Adapted from @paleorunningmama
Samoas were always my favorite Girl Scout Cookie. If you know me, you know that coconut runs through my blood. I hadn’t had a Samoa in about 10 years so when I saw this recipe I knew that I had to make it! I was also so shocked at how easy it is to make a vegan caramel just from coconut milk and coconut sugar. I gave these cookie bars out to my friends and family and they were a total hit – I will definitely be making them again!
FOR THE COOKIE CRUST:
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil refined, melted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
FOR THE CARAMEL:
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- large Pinch fine grain sea salt
FOR THE CRUST:
- Begin by preparing the crust.
- Stir together all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes while you prepare the caramel.
- While the caramel cools, preheat your oven to 350° Line an 8 x 8” baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom and an inch up the sides.
- Press the chilled dough into the bottom of the lined baking pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until set and just beginning to turn light brown.
- Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
FOR THE CARAMEL:
- Combine the coconut milk and coconut sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk, bringing to a boil.
- Once boiling, continue to stir occasionally and cook over med heat for about 15 minutes (it should be bubbling but not overflowing) until the mixture is reduced, thickened and a deep caramel color.
- Make sure you continue to whisk while cooking to avoid burning.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Set aside to cool a bit until ready to use.
- You can also make the caramel ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
ASSEMBLING THE BARS:
- Optional step: toast the coconut.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add all the coconut flakes.
- Cook, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, until beginning to turn light brown (2-3 minutes) then immediately transfer to a bowl to avoid burning.
- After the caramel has partially cooled, stir in 1 cup of the coconut flakes.
- Spread this mixture all over the cooled crust.
- Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top, cover, and chill for an hour in the refrigerator to set.
- Once set, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish in 20-second increments, stirring in between.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate over the chilled bars (before cutting)
- Allow the chocolate to harden, then cut into 12-16 squares to serve.
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.