Samoas Bars

Does anyone not like Girl Scout Cookies?  If you don’t like them, I’ll be glad to take them off your hands.

Specifically, if you have Thin Mints or Samoas cookies, those are my top picks.  I love them so much that it was time to make an at-home version of Samoas.

Here’s my take on Samoas Cookies in bar form.

The Girl Scouts also call Samoas “Caramel deLites” now, too.  I’m not sure why the word “Lite” is anywhere near these cookies.


They sure aren’t “lite” but they sure are amazing.  As in, I can eat a half box in a sitting, easily.

Even if you don’t “love” coconut, and I know lots of people who don’t, most people find Samoas darn tasty.  The coconut in them just works.

I wanted to create a recipe that was easy and that brought a little Samoas action into my life.

And into my stomach.

The flavor of these bars really resembles Samoas…

…There are chocolate chips involved

…And coconut flakes and butterscotch chips, too.

I think the butterscotch chips provide the bars with the “Caramel”  that you’d find in the Caramel deLite part of Samoas cookies.

The texture of the bars is blondie-ish but because of the coconut flakes,  but they have more chewiness and density than blondies.

In a way they remind me of Magic Eight Bars but the Samoas Bars are denser than Magic Eight Bars.  There’s no graham cracker crust for starters and even though the two look similar, they are distinctly different.

One of the reasons I made these bars is that I was rushing around and wanted to bake something but didn’t want to go to the trouble of scooping out cookies, one by one, on a cookie sheet.

I’d rather make bars than make cookies.  It’s so much faster to spread batter in a pan than to scoop out cookie ball shapes onto a cookie sheet.

Of course, these cookies were worth it, but sometimes a 9 x 13 pan and a wham-bam-thank-you-sheet-pan-ma’am is where it’s at.

Thus, bars trumped cookies this particular day.

I noticed plenty of recipes on the internet for “Samoas Bars” but many of them were a bit fussy. 

Base layers, middle layers, top layers, baking the layers in stages, drizzling chocolate on the top, dipping the base of the cookies in chocolate.  Those recipes get Brownie Points <– get it for beautiful cookies that look like the real thing and probably taste fabulous.

I’d like to think my recipe gets Brownie Points because it’s easy and goof-proof and very non-fussy: One bowl, one spoon, it takes less than 5 minutes to make the batter, 20 minutes or so to bake, and in under a half hour you can make these, bake them, and get the dishes done.

That’s success in my book.



Samoas Bars (with easy Vegan & Gluten-Free Adaptations)

1/2 c butter * (1 stick, and see Edited to add note)

1 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1 egg (or 1 flax/chia “egg” or egg replacer)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c shredded coconut * (I used Tropical Traditions unsweetened shredded coconut.  They are unsweetened and very fine, and see Edited to Add note)

3/4 c all-purpose flour (note: increase this based on the consistency of your batter by about 1/4 c as needed; your batter should be fairly thick)

1/2 c butterscotch chips (or peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chips, or vegan butterscotch chips)

3/4 c chocolate chips

Directions: In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter (approximately 90 seconds).  It’s ok if it doesn’t all melt completely; some liquid + some softened butter is fine.  Add the sugars & stir.  Wait until the mixture is somewhat cool (about 5 minutes so you don’t scramble the egg) and then add all remaining items other than the chips & stir.  Fold in the chips.  Pour mixture into a foil-lined and sprayed 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.  Sprinkle a few extra chips on the top if desired.  Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes.  Allow to cool well, slice, serve.  Store extras on the countertop, refrigerator, or freeze for longer-term storage.

Yields: 12-18 bars depending on size of slices

To make vegan: use margarine, use 1 flax or chia ‘egg’ or other egg replacer and vegan butterscotch chips

To make gluten free: use GF flour and take note of trace gluten in the other ingredients.

*Edited to Add: I used Tropical Traditions Shredded Coconut and had no issue with these bars being greasy.  I cannot guarantee results if you use other types of coconut.  Coconut can be greasy as it inherently contains lots of fat, but varies widely by brand.  Other brands could contribute to these bars becoming greasy.  I do not know because I have only used Tropical Traditions brand coconut.

If you are using shredded coconut that you’d typically find in most grocery stores, you may want to consider reducing the amount of butter to 1/4 c to start with, and adding more butter after looking at your batter, if you feel it’s on the dry side.  Not hard to add a bit more melted butter at the end should you feel that’s necessary.

