Back when I could eat chocolate, this was exactly the kind of treat I would have loved. Reminiscent of the Samoa Girl Scout cookie, it combines toasted coconut, chocolate, and caramel – a wonderful flavor and texture combination.
I adapted this recipe slightly from the original, titled Coconut-Caramel Candy Bars, in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. I used caramel baking bits, rather than chopped up caramel candies, and a slightly higher quantity of bittersweet chocolate chips to cover the tops of my bars completely with chocolate. The end result is a beautiful (and according to Mike, delicious) creation.
For the crust
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking poader
- 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut, toasted*
For the topping
- 1 cup caramel baking bits
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
*To toast coconut, place it in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees, stirring every 3-5 minutes, until browned. My coconut took about 15 minutes to toast; keep a close eye on your coconut, as it can burn quickly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 1/2 cups toasted coconut; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg. Stir in flour/coconut mixture until well blended.
Press crust mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with caramel bits; return to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until caramels are melted and slightly bubbly (mine didn’t bubble much, so that’s okay). Remove from oven and sprinkle with bittersweet chocolate chips; allow to sit for 5 minutes, then spread chocolate evenly over the bars. Sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut. Allow bars to cool completely; cut into 24 squares.