Prep 2 hrs
Cook 25 mins
These bars are an easy-to-make copycat version of the coconut/caramel/chocolate/shortbread Girl Scout cookie that seem to come less and less to a box every year... maybe it's just me... I LOVE these cookies - I have been an addict since I was in the Girl Scouts at age 5, and upon first bite I knew these bars and I would have a long, loving relationship (when I'm not at the gym frantically trying to elliptical away the evidence of my coconut-caramel love affair). :) NOTE: Prep time includes cooling time.
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- For the cookie base: Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
- 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.
- Pour crumbly dough into prepared 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.
- For the topping: Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt.
- Microwave 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 the topping in an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
- When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter.
- Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat it 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 wax paper.
- Use remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) to drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
- Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
The topping was great, no doubt (but does it really count as a recipe, just melted caramels and bagged coconut?). The cookie base is a disaster?meant to be shortbread, I think, it is a dry, floury mouthful lacking in the buttery richness needed in a shortbread. (note that one of the 5-star reviews does not follow the recipe for the base, and uses sugar cookie dough instead). The base is too tender to hold up to the caramel topping, so when you cut these, the bottom crumbles. Icing the powdery bottom is frustrating and messy. I would actually recommend using something more like a Walker?s shortbread (or even USE Walker?s cookies!). Pure melted chocolate, while fine for icing the bottoms of the bars, is too thick to drizzle. Choose a chocolate wisely, as the flavor predominates--I agree with the one review that recommends not icing the bottoms at all. And lastly, I made the grave error of making these for a party without trying the recipe first. The kids and guest seemed to like them, but I got no ?OMG? comments.
Lessons learned: do not skip the step of mixing together the caramel and coconut! It will not stick to the cookie crust! (it's ok, I remedied the situation lol) The cookie crust is delish. Mixed with the toasted coconut mmmmm. I made these vegan, as I do everything lol Made my own caramel, subbed earth balance for the butter etc and they are devilishly good (and heavy!!) The only thing I would do next time is drizzle some chocolate over the top of each cookie rather then dipping them. I personally found that to be to much chocolate. Made for my cookie trays and I'm sure they'll be a hit! Thank you for the recipe!
I made sugar cookies to use as the base instead of the bars - easier to serve at a function. They were a huge hit! Lots of compliments and many that said they liked them even better than the Girl Scout original!