Who doesn’t love girl scout cookies? Come on, most of you are craving them every time you pass by their little stands outside of Walgreens or the grocery store - I know I do. Problem is, they are really bad for you! I will praise the day when the girl scouts stop using hydrogenated oils and so many processed ingredients in their treats. I mean, it’s about time, right!
My all time favorite girl scout cookie is the Samoa:
Dark chocolate, coconut, caramel, shortbread cookie. I crave these things normally during girl scout season, BUT this year my sister sent me a “fake samoa” recipe that was full of healthy stuff, and I thought - I’m gonna break the cycle and try these instead! I think it worked. They have been in the freezer for a few days now, and I haven’t missed a real samoa at all. They are different, mind you - the texture is different and they need to be frozen, but the flavor is very close to the “real thing”, even though the “real thing” is more full of “fake” ingredients than these are. Get me? See what you think.
Almost Raw Samoa Cookie Bars:
(modified from Cooking a la Mel)
For the “shortbread base”:
- 2 cups walnuts, or walnut and pecan mix
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 1 t vanilla extract
- ¼ t sea salt
- 1 ½ cups dates, soaked for about 10 minutes in hot water
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 t vanilla
- 1/8 t salt
- 1C unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 C dark chocolate chips
For the shortbread base:
In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and coconut together until in fine crumbs. Add in the honey, vanilla, and sea salt, and process until a moist dough forms.
Press the dough into a parchment lined 9×9 inch baking pan.
Toast the shredded coconut at 350ºF for about 5-8 minutes, until golden (be careful not to burn it). Allow it to cool while you make the “caramel.”
After soaking the dates, drain the water, and pulse in a food processor until a paste forms. Add the coconut milk, vanilla, and salt, and process until smooth. Add the shredded coconut, and pulse until just combined.
Scoop the coconut “caramel” mixture out, and spread it evenly across the top of the “shortbread” base.
Transfer to the freezer for about 15 minutes, until set.
Place the chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl, and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted.
Remove the bars from the freezer. Transfer the melted chocolate to a ziplock bag using a rubber spatula. Snip off the corner of the bag, and drizzle the chocolate over the bars.
Place back in the freezer for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened, then take out the whole sheet of cookie with parchment paper (it will be hardened and set firmly), cut it into squares large or small. Place them in an airtight container & store in the freezer.
They get melty the longer they are outside of the freezer, so enjoy cold and eat often.