Food Babies

No, not you…. you, the bowlegged one

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies! Happy Kapril!

Posted by kathleenerindavis on April 2, 2010

Yesterday was April 1st, which marked a lot of events: April Fools Day, The start of Birthday Month (or as I call it, Kapril…there’s a whole song all leading up to my birthday on April 22nd), and the end of my roommate and good pal Shawna’s 3 months of abstaining from booze and sugar.

To celebrate all these events I under took the biggest baking project I’ve ever done. I made a replica of my favorite Girl Scout cookies: Caramel Delights (to make things a little easier on myself I made them in bar form). I was advised to buy parchment paper, but the only roll I could find was fancy recycled “if you care” brand for $6, so I opted out and used this cool baking liner my mom gave me. It worked like a charm.

The first step is making the shortbread cookie, I had enough dough to fill this pan and then had some leftover, so I decided to make a giant heart-shaped one for Shawna’s big day. Here’s what they looked like after being baked while they were cooling on the windowsill.



Next, I had  toast the coconut (it didn’t all brown like the recipe said it would but it turned out fine), then unwrap a million caramels, melt them, mix the coconut, and spread it over the cookies.

The next step proved the most difficult, after cutting the cookies, I attempted to melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave as per the recipe, but they turned into a fried mess. At this point Shawna came home and advised that I should use dark chocolate instead and try a double boiler, something that has always scared me. I set out to buy dark chocolate, but there must have been a run on it in my hood because there was none to be found. I came home and after watching a video online and with Shawna’s guidance I successfully melted the semi sweet chocolate and dipped the bottoms of the cookies, then made a makeshift pastry bag from a sandwich bag with the end clipped and drizzled the chocolate  on top! The whole process took over three hours but…YUM!!

Here’s the Recipe:

Homemade Samoas Bars
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

First, make the crust.

Preheat oven to 350F. 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 prepapred 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.

Topping
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

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.

–KK

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