Homemade Samoas Cookie Bars
½ cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
3 cups shredded coconut
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
20 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F while the cookie base cools. Spread the coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with the milk and salt. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a greased spatula.
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the greased spatula (this is important so everything spreads smoothly), spread the topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled. When cooled, cut into 30 or so bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (I used a pizza cutter and it worked really well once I got the hang of it)
Once the bars are cut, melt half of the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Melt more chocolate, little by little, if needed. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt more) into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with a tiny corner snipped off and the drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container. I recommend keeping them in the fridge. Makes roughly 30 bar cookies.