Samoas Bars


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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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips

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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chipsAnd into my stomach.

The flavor of these bars really resembles Samoas…

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips

…There are chocolate chips involved

Jar of chocolate chips

…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.

bowl of butterscotch chips

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

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips

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.

Magic Eight Bars with chocolate chips

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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips

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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips

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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips

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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips with bowl of butterscotch chips

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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips

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.

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chipsTake that, Girl Scouts.

Crumbs and all. 

Samoas stacked with butterscotch and chocolate chips


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.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Great post. I love Samoas Cookies. Thanks for providing the recipe. Images you have used in the above blog are looking wonderful.

  2. Juuuust clicked over to this from the Thin Mints and OMG. I need these, like, yesterday. Samoas are my die-hard favorite cookie, almost ever, but for sure with Girl Scouts. I sold cookies as a Brownie and it was so much fun, until I just grew out of it–but never grew out of eating the cookies, FYI. :)

    1. You would love them then. If you make them, just make sure to let them sit for awhile (read the comments/my comment replies re oil absorption) & you’re set!

  3. I just made these tonight…delish! My husband loves Samoas, but being that I am GF I can never have any of the cookies he buys. He tried one of the bars and said they tasted just like the cookie! I made them with GF flour and used only 1/4 c butter. They didn’t turn out greasy and they firmed up pretty quick. After they cooled a little, I lifted the entire pan out (using the foil) to finish cooling on a wire rack and could cut them within 15 minutes.

    1. I love really detailed feedback like this. The butter amount, that you used GF flour, and that within 15 mins they were good to go! I have a tendency to freeze all my desserts because I have lots on hand at any given time :) And they are not greasy in the least for me and glad they were the same for you AND that your hubs thought they tasted just like Samoas!