Samoa Brownie Bars
These Samoa Brownie Bars have a shortbread crust topped with a brownie layer and caramel coconut inspired by the Girl Scout cookie. Did anyone else freak out a while back when Girl Scout Samoas Cookies changed their name to Caramel deLites? How dare they mess with perfection. I thought maybe it was because they had gotten some heat from naming them after the people from Samoa but it turns out that wasn’t it at all.
The cookies are produced by two different bakers so a couple of the other cookies have two names as well because the ingredients differ slightly from each baker.
I’ve been loyal to Samoas for years. I can remember in college having absolutely no money and coming out of the grocery store only to succumb to the Girl Scouts selling the cookies outside of the store.
And then there’s my husband. I heard him at the door when the Girl Scout came by selling cookies.
“Um, okay. Yeah, I’m gonna need 10 boxes of Samoas, 10 boxes of Thin Mints, and 10 boxes of Tagalongs.”
These are not quite the bar form of the Samoa cookie. There’s a brownie layer thrown in there. I didn’t hear you complaining.
Shortbread crust, brownie layer, and caramel coconut topping. Yeah. They’re pretty fabulous.
Hey, what do you know? A shortbread crust. Again. Kind of my favorite thing ever. I’m way too lazy to make individual cookies so bars are the way to go. Next, your brownie layer.
You can use any size boxed mix you want – or homemade. But I figured that these already have a couple of steps so why not simplify the process. I added some chocolate chips to the mix to intensify the flavor. To toast your coconut, lay the sweetened coconut on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 300 degrees stirring every 10 minutes.
You want it pretty crispy and golden brown. This is what mine looked like halfway.
Samoa Brownie Bars
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cold and cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package brownie mix (I used an 18 ounce box)
- Water , oil, and eggs called for in the directions on the brownie box
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Coconut Caramel Layer:
- 3 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 (12 ounce) bag of caramels, unwrapped
- 3 tablespoons milk or cream
- Chocolate Drizzle:
- 1/3 semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly over baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure coconut browns evenly. Set aside to cool.
Turn oven up to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish. Combine all crust ingredients and cut with pastry knife, or mix with mixer or food processor until coarse pea-sized lumps form. Press into prepared baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour over shortbread crust and bake according to box directions and toothpick test comes out mostly clean.
In a small bowl combine caramels and milk. Heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between until melted. Place toasted coconut in a large bowl and add the caramel stirring well to combine.
Pour coconut caramel mixture over brownies and gently spread evenly over the top. It will be thick so you might have to gently press it in an even layer.
Place chocolate chips into a zip-loc baggie and put into microwave for 20 second intervals. Squish the bag with your fingers to mix and smooth the chocolate between intervals. When melted smooth, snip a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag and drizzle over bars. You can also cool the bars and cut them and then drizzle each one with chocolate for a more finished look.
Source: adapted from JaseysCrazyDaisy. Added chocolate chips to the brownie batter and made my own caramel sauce and drizzle.