel de Lite (Samoa) Bars

Ok, so, you like Girl Scout Cookies, right? If you don't...what's wrong?! Haha! I sold Girl Scout Cookies for like 8 years, so I definitely know how yummy these tasty cookies are, but I never thought about being able to make them on my own! Well, this recipe isn't making the cookie persay, but it is making a bar that is very much like the cookie. It's mimicing the Caarmel de Lite (aka Samoa) Girl Scout Cookies. Erin from Dinner and Dessert originally posted this recipe, and I decide to give it a whirl for a co-worker's birthday. Now you can make these an enjoy a Girl Scout treat while they aren't being sold!

Here's the ingredients and instructions as taken from Dinner and Dessert:

Homemade Samoas Bars
Cookie Base

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon 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 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. (I, as did Erin, thought this crust was too thick. Perhaps use a pan with more surface area or decrease this recipe a bit. The cookie crust definitely needs to be thinner.)Topping
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12 ounces good-quality chewy caramels (Krista Kooks used these Caramel Bits)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
10 ounces 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.

Makes 30 bar cookies.

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.
These bars are extremely tasty and a wonderful after dinner treat. Make these ASAP! You won't regret it :)

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