Is it girl scout cookie season yet? I know we all look forward to that time of year, despite the fact that they are really just overpriced cookies (sold by adorable kids). What is your favorite girl scout cookie? Mine is the Samoa. There is something about that chewy coconut caramel on top of a crunchy cookie dunked in chocolate that gets me every time. But instead of buying a sugar laden processed cookie, I made my own Paleo Samoa Bars instead!!
These are simple to make, taste delicious, and are secretly loaded in nutrients (you know how I love to sneak stuff in my recipes.)
Cookies vs Bars
I actually took half of the Paleo samoa recipe and turned them into cookies (just like real Samoa’s) and used the other half to make bars. Turns out the bars are easier to eat, look better and are faster to make. So, who needs a cookie anyway? It’s all about the taste and how to get it to your mouth faster am I right? LOL.
So how did I come up with this? I was actually thinking about how to make a delicious coconut caramel sauce. I wanted it to be thick, chewy and coconut-y. Then I experimented with 3 different kinds of shortbread cookies to find the perfect one (don’t worry, I found it!) To finish the whole thing off, I dunked them in dark chocolate and sprinkled the bars with a Nutsola crumble. They are crunchy, chewy, carmel-y, coconut-y heaven.
Healthy Copycat Samoa Cookie Bars
The secret? These bars are loaded in healthy fats thanks to the almond flour, coconut cream and coconut oil. They have high quality protein thanks to the wild caught seafood collagen I snuck into the caramel. You can learn a little more about the benefits of collagen here.
NOTE IF YOU ARE VEGAN: This recipe is easily adaptable. Just omit the collagen and be sure you use vegan chocolate chips.
They only sugar I used is maple syrup and a bit of agave for the shortbread (plus a bit in the chocolate to finish them off.) They are so delicious and a log healthier than the original. I keep mine in the freezer to keep the caramel nice and chewy. Just pull one out when you need a treat!
The Health Benefits of Collagen
I know. Collagen is all the rage right now. But is it right for you?Take a look at some of the health benefits of collagen here and then come back and tell me what you think. It’s a great source of protein and especially important for your hair, skin and nails. It’s also easily digestible and doesn’t spike blood sugar like some other proteins do. Of course, sourcing is important so make sure your collagen is from wild caught seafood or grass fed beef. I like the brands Primal Kitchen and Truvani best.
Paleo Samoa Bars
Shortbread Cookie Base
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tbs coconut flour
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbs agave syrup
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup coconut cream Alternatively use only the solid part of a full fat coconut milk can, you may need 2 cans depending how much you get.
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted See notes below.
- 1 scoop Truvani wild caught seafood collagen If Vegan: omit
- 6 oz chocolate chips If Vegan: make sure they are vegan
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup Cacao Almond Nutsola optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, vanilla and agave syrup in a bowl.
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Push cookie dough into the bottom of the pan until firm and evenly distributed. Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Take out and let cool.
Chewy Coconut Caramel Layer
- In a saucepan, combine maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut cream and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Then gently boil 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Your caramel will get thicker the longer you cook it. It also thickens while it cools. Do this while your cookies are baking.
- Stir in toasted coconut (see note below for toasting).
- In a small bowl, mix collagen with a splash of water until dissolved. Then pour into your caramel and stir well.
- Pour over your shortbread cookie, spread it evenly, sprinkle with Nutsola (if using) and throw it in the freezer until hard.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30 second intervals. Stir between each interval so as to not burn the chocolate. Do this until smooth and melted.
- Take your hardened bars and cut them into desired thickness and shape. Then take a bar, dip the bottom into the melted chocolate, and put on a piece of parchment paper. Once you repeat with each bar, take the remaining chocolate and put it into an icing bag or a ziploc sandwich bag.
- Snip just the tip of the bag and drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top of the bars. Return to the freezer until firm. Store there until ready to eat.