Samoa Bars

Samoa Bars

Samoa BarsWe are in full on Girl Scout cookie season judging by my friend’s posts on Facebook. And I think I made one friend’s daughter particularly happy when I bought enough Thin Mints to last me straight through until the next Girl Scout cookie selling season. No, I’m not going to tell you how many boxes that would be. Trust me. It’s a lot.

Thin Mints are my hands down favorite Girl Scout cookie variety, but my next runner up favorite would be the Samoas. Caramel, coconut, chocolate and a crunchy vanilla cookie. So good with a steaming cup of coffee. The true breakfast of champions.

But after investing a chunk of money in Thin Mints, I decided to make my own Samoa inspired creation at home.

samoa barsInstead of cookies, I decided to go with a bar. My bars have a rich shortbread base, topped with an easy to make caramel layer, smothered with toasted coconut and a generous drizzle of chocolate ganache. Who needs a cookie when you can have a wedge of this?

samoa barsWhile none of the steps in this recipe are complicated, it does take a bit of time. But the end result is a very large batch that will have you and yours in Samoa heaven for days to come. Unless you have two teen boys like I do. Then I can’t guarantee much more than forty eight hours max.

samoa bars

Samoa Bars
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
All the flavors of the classic Girl Scout cookie in bar form. Toasted coconut, homemade caramel and chocolate ganache on a rich shortbread base.
For The Shortbread (shortbread recipe adapted from Baking with Julia)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
For The Caramel
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 Tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 3 cups flaked coconut, toasted
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer on high speed, beat butter until fluffy. Add egg yolks and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Turn mixer speed down to low and add dry ingredients. Mix just until everything comes together.
  5. Grease a 9x13 baker. Line the center with parchment paper with a little overlap on the ends. This will make removal from the pan easier.
  6. Press shortbread evenly into pan. Bake for thirty minutes or until lightly golden.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  8. Prepare caramel.
  9. In a large sauce pan, heat butter and cream over medium heat just until the butter is melted. Give it a stir and take it off of the heat.
  10. Attach a candy thermometer to a 4 quart or larger pot (this is very important, make sure to use this size). Combine sugars, corn syrup and water in pot. Cook over medium-high heat giving it a stir every now and again until the temperature hits 240º. Turn off the heat and add the cream/butter mixture. Turn heat back up and continue to cook over medium-high heat until the temperature comes back up to 240º.
  11. Once at 260º, take off heat and pour caramel over shortbread.
  12. While caramel is hot, sprinkle coconut over the top. Put in fridge for at least two hours.
  13. For ganache, heat chocolate morsels and cream over low heat until chocolate is melted and the mixture is silken.
  14. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Pour into a piping bag or squeezie bottle and garnish top of bars with chocolate. Allow chocolate to cool completely. Slice into squares.




  1. Anonymous says:

    Okay Melanie, we are twin sisters born of different mothers, I am sure of it! Thin mints; boxes and boxes of them sleeves at a time. Samoa cookies, Samoa bars… yummy! Your stack of temptation is pure bliss. I will definitely have to try this creation as soon as humanly possible!! Wonderful!

  2. If you have a Dollar General near you, their store brand mint cookies are the same as GS Thin Mints! I still buy the GS to locally support them, but sometimes have a hankering when they are “out of season” 😉

  3. We did a blind taste test at work comparing the Dollar General cookies to the Girl Scout cookies. (Two disclaimers: work is a bunch of scientists so this is normal for that crew & I’m on the local Girl Scout board so I’m quite biased). If you literally just eat them & don’t look at them, they’re the same taste-wise but not visually. It helps make those long cold winter months easier without the real deal but they’re not a real substitute! We did compare manufacturers (again, scientists are like that!) and they’re down the road from one another – we think a disgruntled baker jumped ship and created her own company!!

    Regardless – I’m totally trying this recipe! Looks amazing!

  4. I can’t wait to try these, they look absolutely delish.

  5. I am head over heals in love with Samoas! You have just ruined any chance I had of losing weight this year by posting this recipe. I cannot wait to try it!

  6. Oh my! These look incredible!! I would probably eat the entire bar!! Saving this recipe for a special occasions. I don’t like Thin Mints; can you believe that?? My favorite is the old-fashioned shortbread cookies, Trefoils. 🙂

  7. Keri Wilmot says:

    These look amazing and I am completely lazy, thinking I may try it and substitute store bought caramel. Patience for baking these days is only something I can take in stages! Looks awesome Melanie!!

  8. These look amazing. I am not a fan of the Thin Mints but I love samoas and tag alongs. I will be taking a plate of these to a Super Bowl party. That way I won’t eat the whole pan full myself.

  9. So so decadent! Coconut, chocolate and caramel belong together. They just go well together.

  10. I’m drooling! These look so delicious. And what a lovely and unusual way to photograph the, stacked likt that!

  11. This looks really fantastic! I’ve been looking for a great Samoa’s recipe and can’t wait to try this!

  12. Melanie this recipe is fabulous! I just have to ask though, as I do not have much experience making candy, caramel included. 260F seems quite warm, and when I prepared them according to your instructions, they are much too hard to eat without chipping a tooth. According to my candy thermometer, 260 is the “hard ball” stage. Perhaps they would be chewier if cooked to 240, or the “soft ball” stage? Any suggestions?

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