These Paleo Samoa Cookie Bars are just like the popular Girl Scout Cookies, but homemade and healthier! Gluten Free, dairy free, and so delicious!
Are you familiar with Samoa cookies? They are a shortbread base topped with caramel and toasted coconut and drizzled with chocolate. They are also known as Caramel deLites and according to the Girl Scout website are the 2nd most popular cookie after Thin Mints. These bars have all those same components, but healthier of course! I also decided on bars instead of cookies because they’re easier and just as tasty!
I used the same shortbread base that I used for my Paleo Homemade Twix. It’s simple and so delicious. It’s the only baking part of this recipe and it’s super quick. It is not overly sweet which is good because the caramel layer is quite sweet so it balances out perfectly.
I do want to give you a heads up about this recipe. Everything about it is easy, but it is a little time consuming. Making the caramel takes a little time, then toasting the coconut- neither of which are hard. This isn’t a recipe that will be finished in 20 minutes, but the final result is SO worth it! I promise!! I actually made the caramel a day ahead which I totally recommend if you have the time.
Here is the coconut perfectly toasted. It is so easy! It only takes 10 minutes to go from pure white to perfectly brown. Stirring is important so it does’t burn. This is an important key to getting them to taste just like the original.
The caramel- it took me 3 tries to get it perfect. The first time the sugar was rock hard and totally seized up on me, the second time was better but still not great. The third time I used a mixture of honey and coconut sugar and that’s when it came out perfect. Thick, sweet, and not too dark. The caramel sauce is good on its own, but when mixed with the toasted coconut- whoa!! It is amazing!
You will love these homemade Paleo Samoa Cookie Bars! The delicate shortbread, the chewy, sweet caramel coconut layer and of course the chocolate to top it off.
Make the caramel sauce. This can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge. In a small sauce pan, combine honey, coconut sugar, coconut cream, and salt.
Heat over medium heat until just boiling, turn to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir continuously to prevent burning.
Remove from heat and add coconut oil and vanilla and whisk to combine. This may take some whisking to fully incorporated it. Pour the caramel into a glass jar and let cool at room temperature.
While the caramel is cooling, toast the coconut. Preheat the oven to 350° and spread coconut evenly on a sheet tray. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. This is important to ensure it does not burn.
Keep the oven on to bake the shortbread.
Once the caramel has cooled (you can even make the shortbread while you wait), add in the toasted coconut and stir until it is evenly mixed.
Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until sides are slightly brown. Let cool before topping with caramel layer.
Once shortbread has cooled, top with the caramel/coconut mixture and spread it as evenly as possible. Place in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours.
Remove the bars from the fridge and using the parchment paper, remove them from the pan. Cut into 16 squares.
Place 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave in 10 second increments, stirring between each one, until they are fully melted. Dip the bottom of each square into the chocolate and place back on the parchment paper.
Once all bars have been dipped, melt the remaining chocolate the same way and drizzle over bars. You may need a new bowl because little pieces of the shortbread may fall into the first one.
Jessica is a self taught cook/baker from Michigan who enjoys local farmers markets, baking competitions, and kayaking with her husband. She specializes in Paleo and other desirable recipes that can be seen over on her own food blog.