Coconut Caramel Bars

"If you love the taste of Samoa cookies, you will enjoy these gooey and chewy bars loaded with coconut, caramel and chocolate! If you have any question as to lifting these bars from the pan, line the bottom with parchment. This recipe was the grand prize winner for King Arthur Flour and the Baker's Catalogue."
photo by Chef on the coast photo by Chef on the coast
photo by Chef on the coast
Ready In:
1hr 25mins


  • 12 cup butter
  • 1 12 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 14 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded coconut, toasted, divided
  • 1 cup caramel, divided (about 30 individual caramel candies)
  • 1 12 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon milk or 1 tablespoon cream


  • Toast the coconut: Spread coconut in a 9x13" pan, bake in preheated 300 degree F oven 20-25 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring half way through baking time.
  • Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg, until well blended.
  • Mix in flour, salt, baking powder and 1 1/2 cups toasted coconut (reserving 1/2 cup for topping).
  • Spread mixture in un-greased 9x13" pan, lining with parchment if you desire.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile melt 1/2 (1/2 cup) of the caramel in microwave.
  • Drizzle melted caramel over baked crust and return to oven for 10-12 minutes or until medium brown and caramel is bubbly.
  • Removed crust from oven, working quickly, use a heat proof plastic knife (plastic reduces the drag on sticky baked goods), or a bench knife, to loosen the edges of the crust from the pan; cut into 2 dozen bars, leaving them in the pan. (It is easier to cut these bars while still warm).
  • Sprinkle bars with the chocolate chips.
  • Allow chocolate chips to soften about 5 minutes, then spread chocolate evenly over bars.
  • Set aside to cool completely.
  • Loosen the bars from the edge of pan again, using a flexible spatula to lift the bars out of the pan.
  • Set on a rack.
  • Combine remaining caramel with 1 tablespoon milk or cream and heat until caramel is melted enough to pour.
  • Stir to combine with milk or cream, drizzle over the bars.
  • Garnish with reserved toasted coconut.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Michelle S.
    It was ok, very sweet but lacked in coconutty flavor. In hindsight i think Coconut extract or almond extract would have been an improvement. I liked the texture, but overall was disappointed.
  2. hoozle
    These are amazing! I substituted the caramel candies and used some Cajeta sauce I bought in mexico and they turned out awesome, probably a little gooier and but after letting them harden overnight they turned out perfectly. I lined the pan with parchment paper and cut them but didn't remove them from the pan as th recipe calls for, just because I used the sauce and I was afraid they would fall apart if I took them out right away. Great recipe!
  3. dk.nieman
    YUM! These are the best! I didn't have any caramels on hand so I made up a batch using #33578. Of course doing it that way I set aside 1 cup of the caramels and accidentally put all of it on the crust instead of half. Opps! It tasted yummy that way anyway. They do taste just like the Girl Scout Samoas! I think it is the toasted coconut that makes them so yummy! I will make these again...and perhaps I might try making the crust in muffin cups and adding a rolo to the center for an even easier recipe. Thanks for the great recipe!
  4. MichMondello
    These were great. They really did remind me of the Girl Scout cookies. I cut mine after they were cool, I just used a sharp knife and had no problems.
  5. JenzyGirl
    I made these last night to take today for a teacher's birthday. I had some problems. When running the knife (plastic) through the crust it made a mess and the crust just ran together (soft). I put in the fridge after everything was together and cut this morning with a sharp bar spatula. Next time I probably won't cut until the bars are hardened. The teacher's had all but two bars left by noon and I had cut them fairly small. These are very good and these do remind me of Samoa cookies. Thank you.


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