Samoa Bars

This is another treat that I found on Pinterest.  I combined a couple of recipes to get this one… it tasted like a grown-up Samoa to me, which was delicious.  However, after doing some research I found out that Samoas and Caramel deLites are actually two slightly different cookies.  The latter is made with less caramel and milk chocolate… I think I’m just going to have to whip up a batch to do a little taste-test.

INGREDIENTS

THE COOKIE

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • Up to 2 tbsp milk (I didn’t need to use any)
TOPPING
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 12 ounces good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate- plus more for drizzling (I used a whole bag of chocolate chips)

HOW TO MAKE IT

COOKIE

    • Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder
    • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and lastly add in the vanilla; and milk if you feel as though the mixture is too dry
    • Once the dough is mixed, press it onto a parchment paper lined or greased baking sheet – you should have an even layer about 1/4″ thick
    • Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned – cool completely on a wire rack
TOPPING
  • Preheat oven to 300°F and spread the coconut evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (you should use one with sides)
    • Toast for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until golden – cool on the baking sheet
  • Unwrap the caramels and place them in a microwave safe bowl with the milk and salt
    • Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring the caramel every minute or so to make sure it’s evenly melting
  • When the caramel is smooth, stir in the toasted coconut
  • Place spoonfuls of the carmel mixture on top of the cooled shortbread and spread it into an even layer using a spatula and your fingertips
  • Let the topping set until cooled and then cut it into bars of desired size using a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter
  • Once the bars are cut, melt the chocolate in a small bowl (you can either do this in a glass bowl over a small pot of boiling water, or in the microwave by heating on high for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is just melted – be careful not to burn the chocolate!)
  • Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place onto a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet
  • Once all of the bars have been dipped, transfer the remaining chocolate (if you don’t have enough, melt some more) into a small Ziploc bag – cut a tiny corner off the bag and use it to pipe the chocolate drizzle on top of the bars
    • Allow the chocolate to totally set before storing in an airtight container

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Magic Squares

This cookie is one of my all-time favorites.  It’s unbelievably easy to make and although the recipe itself isn’t original, my method makes them extra chewy and delicious.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Also try adding…
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup butterscotch, white chocolate or peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup M&M’s

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Melt the butter and combine it with 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk and the remaining graham cracker crumbs
  • Press the butter and graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8×11″ baking pan
  • Pour the condensed milk mixture over the first layer and use a spatula to smooth it out
  • Top that with the flaked coconut and press down with your fingertips
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips (and other toppings, if desired) on top of the coconut
  • Bake at 350°F (325°F for a glass baking dish) for 25 minutes or until slightly browned
  • Allow the pan to cool before cutting the squares

Cowboy Cookies

These cookies pretty much have everything but the kitchen sink in them…  the hint of cinnamon and chewy coconut make them really hard to resist.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup shortening (i.e. Crisco – or you could substitute butter)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Feel free to use as many or as little of these ingredients as you want… I like to use all of them!

    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    • 1 cup coconut

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Using a mixer, cream the shortening and sugars
  • Add the eggs and vanilla
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon – then add them to the mixing bowl
  • Fold in the pecans, chocolate chips and coconut
  • Form the cookie dough into round dough balls as large as you desire and place on an ungreased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart
  • Flatten the dough balls a bit with your fingertips
  • Bake at 375°F for 8-10 mins