Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Homemade Samoa Bars

Our cousin LeAnn sent me a bunch of recipes to include in the Yancey Family Reunion Cookbook. This is one of them. Bart needed a treat to bring to a potluck at work, so I made these. They are very yummy--although I like them even better the second day! I suggest cutting them into small pieces, as they are rather rich. I used the Peter's block caramel that I get from Gygi's. It worked perfectly.

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 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 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.

3 cups 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 degrees. 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.


  1. These look really yummy. I did a search a few months ago when I was craving Girl Scout Samoa Cookies and none of the recipes I found look as yummy as this one. I'm definitely going to have to try this.

  2. I love 'em! It's all my favorite treats, combined!