Soft shortbread, gooey caramel, and toasted coconut are dipped in chocolate and topped with a chocolate drizzle for a paleo spin on those Girl Scout samoa cookies!
I got the worst craving for Girl Scout Samoas recently, but there were two problems with that craving:
- I didn’t have any.
- I couldn’t get any for at least a couple months (via my friend Google I learned that Girl Scout cookie season out here doesn’t start until winter).
I suppose there’s also a third problem with that: even if I did have any, they are SO not paleo. Let’s take a look at the ingredients, shall we?
Sugar, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated palm kernel and/or cottonseed oil, soybean and palm oil), enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin b2], folic acid), corn syrup, coconut, sweetened condensed milk (condensed milk, sugar), contains two percent or less of sorbitol, cocoa, glycerin, invert sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, cornstarch, salt, caramelized sugar, dextrose, soy lecithin, carrageenan, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), natural and artificial flavors.
Sweetbabyjesus. The first freaking ingredient is sugar, the second is a mystery combination of oils, and the third is flour. So… nope. Not paleo.
Sometimes I really hate caring about what I eat. You know why? Because if you’ve ever had a samoa, you know how ridiculously good they are. And you know that if you eat one, you will end up eating an entire
package row. Buuuuuut then you’ll feel like garbage, but make the same mistake the next day.
Hence, why I care about what I eat.
Adapted from Bakerita
Despite all of these things, I just needed a samoa. STAT. I did a little Pinterest searching and came across this fabulous recipe from Bakerita.
I made a few changes to her recipe because I wanted a thicker shortbread layer and an exposed toasted coconut topping (instead of stirring it all into the caramel layer).
And if there’s a thicker shortbread layer, that means it needs more chocolate coverage on the bottom. Oh darn.
Mine are messier looking than hers, but quite frankly I prefer it that way. This site is called Stress Baking, after all. That doesn’t exactly scream “come here for pastry perfection!”, and it shouldn’t.
My life isn’t perfect, so I don’t try to make my desserts look perfect either.
Don’t worry about making them perfect!
I feel like if I spent an hour trying to cut them with the upmost precision, and made sure each chocolate drizzle was exactly the same on each one, made sure that the chocolate coating on the bottom was a perfect line all the way around each one… well, for one I’d be exhausted.
And two, it would make me more anxious when I’m editing my photos because I’d be so focused on making sure there’s not a crumb out of place.
And if I did all that, it would suck the fun out of it for me, and I would worry that you guys don’t think they’re pretty enough, and I’d end up projecting my insecurities on a pan of brownies which is just entirely too much pressure for a pile of chocolate and caramel.
I guess the tl;dr here is that Bakerita gets credit for this recipe’s origin, and I get credit for making them thicker and messier and adding some more calories to your day.
I’m okay with my lot in baking life.
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Paleo Samoa Bars
- 1 ⅓ cups coconut flour
- ½ cup coconut oil, solid
- 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus a pinch for topping
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
- ½ cup almond butter
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups dark chocolate, chopped and divided
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8×8” square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and salt. Stir to combine until it forms dough.
- Press dough into prepared pan and sprinkle the top with a pinch of salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown around the edges – you don't want to overbake them! Let cool completely in pan.
- On a large baking sheet, spread shredded coconut in a thin layer and toast in oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
- In a medium saucepan, combine almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and salt and stir frequently over low heat until completely combined. Turn off heat.
- Add ⅓ of your toasted coconut to the pan and stir to combine.
- Pour caramel filling over your prepared shortbread layer and top with the remaining ⅔ toasted coconut. Add a pinch of salt as well, if desired. Place in fridge to set and cool completely.
- Cut into 16 squares. Place in freezer while you prep your chocolate.
- Prep a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt 1 ½ cups of the dark chocolate (in the most shallow bowl you can get away with) in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
- Take the bars out of the freezer and dip the bottom of each bar into the dark chocolate, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to set.
- Melt the remaining ¼ cup dark chocolate, transfer to a small piping bag and drizzle the chocolate over the bars.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge (or freezer). Enjoy!