I have been seeing these homemade samoas bars in the food blogosphere for a long time and when it came to planning my 24, 24, 24 party, they were one of the first recipes I had set my mind on making. I absolutely love samoas, but I try not to indulge in them too much because they aren't so great for you and they contain some questionable ingredients. These bars are super simple. Basically you make a shortbread crust, toast some coconut and mix it with some caramel and then dip them in chocolate. Since these bars use high quality ingredients, they are a bit richer than the stuff that comes from those little girls at the grocery store so you probably will only be able to eat one, but don't worry because if they aren't all gobbled down at the party, you can take them to work and people will love you more than they already do. They keep well in the refrigerator for days too. One of my coworkers commented that they taste more like coconut macaroons than samoas, but they are still delish. When I was dipping these in chocolate, I placed the finished cookies on wax paper and once the chocolate had set, a lot of the chocolate on the bottom peeled off so I will probably spray the wax paper or try parchment next time, but I was very happy with the results. Toasted coconut is my new favorite ingredient and I am trying to find more ways to use it. Suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments.
(From Baking Bites)
Makes 28-30 bars
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
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12 ounces chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350. 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.
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.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Posted by Esi at 9:03 AM