Also, because coconut fat liquifies when heated, if you find these bars to be “greasy” or oily immediately after making them, wait 24 hours and you will likely notice that most of the oil has been “re-absorbed” into the bars.  This is because the coconut fat re-solidifies and hardens.  This recipe could be one of those “gets better the second day” recipes if you notice any oily issues.  You can speed this process up by freezing the bars and upon thawing them to room temperature you will notice any oiliness will have been dramatically reduced.


I really liked these because they reminded me of all the Girl Scout cookies I used to sell when I was a Girl Scout.

And all the Girl Scout cookies I used to consume.  I usually had to hit my parents up for extra money because I was sampling my own inventory a bit too much.  Ahem.

Because of these bars I just may be able to resist those $5-per-box boxes of Samoas which last precisely one day in our house.

Those darn Girl Scouts standing in front of Target or the grocery store peddling their cookies are pretty hard to resist, though.

I will remind myself that I can make these bars.

Take that, Girl Scouts.

Crumbs and all. 


1. What’s your favorite kind of Girl Scout Cookie? Do you like Samoas Cookies?

My two favorite cookies are Samoas and Thin Mints.

Raw Vegan Thin Mint Fudge is easy, no bake, and has the flavor of Thin Mint cookies.  If you make that recipe, go light handed with the peppermint extract (very powerful stuff!)

In 2009 I made Raw Vegan Samoas Cookies.  They were one of the first things I ever made in my dehydrator.

However, I do not recommend making those cookies unless you have about two days.   The cookie crust, the filling, all of the pieces and parts and stages involved were cumbersome.  Like about 18 hours each to complete.  Dehydrators work slowly.  Too slowly.  Ummm, no thanks.   I embrace my oven.

I also like Tagalongs and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, but not nearly as much as Thin Mints or Samoas.

2. Were you a Girl Scout?  Did you sell cookies?  Do you feel any pressure to buy cookies?  Or other “school fundraiser” type things from kids?

I was a Girl Scout.  I sold cookies, and I loved it.  I loved talking people into buying cookies.  Not really sure how much “talking into” there was since most people seem to love Girl Scout Cookies, but I did enjoy the thrill of the sale and seeing my order form fill up.

I try to support kids’ fundraisers and buy things as much as is practical when I am asked.  How do you tell a friend who asks you to buy a raffle ticket so her child’s school can get new playground equipment or to buy some candy bars to help fund her kid’s school band trip or class field trip, “Oh, sorry, I can’t.”   <– I feel like such a scrooge if I do.

So, yes, I have bought more candy bars, raffle tickets, Happenings books, cookies, calendars, and magazine subscriptions than I ever needed.  I do occasionally say no, but I’m a pushover.  Yes, I am.

P.S. Thanks for the $100 Visa Giftcard & Pedometer Giveaway entries.   Winner announced next post.

116 comments on “Samoas Bars”

  1. Woah! These look so good! :)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!! :)

  2. I love GS cookies…but, also my adult self actually usually likes the homemade versions better. I bet yours are better than the real thing!
    I was a GS…and I liked selling cookies. Thin mints were my fave, but I like samoas and the shortbread ones (can’t remember what they’re called). I always buy stuff from people when they ask—wrapping paper, cookie dough, candles…you name it, I just buy it. Usually I give it to someone or it sits around till I throw it out (unless it’s wrapping paper or something I can actually use).
    My dad taught 5th grade and every year we had a billion GS cookies b/c he couldn’t say no either…even when I was selling them!

  3. yum- must make these (today)!!! Samoas and thin mints were my favorite as well. I sold a lot of cookies when I was little, I always won the giant mugs for selling a lot. And then I got older and I was less cute and didn’t really do as well. (more shy too….)
    You know it is funny, when I got older they did not taste like I remembered. ..
    These look like they would “trump” the samoas- (look out girls scouts! :D).

  4. oh wow! those bars look INCREDIBLE!

  5. Pingback: Coconut Oil Recipes

  6. I’m pretty sure everyone likes girl scouts cookies. If they say they don’t they are probably lying ;) Can’t wait to make these!

  7. You better BELIEVE I just pinned this!! Awesome pics (as always!)

  8. Just yesterday I said no to a telephone marketer. Afterwards I told my husband “Did you know you’re married to a cold-hearted bitch who won’t give a gift basket to a child with leukemia?”
    The girl scouts are just as unsuccessful at squeezing funds from my hardened heart. And the neighbor who is always collecting money to send flowers to other sick neighbors.
    Now, if someone wants some time, I’ll be happy to water their lawn or pick up trash or run an errand. But money, no…I just don’t have it to give.

