Skinnified Sunday: Samoa Cookie Bars

You know what? I have not bought a single box of girl scout cookies this year. I mean, I won’t pretend that no matter how many copy cats I make, I don’t still want to eat an entire sleeve of thin mints, but I have to say I have really been enjoying the flavors I love + the freshly baked at home taste that no cookie in a box can ever duplicate. I have a confession. I might actually like these better than real samoas! Sometimes the real ones are just a tad too sweet (if that’s even possible) for my taste, and I felt like these don’t taste healthy at all, just more natural in flavors. I taste real coconut and dark chocolate and I love that.

Original recipe:

My swaps:

  • 1/2 recipe
  • Pumpkin and light whipped butter for butter (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Sugar/Splenda combo for sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Egg substitute for egg (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Extra vanilla (+yum)
  • Unsweetened coconut (It didn’t specify, but it was hard to find just plain ole coconut. -calories, -sugar)
  • Low fat caramel sauce for chewy caramels (-fat, -calories)
  • Grain sweetened chocolate chips for regular, and less of them (-calories, -sugar)

Skinnified Somoa Cookie Bars

yield 16 bars

for the cookie layer

  • 2 tbs turbinado sugar
  • 2 tbs Splenda
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tbs light whipped butter, softened
  • 2 tbs egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cups white whole wheat flour
  • dash salt

for the topping

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut, toasted**
  • 3/4 cup low fat caramel sauce
  • 1/3 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tbs unsweetened coconut almond milk (or any milk)
  • dash coconut extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8×8 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, pumpkin, Splenda and sugar together. Beat in vanilla and egg substitute.
  3. Add salt and flour and mix until combined. Dough will be slightly crumbly and may not all come together.
  4. Press dough into greased pan, smoothing with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then place on wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Spread caramel sauce on top, followed by coconut flake.
  7. In a small microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips, milk, and coconut extract in increments of 15 seconds, mixing after each increment until melted. Carefully, spread on top of caramel/coconut layer using a spatula.
  8. Freeze for 2 hours for caramel sauce to set, then transfer to refrigerator, or keep frozen if desired.

**I toasted my own coconut by placing it in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat until golden. Careful to stir constantly and do not burn.