These decadent bars are a take on the popular Girl Scout cookie, the Samoa. Coconut, chocolate, shortbread, caramel. I’m sold.
The shortbread is really good. Kind of crumbly, but not dry at all. On top of the shortbread goes caramel. And then that’s topped with toasted coconut. And then the bars are dipped in chocolate.
These have potential, a lot of potential. The flavors are great. But I had a lot of trouble with the caramel. It cooked up fine, and tasted delicious. But after some time in the refrigerator (per the recipe’s instructions), it was rock hard and cutting the bars was near impossible.
And there lies the problem with blindly following a recipe – once I actually thought about it, I decided that the caramel should probably not have been taken to hard ball stage (250 degrees). It likely would have been better at soft ball stage instead (240 degrees).
But then the advantage of baking with a group is that you get the combined experience and brainpower to come up with a better solution. Several other bakers had the same issue, but had better luck with 235 degree caramel. I love my Baked Sunday Mornings group!
I had to let the bars sit for quite a while at room temperature before I could cut them without completely crumbling the shortbread (which is delicious, by the way).
Once the bars are cut, they’re dipped in chocolate. It was messy, I ran out of chocolate, and there were bits of coconut everywhere. Next time, I’ll just drizzle the chocolate over the top. Less chocolate per bar, but also less messy, and it will help hold some of the coconut in place.
For the recipe and to see how the other Baked Sunday Morning bakers fared, head over to Baked Sunday Mornings.
- Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars (Baked Elements, p. 94)
I went for the drizzle option as well since my shortbread came out so crumbly. I’m also really glad we have the group to bounce ideas and techniques off of! Maybe Baked will have us test for their next book! ;)
Your bars look good. I agree about the chocolate, it was messy. Next time I will just drizzle over the top as well.
We loved these! I skipped the dipping precisely because I thought it would be too messy!
I agree – we cooked our caramel to a lower temperature and it was just right.
I’ll absolutely be making these again!
I drizzled instead of dunking also! You were brave! Your bars look great!
Another drizzler here! Not only did it seem too messy, I felt the bars were already a decadent treat–I couldn’t imagine a chocolate dunk on top of it!
I liked that you did dunk. With the ends being chocolate that remind me of biscotti. They look great.
Hooray for team drizzle! Ha. I drizzled because I’m not too big a chocolate freak and frankly didn’t want to clean up the mess after I had a counter covered in crumbled shortbread pieces and coconut. :/ I love this groups team effort – bouncing ideas around is pretty great. :) I DEFINITELY think we should all be testers for the next book. Your bars look divine!
Nice work, Sheri! I like the dipping look too– it’s funny that only a couple of bakers did it like the photo in the book. I really love this group too– every week I learn a thing or two… or five! :)