Healthy Samoas Cookie Bars are made with an almond flour cookie crust, date caramel, and shredded coconut. An easy and healthier way to enjoy the flavors of a favorite Girl Scout cookie! Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan.
If there were one Girl Scout cookie that I would magically turn gluten-free, it would be the Samoa cookie. Or as I grew up knowing it, the Caramel deLite.
It wasn't until I lived in different parts of the country that I realized more people knew that the shortbread cookies were topped with caramel, coconut, and chocolate as a Samoa cookie.
I thought everyone had lost their minds.
Healthy Samoas Cookie Bars Ingredients
In reality, there are two names for this cookie (and some slight differences). But the flavors remain the same.
Swapping out dairy-based caramel for date caramel and a simple almond flour cookie layer, a healthier Samoas bar recipe is possible. Here's what you'll need:
- Medjool dates
- coconut or almond milk
- maple syrup
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- almond flour
- coconut oil or vegan butter
- dairy-free chocolate chips
If you haven't had date caramel yet, get ready. I'd say it has ruined regular caramel for me (which is totally okay).
While your cookie crust is baking, prepare your date caramel in a high-powered blender. I suggest soaking your dates in hot water for at least 5 minutes prior to blending. This ensures a smoother caramel.
When the date caramel is ready, stir in your unsweetened shredded coconut and spread atop your cookie crust.
Once set, drizzle your dairy-free chocolate and you've got yourself vegan gluten-free Samoas cookie bars. The longer you allow these easy cookie bars to chill in the fridge, the more set they will become.
A little sprinkle of sea salt on top doesn't hurt either!
If you are on the hunt for more healthy-ish brownie and bar recipes, check out Laura's black bean brownies. So sneaky!
More Cookie Bar Recipes
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Gluten-Free Tahini Millionaire Bars
Healthy Samoas Cookie Bars
- 1 cup Medjool dates pitted and halved
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup coconut or unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips melted
- 1 ½ cups (174g) almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or vegan butter melted and slightly cooled
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8x8 pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour and salt. Add coconut oil or vegan butter and maple syrup. Stir to combine until dough forms and all dry bits are incorporated. Transfer dough to prepared pan. Press dough into an even layer. Use an extra piece of parchment paper to help smooth it out.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, crust should start to brown on edges and lightly on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While crust is baking, pit and slice your dates and cover them in a small bowl with hot water. Allow to soak for at least 5 minutes. Once soaked, drain and transfer dates to a high powered blender. Add salt, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Blend on high until smooth.
- Transfer date caramel to a medium bowl. Add shredded coconut. Stir to combine. Spread date caramel mixture in an even layer on top of baked crust. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
- In a small microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips and heat for two 30-second intervals in the microwave to melt. Remove bars from fridge and drizzle melted chocolate on top. (I put melted chocolate in a baggie, cut the tip, and drizzle.)Refrigerate for another 30 minutes before removing from pan and slicing into bars.
- Store Samoas cookie bars in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
Oh my goodness, what a brilliant recipe!!!!
Hello, can I use coconut flour instead?
Hi Dana! Coconut flour is much more absorbent and wouldn't work with the liquids here. I'm afraid it would turn out very crumbly.
I just made these and am waiting patiently for them to set so we can try them! Any idea if they freeze well?
Hi Colleen! I hope you enjoy them! They do freeze well - great for individual treats when needed! :)
Delicious recipe with just enough sweetness!
I’ll be making this again.
Yay! So glad you liked it. Thanks, Christina!
So, no sweetener at all in the cookie crust?
Hi Cassandra - thank you for catching that. It is 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or honey) in crust. I had that in the instructions but was omitted in the ingredients. Thank you!!
This look fabulous!! I am an avid baker though admittedly not of the healthy persuasion haha but I want to align my baking more along the lines of how I eat and these look perfect! However I have a lot of time finding (and affording) medjool dates, can I use regular deglet?
Hi! Thank you! Yes, I think deglet dates would work just fine. I would recommend soaking them a little longer than what is called for in the recipe.
Would canned coconut milk work here? Can’t wait to try these!
Hi Lindsay! Yes, canned coconut would work great!