It's that time of year again! The time where little girls wearing brown or green or khaki vests stand outside of grocery stores, and their shrillest and most guilt-inducing voices yell, "GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!!" and you end up buying 6 boxes of thin mints and eating an entire sleeve on the way home.
I was once of one of these girls. Although my days of cookie entrepreneurship took place in Virginia, where it was freezing during peak selling season. We stuffed our mittens with hot hands and our pleas to "BUY COOKIES" were muffled by fleece scarves, but we did it. I think we ended up selling so many because A) people felt sorry for us, B) the cold weather encouraged hibernation and increased cookie consumption, and C) cookies back then were a reasonable $3.50, not $5.00. (What do I look like, scouts? A Rockefeller?)
Regardless, there are few people who don't enjoy a girl scout cookie. I began a fan of the plain ol' Trefoils, which I didn't so much eat as much as I sucked on until they disintegrated into a soggy, cookie mess. As I morphed into a preteen, I began to develop a taste for the seemingly more mature Samoas, aka Caramel deLites, and their tropical and chocolatey flavor. Like Angelica Pickles, I was not a fun of coconut in my childhood, but I had since grown to love the combination of crunchy shortbread, chocolate, and toasted caramel. My favorite way to eat them was cold, paired alongside a glass of 2% and Judy Blume's Deenie.
These days my cabinets are filled with coconut flour and Nestlé chocolate chips. Using the ingredients I had on hand, I was inspired to recreate the flavors of my beloved Samoa into an awesome, squishy plate of cookie bars. Often times coconut flour can be quite dry, but this recipe doesn't cook for very long, and the end result is something akin to raw cookie dough. The chocolate is melty and the addition of sea salt adds a punch of sophistication. I eat these guys in a similar fashion to their predecessors, but now do my dunking in Trader Joe's almond milk and have swapped the Judy Blume for Stephen King's On Writing (!!!!!!!, BTW!!!!)
I will admit that when I was cutting them, the center pieces were very, very gooey. These were the pieces I ended up eating, as they came out not so pretty but insanely delicious. I refrigerated some of the unfinished gooey bits, and came to snack on them as breakfast treat. Cold salt+coconut cake+chocolate= the ultimate pre-getting dressed snack. While they may not be as traditional as a box of Samoas, they will most certainly do.
GF chocolate coconut cookie bars
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup honey (you can also use agave or maple syrup)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for topping
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips (i like semi-sweet)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, eggs, and almond milk until well incorporated. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt to a separate bowl and whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until everything is just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, saving about 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
Bake in the oven for 20-24 minutes, depending on your oven. I check mine at 20 because this is the kind of thing better underbaked than overbaked. It may look a little underbaked, but if the knife comes out clean you are GOOD TO GO! Cool for 10 minutes and then slice into squares. For even neater/simpler cutting, place the tray in the fridge or freezer for an additional ten minutes.