  9. Hah I still am a Girl Scout, highest level :) Usually my friends and family are constantly putting in orders for the cookies, they’re just so addicting. Your bars look so delicious, great idea!

  10. I remember we weren’t allowed to seel cookies at stores like that. The Girl Scouts must have realized how much more money they could make by selling them that way and changed their tune.

    I am all about the bars too – but I’m tell you that the cookie scoop makes the clean up easier than a pan. Plus, if you use a scale instead of measuring cups and a silpat, you wash the bowl, fork, and cookie scoop. And then rinse the pan. That’s it.

    Right, and the cookies look phenomenal, per usual. I call them Caramel deLites – that’s our midwestern cookie! I loved those, the peanut butter patties (Tagalongs for silly westerners) and thin mints. I can’t pick a favorite between those. I’d eat them all.

  11. Mine were definitely samoas and thin mints were a close second. These look great. Love that they can be made GF easily. And oh yes, was a GS so sold plenty of boxes….or mom bought plenty ;-)

  12. your pics always make me drool. end of story.

  13. Ahhh, samoas are my FAVORITE. I think I could eat an entire box in one sitting!!! Love your spin on them!

  14. Samoas are definitely my favorite. I hated when they changed the name, it’s just wrong! These look amazing and that little wood cutting board is quite possibly the cutest thing ever :)

  15. In Canada the Girl Guides only sell two kinds of cookies: chocolate sandwich & vanilla sandwich (one row of each in the box) or Chocolate mint cookies (my fav). Also, they only sell the sandwich cookies in the Sping and the mint ones in the fall. I feel as though the Girl Scouts offerings are way better :)

    I love coconut though and will add these to the line-up, and maybe see if I can find the real deal when I am in Spokane next month :)

  16. These look absolutely delicious. We don’t really have such a tradition of GS cookies here and so I have never had a Samoa Bar but the combination of coconut, butterscotch and chocolate is a sure way to win my heart!

  17. Are they not called Caramel DeLites anymore?! Those are my FAVOOORITE, mmmm <3

  18. Is it just me or are your recipes even *more* droolworthy than usual? Must be all the chocolate and caramel…yum!

  19. I was a Brownie and really wanted to be a Girl Scout, but the only group near me didn’t want me. Which sounds awful, but it was run by this one mom and she just wanted her daughter’s friends in it and no one else. Why would I want to hang out at her house if she had such ill will towards a kid?

    It’s funny because I really don’t like actual shredded coconut, but Samoas are still my absolute favorite Girl Scout cookie. I could eat an entire box of those! I don’t know what they do to the coconut in them, but they are delicious.

  20. Samoas were always my favorite, as well as frozen thin mints. I could easily polish off an entire box by myself!

    I bet your samoas bars would be great crumbled and mixed into ice cream too!

    P.S. Thanks for providing the vegan recipe substitutions!

  21. I have never heard of samoas … I don’t think our Girl Scouts sell those.

    The hubby always buys Girl Scout cookies if they come around. I don’t like ’em though.

  22. Oh my goodness, those look absolutely amazing! I am the one who is not too keen on coconut flavour, but in small quantities I handle it well. Looking forward to trying them!

  23. I have never eaten anything like that before, never heard of Samoas anything.. hmmm chocolate chips and coconut?! YUM :) I’m going to check out your raw version crazy dehydrator waiting aside, me & my lil one love eating mainly raw.

    The real reason I wanted to leave a comment was to compliment your photography. This post blew my socks off! Your photos could be in any recipe book – these are very professional! I’m super inspired by how fast your skills have improved… I dabble in food photography but nothing like this :)

    • You’ve never heard of Samoas? Try them!

      Thanks for the compliments on my photography and that they could be in a recipe book. Recipe development and cooking and thinking it all up and then cooking it all is one thing…but then the photography is another thing all together. Thank you for noticing; that’s the highest compliment you could pay me :) Thank you!!!

  24. You won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve never had a Girl Scout cookie! (being allergic to gluten and didn’t grow up in the US either) –I appreciate your thought on the bar versus cookie thing: I asked a question about that on my blog just earlier this week, having had a hard time being patient scooping out cookies, but very happy with the evennness of the result. I definitely make bar-type things more often, but there’s something so nice about the evenness of cookie-type things.

    This sounds like a winner recipe for simplicity and yum-factor!

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