Well, I put up a valiant fight. I really, truly did. I resisted the urge to purchase Girl Scout Samoas cookies for over a month. But over the weekend I lost that fight. The pressure was just simply too much. That and I needed a quick dessert for Sunday dinner. Crushed Samoas (and Thin Mints too, in the interest of full disclosure) and vanilla bean ice cream with hot fudge and caramel sauce. Done.
As I nibbled on my Samoa cookie, I realized that for the first time they reminded me of another lovely caramel shortbread confection that I hadn't had in quite some time. The Millionaire Shortbread Bar. Flaky shortbread layered with soft melting caramel and the thinnest swipe of dark chocolate in my mind begged to be turned into a Samoa style bar. Virtually they are the same thing really, one just happens to have coconut. I'm dubbing these Samoan Millionaires.
While it would be nice to have these in cookie form, I really didn't have the time to fiddle around with that. Bars are really and truly my friends in the kitchen. Quick, easy and imminently practical. You might want to stash this recipe away for when Samoas are no longer available. Which is likely to be soon around these parts. If you are unfortunate enough to not have a Girl Scout troop in your area, I strongly encourage you to make these and let me know what you think. That is, only if you can't resist the fight any longer. In this case for me, resistance is futile.
Line an 8" square baking pan with parchment and preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/4 C. confectioners sugar
12 T. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C. sweetened condensed milk
1 bag Kraft Caramels, unwrapped (about 45 caramels)
8 ounces dark chocolate
2 T. unsalted butter
1 T. light corn syrup
2 C. toasted coconut flakes
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and 12 T. of the butter in the bowl of a food processor, blitz until combined and forms a ball. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Dock the pastry with a fork to prevent it from puffing up in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and the sweetened condensed milk. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent scorching. Once completely melted, pour over the cooled shortbread. Allow to cool.
In a small heat proof bowl, place the chocolate chunks, butter and corn syrup. Set this over a pan of simmering water and stir until completely melted. Pour over cooled caramel mixture and immediately sprinkle coconut on top. Allow chocolate to firm up then slice into bars.