recipe from bakingbites.com
When I first saw this recipe floating around Pinterest, I ignored it. First off, I believe in supporting the Girl Scouts and second, I hadn't had much luck with copycat recipes up until this point. They usually require a lot of prep time and rarely taste close to the original. However, after seeing so many say they were amazing on top of the fact that for the last few years, Girl Scout cookies starting taking on that whole processed flavor so many foods have these days, I thought "Why not?".
Conclusion, I am so glad I did! These are, in my humble opinion, much better than the original. Same texture, better flavor and I can make them whenever I want. Plus, these are bars. So you get the same concept without having to decorate each individual cookie. You decorate (top) the pan of bars and cut them to cookie size. If you can get over the fact that they are squares instead of circles, which I definitely can...
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
First, make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9 x 13 inch pan. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. 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 prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack before topping.
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12 oz. good quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbls. milk
10 oz. dark or semi sweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut evenly on parchment lined baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden brown. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in large microwavable safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with spatula. Put dollops of topping all over the shortbread base. Using a spatula, spread the topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or pizza cutter. Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave at 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 paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate into a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle the tops with chocolate
Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!