It’s that time of year again – Girl Scout Cookie time! I find it ironic that these cookies become available for ordering (at least where I live) in January. Isn’t that when most people start to make diet changes? No wonder folks fall off the weight loss wagon… the Girl Scouts tempt you with these delicious cookies when you’re vulnerable!
recipe adapted from Baking Bites
yields 20 bar cookies
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
Preheat oven to 350F.
Make the crust first by lightly greasing a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, 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.
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)
In a dry non stick skillet over medium heat, add the coconut and toast on the stovetop. Be careful as they can toast up pretty quickly! Once toasted, set aside and allow to cool.
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 coconut and caramel topping all over the cooled shortbread base. Using a small spatula, spread the 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.