02 June 2012

S'more Samoa Squares (a.k.a. Boards Bars)

As of today, it is only 11 days until the hubs takes his medical board exam.  Needless to say, more and more food is coming out of my tiny kitchen.  Not only does it keep me busy and distracted, but it provides my hubs a little pleasure during his day-long studies.  I'm doing my best to make the tastiest bites I can, much to both of our tummy's delight.

With less than 2 weeks, we've entered the high stress zone.  And stress in our home equals sweets.  Chocolate and cookies have been pouring out of the kitchen.  The rationed bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs that I hid away at Easter are being rationed out and donuts have a microscopic shelf life.  But today, the hubs threw out a request for marshmallows.  Hmmm...what to bake?

Summer is nearly upon us and we are itching for a good fire pit grilling session (fueled by burning medical text books).  And no fire pit is complete without s'mores.  Personally, I am not a fan of marshmallows.  Gasp!  Shocking, I know....and trust me when I say I get plenty of grief for this stance.  But I am an excellent marshmallow toaster, and love sitting around the fire, toasting away and stuffing those perfectly toasted bites of gooey sweetness down my friend's throats.

At first, I thought of making s'more bites with a graham cracker crust in mini muffin tins, but then I remembered a post by Joy the Baker this past week for Toasted Marshmallow Squares and thought I'd try playing with that instead.  I love press in crusts and the way that you can cut these guys into perfect cookie bars (cookie craving - check).  Obviously, the marshmallow was the ingredient of special request and so that would stay.  But chocolate had to be involved.  And then it hit me.....why not add caramel and coconut to make this a hybrid of our favorite Girl Scout cookie, the evokative Samoa?  Oh buddy.

Now I originally was not going to post this...I felt that It was just too close to Joy's recipe.  However, these things are too good to keep hidden away.  I mean, just look at this.......

We start with a glorious crust, topped with little chocolate bars (chocolate craving - check)....

Add a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce...

Top that with marshmallows....

Then coconut and toast to perfection?  Wow.  

Even the being the non-marshmallow lover that I am, I was super impressed with these.  Wife points for me, today!

So if you're feeling a bit decadent, give these a go.  The soft crust is a great base, much more solid than the alternative graham cracker.  It and the coconut also even out the sweetness, making for a more balanced flavor.  

S'more Samoa Squares (a.k.a. Boards Bars)
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 c + 2 tbs flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Hershey's chocolate bars, broken apart
  • 4 oz caramel chews
  • 1 tbs milk
  • dash salt
  • 1/3 sweetened coconut
  • 15 marshmallows, cut in half
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl or upright mixer and cream together until very smooth and light in color, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix together until well blended.  Add the flour and salt and mix together on low speed until smooth.

Press the dough into the parchment lined dish and bake for 18-22 minutes, until just golden on top.  Remove and let cool for 20 minutes.

To make caramel sauce, combine caramels, milk and a dash of salt in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat for 30 seconds until caramels start to soften, and stir.  Continue to heat caramels, stirring well every 10 seconds, until completely melted (about 1 minute).  

Turn the oven back to 350 degrees.  To assemble squares, begin by distributing chocolate bars evenly across cookie crust.  Drizzle caramel sauce evenly over chocolate.  Top with halved marshmallows, arranging evenly (6 rows of 5 for me).  Sprinkle coconut over the top to finish arranging.

Place in oven for 4 minutes, until marshmallows are soft.  Remove and smash down with the back of a spoon for more even toasting.  Turn your broiler on high.  Place the bars back in the oven but DON'T shut the door...they'll only be in there for about 30 seconds!  Just watch them.  When coconut starts to brown and marshmallows turn golden, remove immediately.  Let cool for as long as humanly possible (up to 15 minutes) before cutting and serving.  


  1. Yum! I would take the boards to get some of these yummy-looking bars! Love Mom

  2. Hello there, I am from Italy, mom of two great princes who don't care about eating :( I have created a blog where I share recipes I get from friends, web, fantasy which I hope they might like.
    we, italians, are very traditional as you might know. But I have a sister living in US who told me about samoa (as I have marshmellows at home and plenty of chocolate). so I was looking for a recipe and here i found you.
    Great ideas! great architecture. wanna learn how to make them :)
    please help me

    thanks a lot.
    lisa (hotmum.blogspot.com)

    1. Hello there! So glad that you found my recipe, and love that you've heard about samoas all the way from Italy. This is a play on the traditional recipe, which is a crunchy cookie with caramel, chocolate and toasted coconut. This version has a soft cookie base and marshmallows, which are not in the original but are in s'mores, my hubs favorite campfire treat (toasted marshmallows and chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers).

      If you'd like to make the traditional samoas recipe, the one below is pretty dang close. However, it's very time consuming so that's why I made up this recipe as a faster alternative. So check out both and give them a whirl...both are crazy delicious! And by all means, if you have any questions at all let me know....I'm always happy help!