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Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas Cheesecake Bars

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas Cheesecake Bars

Samoas are easily my favorite Girl Scout cookie because of all the great contrasting flavors and textures they have. It is a shortbread-type cookie topped with caramel and toasted coconut then dipped in chocolate. I like them so much that I have a homemade version that lets me make them any time I want – no Girl Scouts necessary – as well as a slightly easier bar cookie variation that still captures those flavors. This time, I have yet another variation on the theme with some Samoas Cheesecake Bars. They’re not quite as cookie-like as my other homemade Girl Scout Cookie recipes, but I’m pretty sure that those girls could easily sell just as many of these bars!

These cheesecake bars are fairly easy to make and start off with a shortbread base topped with a layer of vanilla cheesecake, a combination I’ve used before in Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars. The bars are topped with a mixture of caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with chocolate. The result is a delicious bar with a buttery crust, creamy cheesecake, gooey caramel, crisp coconut and rich chocolate.

The only trick to making these bars is that you need to make the caramel sauce by hand. It needs to remain soft when refrigerated because the cheesecake bars need to be stored in the refrigerator. The bars are a bit less satisfying to eat when the caramel hardens up and you can’t slice into them! This caramel is smooth and rich tasting, and remains soft enough to slice easily after it has been spread on the bars and chilled, though it is firm enough that it won’t run everywhere and make a mess. You could get away with using a thick, store-bought caramel sauce if you want to give a shortcut a try, though.

This recipe makes a big batch that is easy to share, but equally easy to enjoy yourself. They keep well in the refrigerator, so you can take your time eating through them. There are several stages to making this recipe, but most of the down time is just waiting for things to chill. Be a bit patient and the results will be well worth it!

Samoas Cheesecake Bars, bitten

Samoas Cheesecake Bars
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until light, then beat in flour and salt until mixture is sandy. Pour into prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
While the crust bakes, beat together sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl or a food processor until smooth. Add all remaining filling ingredients and beat (or pulse, in a food processor) until smooth.
Pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking.
Return pan to oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, until the filling is set.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Caramel with Toasted Coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
7 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat until mixture turns a deep honey color, about 10 minutes. Pour in cream. Mixture will bubble and caramel will harden. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until caramel remelts and is smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and salt.
Pour into a heat-proof (glass or pyrex) bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature.
Cook coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown to toast. Cool, then stir into room temperature caramel.

Spread caramel mixture over chilled cheesecake bars. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up caramel before drizzling with chocolate.

Chocolate Drizzle
4-oz semisweet or dark chocolate

Melt chocolate in a small, microwave safe bowl and drizzle over the caramel. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 30 bars

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  • Hayley
    March 1, 2010

    These look AMAZING. Samoas always were my favorite, too.

  • Linda
    March 1, 2010

    Another great Samoa recipe–can’t wait to try it. I made the Sock-It-To-Me Cake today (from scratch). The batter tasted amazingly good–hopefully the cake will now that it is baked. Just glazed it. Love the cinnamon glaze too! You always make my day better with new and interesting recipes!

  • Caley
    March 1, 2010

    Holy cow. This looks so delicious! I’m glad you said this makes 30 BARS, not 30 SERVINGS…because I’m thinking it might make me one glorious serving.

  • Linda
    March 1, 2010

    I love Samoa’s, they are my favorite Girl Scout Cookie. Can’t wait to take your recipes for a spin!

  • Cheryl
    March 1, 2010

    thank you for providing home-made girl scout cookie options – i cant wait to try making a lot of them at home:)

  • http://a.gd/OutSource
    March 2, 2010

    thank you for uploading

  • Kathryn
    March 2, 2010

    Yum Yum, looks delicious!

  • food
    March 2, 2010


  • Nutmeg Nanny
    March 2, 2010

    Delicious! I gotta make these 🙂

  • Jen @ How To: Simplify
    March 2, 2010

    OMG…these look so good!!! Samoas are the best and cheesecake is my favorite dessert. This recipe is definitely making it to my “to bake” list. Thanks for sharing!

  • risa
    March 2, 2010

    Oh you naughty girl. This looks dangerous!!

  • I love all your variations on Samoas! I have to say, the original recipe is still one of my favorite cookie recipes.

  • Amanda V
    March 2, 2010

    These are two of my favorite things combined. Perfect!
    Thanks so much!!

  • Fay
    March 2, 2010

    This looks absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!! I wish I had a piece right now. These are my favorite girl scout cookies…okay they are tied with thin mints. 😉

  • Heather Peskin
    March 3, 2010

    These are gorgeous! They are fit for lunch treats and very fit for an after-dinner dessert. Must copy!

  • stealthestyle
    March 3, 2010

    A piece of heaven! It really looks so delicious! I really love cheesecakes, yummy!!!

  • Maria
    March 3, 2010

    These look very tasty!

  • Paul
    March 3, 2010

    I agree with the comment earlier about one glorious serving…these look absolutely awesome!!

  • Megan
    March 3, 2010

    These are delish! I did make one modification, I had to double the caramel/coconut portion….try as I might, I could not get the original amount to cover all of the bars in the 13×9 pan!

  • Ashley
    March 4, 2010

    I’ve yet to try samoas but keep seeing all these variations on them!! These cheesecake bars look so very delicious.

  • sonoma wineries
    March 11, 2010

    I tried making this using your recipe. Oh my god it was a disaster! I think I did something wrong with the caramel! It’s just too hard and you’re right I can’t slice through it. 🙁

  • Ali
    March 16, 2010

    Ditto, sonoma. I made these last night and the caramel is impossible to cut 🙁 When I managed to cut a square using a super sharp knife, the caramel fell off the top in one hard piece. I was so bummed.

  • hotels near central park
    April 15, 2010

    yumm this looks delicious…i am waiting to prepare this…

  • cheap clothes online
    April 25, 2010

    looks absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!! I wish I had a piece right now. These are my favorite girl scout cookies…

  • p90x for sale
    April 25, 2010

    yet to try samoas but keep seeing all these variations on them!! These cheesecake bars look so very delicious

  • You ask the cooks
    January 3, 2011

    oh hell yeh…a cheesecake ‘bar’?! errr yum YUM!

    Be patient it says when making these little babies, patience i will have to find then if they’ll look as good as that…

  • mary ellen
    November 25, 2011

    Made these for Thanksgiving…DELICIOUS!!!! Thanks for posting…everything I’ve ever made from here is a hit.

  • Linda
    February 16, 2013

    Made this yesterday for my librarians. If it tastes nearly as good as it looked and smelled, it is a winner. I had to laugh about the timing with all the little Girl Scouts selling those cookies outside the door and at every store I visited today.

  • Tyent
    March 10, 2013

    These sound delicious… I am enjoying a day off work today so I have decided to make this slice because I love anything to do with cheesecake.

    Might have to do an extra 30 minutes of exercise though!!

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