Looking for the perfect dessert to please a crowd? Below are twenty cookie bars that are quick and easy, including THE BEST Chocolate Coconut Bar recipe (AKA: Bite-Sized Samoa Cookies). Watch the step-by-step recipe video below!
If you're in a time-pinch or if you don't have the patience to bake dozens of cookies for a group event, cookie bars can be an easy (and still delicious) way to win over a crowd. Even if that crowd is your partner and kids!
If you love Caramel Delights Girl Scout Cookies, also known as Samoa Cookies, you're going to love this Coconut Chocolate Bar recipe with caramel. So delicious.
In this post, you'll find...
- 3 Ways Making Cookie Bars Save You Time
- Quick Tips For Cutting Cookie Bars Into the Perfect Bite-Sized Mini Desserts
- Caramel Delights Recipe (AKA: Coconut Chocolate Bars Cut into Bite-Sized Dessert Pieces)
- 20 Cookie Bars That Are Easy Desserts For a Crowd
3 Ways Making Cookie Bars Saves You Time
Baking tasty desserts for a crowd doesn't have to be time-consuming. Cookie bar recipes are great potluck or party desserts that can save you time.
1. You can stop searching for the perfect dessert idea.
When I need to bring potluck desserts or provide party sweets, I get a bit anxious searching for the perfect recipe. The choices on Pinterest can be overwhelming. Your search ends here. Pick one of the cookie bar recipes below!
2. Cookie bar recipes are quick desserts because they are one and done.
Making cookies (or other mini dessert recipes) seems like a good idea until you're baking all those cookies a few trays at a time. It can eat up an entire afternoon! What I love about cookie bars is they are one and done; you bake a single 9x13 tray.
3. Cookie bars are easy desserts for a crowd because you can cut them into tiny bite-sized dessert pieces.
Cookie bars are the perfect party dessert because you can slice any 9x13 bar recipe into fun-sized bites. When I think of potluck desserts, my mind always defaults to cookie bars as a fast solution!
3 Quick Tips For Cutting Cookie Bars Into the Perfect Bite-Sized Mini Desserts
1. Parchment paper makes for perfect cookie bar edges.
Line your 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Once your cookie bars are cooled, you can pop the entire bar out with ease; this will ensure beautiful edges!
2. Use a sharp knife or a high-end pizza cutter when cutting cookie bars.
Keep your mini dessert pieces nice and clean by cutting your cookie bars with a super sharp knife. A dull knife is sure to make a mess of any good dessert!
Every time you make a pass through the cookie bars, check your blade. If it gets covered in cookie bar goop, be sure to wipe it off before making your next cut.
3. Save a poorly cut bar recipe with a playful presentation.
If your cuts made your cookie bar look like a dessert massacre, don't fret! You can save poorly cut cookie bar recipes by displaying the pieces on a nice tray with some playful visual distractions.
We served our Samoa Cookies with caramel squares and pieces of coconut sprinkled on the serving dish. Other things you can throw on a plate with your cookie bar recipes include chocolate chips, nuts, or if you're making a lemon dessert bar, you could even add fresh slices of lemon.
Caramel Delights Recipe (AKA: Chocolate Coconut Bars With Caramel Cut into Bite-Sized Samoa Cookies)
When creating a go-to collection of potluck desserts or family party sweets, you want to look for tasty desserts that can be quickly cut down into a bunch of mini bite-sized desserts. THIS is one of those cookie bar recipes!
This cookie bar recipe is based on Caramel Delights, sometimes also known as Samoa Cookies. As a kid, I loved Samoa Girl Scout Cookies. When I ate these classic cookies with my girls this year, I thought to myself, "We can do better."
We went in search of some Samoa cookie recipes, but they all seemed too complicated. We turned to dessert bar recipes instead and found a great collection of ideas. We modified a few different bar recipes to come up with the one below! These coconut bars truly are caramel delights, and every bite is ooey-gooey delicious.
THE BEST Coconut Chocolate Bar
Inspired by the classic girl scout cookies these crumbly Carmel Delights are made of a chewy caramel coconut layer that sits atop a shortbread. The cookie bar is covered with chocolate and toasted coconut!
- 3 sticks Butter
- ⅔ cup Powdered sugar
- 3 cups Flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 cups Caramels, unwrapped
- 3-6 tablespoon Heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups Coconut flakes (reserve ½ cup for top)
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 bag Chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper and grease with nonstick spray.
- Cream together butter and powdered sugar for 2-3 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined. If you don’t have an electric mixer, use your hands!
- Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of your pan and press down. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is barely golden. You don’t want to overcook it!
- While your crust is baking, stir the coconut flakes in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the flakes start to brown (keep the coconut moving to ensure it doesn’t burn!) When done, immediately transfer to a bowl so the coconut stops cooking.
- Add caramels and heavy cream to a microwave-safe bowl — microwave on half power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often until the mixture is smooth. The more cream you choose to add, the softer your caramel section will be!
- Stir the vanilla into the caramel and then add coconut flakes.
- When the crust is done baking, turn the oven off, but be sure to keep the door closed to keep it warm!
- Spread the caramel mixture over the crust.
- Once the caramel is spread, sprinkle chocolate chips over bars and put them back in the warm oven for 2-3 minutes until chocolate chips are shiny and soft.
- Spread the chocolate and then sprinkle with additional coconut (and coarse sea salt if desired).
- Cut into bite-sized squares and serve.
Melting and spreading this caramel mixture requires some patience. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think you could easily replace that part of the recipe with Smuckers or Hershey’s Caramel Topping instead. The bar might be a bit more ooey-gooey, but definitely still delicious with less effort!
If you make these for your family, be sure to grab yourself a bar straight away. They go quickly!
20 Cookie Bars That Are Quick and Easy Potluck Desserts
Below are dessert ideas that will taste amazing, that you can make fast, and are recipes that hold a lot of punch in a small mini dessert sized bite!
- Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Pan Cookie
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
- Nanaimo Bars Recipe
- Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
- Frosted Pumpkin Bars
- Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars
- Cream Cheese Frosted Cranberry Bars
- Turtle Bars
- Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Creme Brulee Cookie Bars
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Maple Walnut Bars
- M&M Bars
- Magic Cookie Bar Recipe
- Malted Magic Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Coconut Cookie Bars
- S'mores Cookie Bars
- Millionaire Bars
- Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars
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