These gluten free Samoa cookie bars taste just like the beloved cookies, with a gooey and irresistible caramel + coconut topping.
This one is for the Girl Scout cookie lovers out there! My gluten free thin mint cookies were a big hit when I shared them, and for good reason. Girl Scout cookie season is the best!
But for those of you who follow a gluten free diet, or have a handful of food allergies, you likely can’t indulge. Or even if you don’t have any allergies or food intolerances at all, you might find yourself craving some Samoa cookies in the off season. We’ve all been there! Enter: my gluten free Samoa cookie bars.
These gluten free cookie bars are serious business. The cookie base is soft and sweet, and delicious in its own right. But then comes the important part: the topping. That’s where all of that irresistible Samoa cookie goodness comes in.
We’re mixing up coconut flakes and caramel, two of the star flavors involved in making copycat Samoa Girl Scout cookies. Rather than drizzling on chocolate, though, I mixed in chocolate chips. For one thing, it’s easier. But more importantly, I love the added texture.
I do want to note, this is one SWEET dessert. The topping is very indulgent, in the best way. You can probably get away with slicing up even smaller bars, because of how rich it all is. But I’ll leave that up to you!
Why You’ll Love These Samoa Cookie Bars…
- Well if you’re reading this post, you most likely are already a fan of Samoa cookies. So you already know that caramel + coconut + chocolate combination is an absolutely delicious one.
- The cookie base is the perfect canvas for this gooey topping. It’s just sweet enough, but still lets the topping shine.
- It’s just SO easy. Honestly, this recipe is very straightforward and doesn’t take much time at all.
What You’ll Need…
- The dry ingredients: flour + baking powder + salt.
- The flavor: sugar + sweetened condensed milk.
- The fat: unsalted butter.
- For the topping: homemade caramel sauce (sugar + water + half and half + butter) + shredded coconut + chocolate chips.
How To Make Gluten Free Samoa Cookie Bars…
To make my gluten free Samoa cookie bars, we’ll start with the cookie base. Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s nice and smooth, then add in the sweetened condensed milk. Not only does the condensed milk add a bit of flavor, it also helps bind things together and works as an egg substitute in this case.
Next, mix in your dry ingredients until you have a nice, soft dough. Press the dough into your square baking pan and bake on 350ºF for around 14 minutes.
While the bars are in the oven, get started on your caramel sauce. You can easily swap in store-bought caramel sauce if you would rather skip this step. You know I’m all for making things easy!
If you do want to make it from scratch, though, just pour your sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Try to spread it to an even layer, and pour the water on top evenly so all of the sugar is moistened.
Bring your mixture to a boil, then continue cooking until it turns into an amber color. You will know when it’s done! You can leave it on slightly longer for a darker caramel, or keep it light like I did. Once you remove from heat, add in your half and half and butter.
The mixture will likely start to bubble up and sizzle at this point, which is totally normal! The cold half and half will stop the caramel from cooking further. Just be careful.
Once the caramel has cooled, mix in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Spread onto your cooled cookie base, then slice up into bars.
Samoa Cookie Bars – Gluten Free, Eggless
- 1 cup (148g) gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup (66g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (78g) sweetened condensed milk
For the topping:
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (80ml) water
- ½ cup (120ml) half and half
- 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups (128g) shredded coconut
- ¾ cup (128g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8" square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until dough forms.
- Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 14-16 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Cool completely before removing from the pan and adding topping.
To make the topping:
- Start by making the caramel sauce. Add the sugar to a medium saucepan, spreading to form an even layer. Add the water evenly over the sugar.
- Place the pan on medium heat and allow mixture to come to a boil. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, until mixture turns to an amber color.
- Remove from heat and immediately mix in the half and half and butter. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool completely.
- Once the caramel sauce has cooled, stir in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Spread topping evenly over cooled cookie base before slicing into bars.
- The caramel sauce may start to sizzle and seize once you add in the cold half and half. This is completely normal, just carefully stir it all up.
Did you make my gluten free Samoa cookie bars? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog!