It will soon be Girl Scout Cookie season, but most of us are probably pretty low on our supply of Girl Scout cookies from last year. If you have a samao cookie craving, or just want to make something yummy and a little different then your average dessert, then you may want to give this one a try.
These are a little bit of work. I broke it up into two days of work and allowed the crust to cool overnight.
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, room temperature
1.5 cups (11.25 oz.) brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1.25 cups (5.25 oz.) AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups (6 oz.) shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1 cup (10 oz.) block caramel or 36 Kraft caramels, divided; OR 10 oz. of caramel sundae sauce
1.5 cups (9 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tb. milk or cream
1. Toast coconut: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay out the coconut into your 9×13 pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Stir once or twice to toast evenly. Watch carefully! I stirred a lot towards the end kept an eye starting at 19 minutes because it will turn from light golden to dark fast. Cool for a minute and dump into a bowl so you can use your 9×13 pan again.
2. To make the bars: kick the oven up to 350 degrees. For easier removal, line the 9×13 pan with parchment paper hanging over the sides or non stick foil. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Then add the vanilla and egg. Next, add the flour, salt, baking powder and 1.5 cups of the toasted coconut. Spread this into the 9×13 pan. Bake 15 minutes.
3. Towards the end of baking, melt half of your caramels (5 oz.) in the microwave. Drizzle onto the hot crust. **Note, the caramel block might melt great. I did Kraft caramels and it took forever and made a huge mess. I think the caramel sundae sauce might work better here or perhaps skip it altogether because you can’t possibly drizzle Kraft caramels all over the crust.
4. Put the crust back in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove and use a plastic knife to cut the hot crust into 18-24 bars. Leave them in the pan. This is just to prepare the bars to be cut later. Now Sprinkle the Chocolate chips onto the crust. Wait 5 minutes and they will spread like magic.
5. Allow to cool completely. At this point it was late at night and I simply put a lid on the slightly warm pan to sit out overnight.
6. Remove the bars from the pan … which is really easy if you used that parchment or foil. Then I cut the bars near the marks I made earlier using my big fat chef cutting knife. Press down firmly and rock back and forth. It takes a little elbow grease, but they come out nice.
7. Now take the other half of your caramels (or just the same 10 oz and skip the weird drizzle step) and your 1 Tb. of milk/cream. Microwave and stir until melted and creamy. If not creamy enough, add another .5-1 Tb. of milk/cream. Drizzle over each bar. Halfway through this my caramel got too hard and I just microwaved it again to soften. After drizzling each bar, I sprinkled it immediately with the rest of the toasted coconut.
Recipe from King Arthur Flour