Monday, September 19, 2011

Samoa Brownies

Don’t you hate it when you think you have a brilliant original idea, but then you find out it is not original at all.  I have been playing around with the idea of making a dessert inspired by the Girl Scout’s Samoa Cookies(or Caramel deLites Cookies, depending on where you partake of these).  At first, I was thinking of making a Samoa Bark, or maybe some type of Samoa Pie, but then I came up with Brownies.  I thought I was a genius.  I have never seen this idea before.

I set out creating the recipe and purchase the ingredients.  I decided to use my typical go to brownie recipe.  I love it; it is perfection; why mess with it?  I then decided to use a secret ingredient, which I will discuss in a moment, along with toasted coconut, caramel, and melted chocolate.

I had been planning these brownies for a few weeks, but had not yet put them into action as other baking tasks (and let’s not forget my real job and life responsibilities came up).  When I finally decided to start baking these, I decided to do a quick Google search of the name “Samoa Brownies.”  I was shocked by what came up—TONS of other bakers have already had this idea and executed it.  Genius, I am not.

I looked through page after page of the same recipe—boxed brownie mix, 3 1/2 cup toasted coconut, 2- 14oz bag of caramel bits, 4 TBS milk, and 3oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips.  The recipes were similar to what I had created.  My recipe was not a copycat, because I did create it on my own, but it was not unique.

And that is when I remembered my secret ingredient.  The one ingredient I have not seen in any of the recipes and pages that I reviewed; the ingredient I consider necessary to a real Samoa Cookie and gives a textural contrast to the fudgy-ness of the brownies and gooeyness of the caramel.  SHORTBREAD COOKIES!

Think about a real Samoa Cookie for a minute.  It is a SHORTBREAD Cookie, covered in caramel and coconut, with the bottom dipped in chocolate and the top drizzled with chocolate.  That is what I wanted to accomplish here and what I planned from the start, to basically make the cookies, but use the brownie batter like the chocolate coating on the bottom of the cookie.

Feeling better about my genius status now being restored, I was off to the kitchen.  (Also, different from any other recipe I saw, I baked the caramel and toasted coconut on top of the brownies, as opposed to just slathering it on after the brownies cooked and cooled.)

I was honored with the compliment that these were one of the best items I have ever made.  The brownie is rich and chocolaty.  The shortbread cookies lend texture and contrast to the creamy brownie and chewy topping; the cookie is no longer super crunchy, but it does hold its own texture.  The toasted coconut and caramel topping is simply divine.  The caramel layer is not sticky or runny and is nice and toasted because it was baked in the oven.  It has a very finished appearance (and makes the brownie easier to package).  The chocolate drizzle on top is mostly decorative and gives it the distinct look of a Samoa.

These brownies, by far, went the fastest at work from the break room.  I had co-workers eating them for breakfast.  Coconut is like granola, right?  :-)  I will definitely be making another batch of these very soon.  I need to have their awesomeness confirmed by my west coast Caramel deLite consumers.

Samoa (or Caramel deLite) Inspired Brownies


Brownie recipe of your choice (I use Baker’s 1 bowl brownie recipe)
1 package of Short Bread Cookies (chopped or broken into smaller pieces)
4 cups Toasted Coconut (more or less)
1 1/2 package Caramel Bits
6-8 TBS Heavy Whipping Cream
Semi-sweet Chocolate, chopped into pieces


1. Preheat oven and prepare brownies in accordance with the recipe you have chosen.

2. Prepare a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, then pour in brownie batter and smooth out to an even layer.

3. Places shortbread cookies, evenly spaced, on top of the brownie batter.

4. Place in the oven and cook brownies for half of the time recommended in the recipe you chose.

5. In the meantime, melt the caramel with the cream stirring until smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut. Do not do this too early or it will begin to cool and get too stiff to pour.

6. Remove the brownies from the oven and gently pour, spoon, or spread the caramel mixture over the brownies and shortbread. Spread out the caramel into an even as possible layer. Be careful not to tear the delicate brownie.

7. Put brownies back into the oven and finish cooking.  A tooth pick inserted should come out with moist crumbs and caramel, no batter.

8.  Let brownies cool completely before removing from pan and drizzling with melted chocolate.

9. Let chocoalte set-up before cutting into pieces.  You can put the brownies in the fridge to speed up the process.

10. Cut into deserved pieces and enjoy.

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