Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gluten Free Samoa Bars

How many times has it happened to you? A knock at the door and when you open it, you are greeted with a cute girl scout trying to raise money by selling girl scout cookies. "I am sorry, we are allergic to wheat in this house" was my reply the first few times. Their confused faces made me realize it was just easier to say: "I am sorry, we already bought some". Meanwhile hearing the groans in the background from my daughter who is craving Girl Scout cookies badly. One of my friends must have caught on because she sent me the brilliant idea of making gluten free girl scout cookies. Thank you Nikki for the idea! It took me two tries at this recipe. First time I used wrapped caramels and It did not work out so well. Second time I made my own dulce de 
leche for the caramel and it turned out perfectly. Don't forget to enter the $50 gift card giveaway! Enter here.

Gluten Free Samoas Bars

adapted from Baking Bites
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum 
1/4 tsp salt

For Topping:
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate 

First, make the crust.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. 
In the bowl of your kitchenaid mixer whisk sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. I switched to a paddle attachment for the next step, but you can beat still, just don't overwork. On low speed add coconut flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes. The dough should be set and the edges browned.
 Cool completely on a before topping.
Turn oven down to 300 degrees. Spread Coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking dish or sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

There are 4 options for the caramel.
1. Heat up sweetened condensed milk over medium heat stirring constantly until it becomes a caramel consistency.
2. Take one can of sweetened condensed milk, remove the label, and put it in your crock pot. Completely submerge the can in water.Set to low and wait eight hours.Wait for the can to come to room temperature and open the can.
3. MICROWAVE: Pour 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk into large microwave-save bowl. Cook on MEDIUM (50%) power for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through heating time. Reduce power to MEDIUM-LOW (30%) power; cook for 8 to 12 minutes, stirring with wire whisk every few minutes, until thick and light caramel-colored. 

4. Buy wrapped caramels and unwrap them. Microwave on 50% heat until melted. (I did not like this option because the bars came out too stiff. But the taste is still the same).

Mix Caramel with the toasted coconut.
Put dollops of the topping all over the cookie base that you set aside earlier. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter. 
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on 50% power in the microwave for 3 minutes. Stir immediately until creamy. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Don't forget to enter the $50 gift card giveaway! Enter here.
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  1. If you can hear my stomach growl for these... you'll know you have a winner on your hands. I think these are my favorite Girl Scout Cookies!! Love to help the girl scouts out.. but damn that box is small and it finishes far to quickly. I am totally in with your homemade version!!

  2. I tried these tonight and while I found the caramel coconut topping to be spot on, the crust left me a bit disappointed. Mine was very dry, crumbly and didn't taste all that great (although the batter did!). It seemed to need a bit more liquid or fat in the crust or else my gf flour blend wasn't a good blend for this recipe (I use King Arthur Flours GF blend) I was so sad too as I love Samoas!

  3. Another way to make these would be to use sugar cookie recipe as your base, gluten free of course.
    That way you would have a solid cookie base to work from.


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