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.

 

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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.

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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. 

Questions:

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. These look fantastic! Samoas are definitely my favorite, sad I can only have them once a year! So I would totally love to try these. :)

  2. Hubby can eat a whole box of these Girl Scout cookies in one sitting. I think I might try these! And my 5 year old just start out in Daisys. First thing she asked-when do we get to sell cookies? My thoughts too, kid.

  3. I made these this morning and was pretty disappointed. They are extremely greasy. If I were to make these again I’d probably do maybe 7 or 8 Tbs butter and up the flour by 1/4 cup. All of the chips were a little much as well, I would cut these in half.

    • I used Kerrygold butter and did not find them greasy. Of course, your results may vary depending on type of butter used, your taste preferences, and yes, reducing the butter by a few tablespoons and/or increasing the flour based on the batter and your personal preferences is always recommended.

      The chips..well, I love lots of chips. :)

      Thanks for the feedback.

    • You know what just dawned on me…the Coconut Flakes are used are the major difference. The Tropical Traditions coconut flakes I used are very fine and dense; almost like flour. So 1 c of those is probably like 1.5 cups of grocery store coconut flakes.

      I made a note in the recipe about increasing the flour as needed based on your suggestion.

  4. The pictures made me drool!

    I tried making these last night and had a major baking fail. The bars never set and I was left with a thin crust over molten batter. My oven was at the correct temp so I’m curious if I fudged one of the ingredients. Is the 1 cup of brown sugar firmly packed?

    Thanks!

    • Yes, 1 c of brown sugar firmly packed.

      Also based on your oven time and temp, you may have needed to bake them longer.

      It’s hard to tell of course for me from here but those would be my suggestions. Possibly add 1/4 c more flour, too based on your batter.

    • You know what just dawned on me…the Coconut Flakes are used are the major difference. The Tropical Traditions coconut flakes I used are very fine and dense; almost like flour. So 1 c of those is probably like 1.5 cups of grocery store coconut flakes.

      I also noted in the recipe to increase the flour by 1/4c or as needed.

  5. When I first saw the post I thought it said “Samosa Bars”–and now I can’t decide what I want to eat!

  6. First time reading your blog — love it! These look incredible, and the pictures are amazing! Can’t wait to give these a try.

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  8. These look fantastic! I love making bar cookies too…they’re so much simpler than batch after batch of drop cookies. Tagalongs and Samoas were my favorite GS cookies…I love the thought of an at-home recipe…especially because it’s a while until they are sold again!

  9. Oh yummers! I didn’t think it was possible for you to make more bars that are equally as yummers as the amazing ones you already have! LOVE the pics and the recipes. You rock, lady! :-)

  10. Niiice work, Averie. I love the simplicity and ease of your recipes. Just goes to show you that you can have tons of flavor and texture without over-complicating things. Score!

    Btw, I’m a big fan of samoas and thin mints, too. Those are my fave GSCs.

  11. Those look too good for words!! Samoas were always my favorite when I was a Girl Scout!! :)

  12. Just saw one of your shots on FG, looks fabulous lined up with all those other gorgeous shots around it… seriously you’re amazing!
    I was a girl scout for many years growing up and have such fond memories of bon fires and sleeping over in the museum of science, and yes selling cookies door to door. Priceless experiences.

  13. These look so incredibly dense and sweet! Being Australian I’ve never had samoas and lack the ingredients for this, but i can dream!

  14. I was just thinking about my favorite girl scout cookies, samoas. You read my mind! I was a brownie in 1st grade, and had a ball selling cookies. Happy Sunday!

  15. Oh. Em. Gee. This is just plain evil.

    I was just having a conversation the other day with the husband about Samoa cookies. I can’t wait to make these!

  16. Samoas are my ffaaavorite GS cookie ever. There’s just something about butterscotch and chocolate together, then throw in coconut and oh em geeeeee.

  17. omg YES!! These look amazing! I’ve never tried or even seen the Girl Scout samoa cookies, but the blog world seems to go CRAZY over them. I used to love the golden cookies with the cream in the middle, but…they’re not vegan :( Girl Scouts need to jump the bandwagon ;) haha.

    I’m with you on the bars. Sometimes I’d much rather have a cookie, & so I’ll put in the effort. But usually I make bars, squares, or pie cuts out of whatever I’m making. I love a lot of Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipes for this reason. No fuss, homemade, deliciousness :) I’m totally trying these! I can SEE the soft texture in your pictures and it’s making my mouth water. Beautiful :)

  18. I love bars for their ease too, especially if they are one-bowl recipes! Last year I managed to find some samoas ice cream, I love the flavor!

  19. I’ve got to try these! And thanks for making a vegan, gluten-free option. I played around with the Samoa last cookie season and came up with these simple raw versions – coconut, dates, dark chocolate, and done!

    http://bread-n-chocolate.blogspot.com/2011/04/girls-just-want-to-have-fun-and.html

  20. These look soooooooo delish *drools*

    Love the fact they are easy to veganise and make GF :-) I will so have to make them and source some vegan butterscotch chips, although I would probably do with vegan white chocolate chips ;-)

    In NZ we have Girl Guides, and most people buy boxes of the GG biscuits (sorry, in NZ a cookie is referred to as a biscuit). I used to buy a box during the annual biscuit selling appeal and devour them in a week during my pre-vegan days. The chocolate covered one were my favourite.

    All of the photography you have been doing is making me want to learn photography. Just need to save up for decent DSLR camera and the right software to process the photos.

  21. Yum!! I love the simple vegan adaptations. I was a Girl Scout and I was super shy so I HATED selling cookies. I loved eating them though! I think Thin Mints were my favorite, but I liked those shortbread ones too.

  22. wow, these look SOO good!
    it´s hard to say “no, thanks” to children, isn´t it?? I never buy stuff I don´t want or get talked into something, but I have to say its way more difficult with children…

  23. Oh my they look good….
    Butterscotch chips??? I soooo cannot get them ANYWHERE! :(

  24. Those are adorable little cookie bars! I was a girl scout my whole life up until high school. Selling cookies was always fun but I never was crazy competitive about it; some people would go NUTS. My favorite cookie was Tagalongs, creamy PB in there, yum!

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