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Girl Scout Cookies Grow Up

Spring means girl scout cookies. Growing up I was a girl scout for years and always looked forward to cookie selling season because it meant I could get samoas which were my favorite. The combination of coconut, chocolate and caramel is still one of my favorites. Of course you can only get them once a year and these are one cookie that I can’t keep in the house without snacking on them. So I decided to start looking at recreating that great taste with a recipe of my own.

There was a bit of trial and error. I started with individual cookies, but that made a real mess in the kitchen, not something I would want to do on a regular basis. Next step was trying for bar cookies. I had more success this way but when I mixed in the coconut, chocolate chips and caramel it all sunk to the bottom. A shortbread crust became the perfect solution.

Samoas shortbread is easy to make and perfect for anyone who loves the original cookies. Best part you can customize them to your own personal taste. To make the shortbread you will need chocolate chips, flaked coconut, caramel sauce, flour, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and butter.

The first thing you want to do is toast the coconut. I used about 2 cups of flaked coconut, spread it out on a parchment sheet covered baking sheet and baked it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. It is okay if the coconut isn’t browned all the way, it will toast more when you bake the shortbread.

For the shortbread crust you want to cream 2 sticks of butter, 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Next you want to add in 2 cups of flour, it should be very crumbly and take a little work to get everything to come together.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and press shortbread mixture into a 9x12 inch pan. You don’t have to worry about greasing the pan. Bake the shortbread for about 20 minutes. It should be set and be golden around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and spread a layer of caramel sauce over the shortbread, you can make it as thick as you would like, but make sure that the shortbread is completely covered on top. Then add the chocolate chips and toasted coconut to taste over the top. Bake the topped shortbread for an additional 10 to fifteen minutes until the coconut is browned on top and the chocolate has started to melt. Let it cool a little bit before cutting and eating!

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