It’s Girl Scout cookie season. People are walking around with goofy grins, Do-Si-Do crumbs on their shirts, stupid Thin-Min-covered fingers, Tagalong-scented breath, and boxes of Samoas stuffed in their sock drawers so that no one else will get THEIR cookies. Or is this just me?
And who came up with those names anyways? Do-Si-Do? Tagalong? What is a Samoa even?
But in reality I’m jealous. Seethingly jealous. I can’t have any of them. I just stare with dark, wide-eyed, frothing and foaming desire.
But this year, the ol’ Girl Scouts gave the gluten-free crowd a consolation prize and came out with a GF cookie. I was pumped, until I found out it was a shortbread. Womp womp. Really? Shortbread? That all you got? No badge for you! Get back in the kitchen. TRY AGAIN.
Never fear. After being challenged by a friend that Grain Free Samoas would not be good, I woke up on Saturday morning with a mission. A cookie mission.
These cookies deserve a badge! A medal! An Oscar, even! They make you THINK they are the real deal, but alas…they have no wheat, no grains, no processed sugar. Ya…SUCK IT TRABECK!
Instead of making single cookie-disks, I opted for bars. Because seriously, these puppies disappear so quickly into your mouth that cutting out little stupid tire shaped cookies is not worth it. Lets save time. Let’s make bars! The shortbread crust is perfect and crisp. I saved even more time by not dipping each bar in chocolate and instead spread the chocolate layer between the shortbread crust and the caramel coconut layer. The caramel coconut layer is a delicious concoction of honey and a smidge of molasses that has been cooked down to an amber-caramel-heavenly syrup.
These do take a bit of time to make each part. But the wait and work is WELL worth it. So make a batch, hide several (because they will go fast if you share them), turn on the Oscars, grab a yummy Samoa bar, and do your best Matthew McConaughey impersonation….”alright, alright, alright”.
Grain Free Samoa Bars
Makes 16 small bars
Shortbread Crust Ingredients (inspired by Deliciously Organic)
- 1 1/2 Cup almond flour (such as Honeyville)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Cup semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
Coconut Caramel Topping (adapted from Against All Grains)
- 1/2 Cup honey
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 Cup coconut milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 Cup semisweet or dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Place parchment paper in the bottom of an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- Combine crust ingredients in a medium bowl until just combined. The mixture will be crumbly. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake on the middle rack of the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Meanwhile, place the unsweetened coconut on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Place on the top rack to toast. Toast the coconut for about 5 to 7 minutes, keeping an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Remove the toasted coconut from oven when golden brown and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- After the crust is finished baking, pull the crust from the oven. Turn the oven off. Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped chocolate onto the warm crust. Place back into the warm oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a rubber spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the shortbread crust. Set on a wire rack and allow to cool. Place in refrigerator after cooled.
- For the caramel sauce, place honey and molasses in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low bubbling boil for about 7 minutes, swirling frequently to caramelize evenly. Remove from heat and stir in butter, coconut milk, and salt until smooth and completely combined. Stir in toasted coconut.
- Remove cooled shortbread crust from the refrigerator. Spread the coconut caramel mixture on top of the chocolate covered crust.
- Microwave remaining chocolate in a microwave safe dish for about 2 to 3 minutes, in 30 second intervals, stirring in between intervals. Once the chocolate is completely melted, drizzle the chocolate (using a spoon or fork) over the Samoa bars. Cool bars completely in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Use parchment paper to pull out the bars from the baking dish. Place on a cutting board and cut into 12 to 16 bars. Place bar in hand and shove into mouth. Mmmmm. :)