HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?!
How did the Girl Scout cookie selling season come and go without us even knowing it?!?! Usually we can sniff a Girl Scout selling cookies from 2 states away but nary a knock on the door for us this year and those sly scouts seemed to have abandoned their posts outside the grocery store. Drats!
Like we said, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?!
Now we are going to have to buy our cookies on the black market for like $5 a box rather than $4 a box. Wait, is there a black market for Girl Scout cookies? There should be. Or there should be a store that sells the cookies all the time. Like, maybe, a grocery store? WHY CAN'T THEY JUST SELL THE COOKIES IN THE GROCERY STORE?!?!
Ok. Forgive us, it's our anger and bitterness talking. We love the Girl Scouts. We used to be Girl Scouts. (Though, the cookies were $1.50 a box back then. Yes. We are that old.) Girl power. Always be prepared. Or something like that.
Anyhoo. The real issue here is: what are we bakers to do then without a bounty of Thin Mints and Tagalongs and Samoas to gorge on right before bathing suit season?!?!
Replicate the flavor of one of our favs in chocolate bark form obviously!!
Thanks to the brilliant Baker Royale (again, we love you, again) we sort of kind of not really but still totally amazingly have the chocolatey-coconuty-cookie-ish taste sensation to binge on. YAY!! Shady black market deals avoided, btw.
Adapted from Bakers Royale
For the Bark:
11 1/2 ounces bag dark or semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup coarsely crushed shortbread cookies
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted
1 cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
For the Caramel Sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
7 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
First make the caramel sauce. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan dissolve the sugar and water over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then increase the heat to high. Every so often swirl the pot to keep the mixture moving. It will start bubbling. Once it has darkened to a medium amber color, remove from the heat and immediately add the butter and cream to the pan (it will bubble up a lot) and whisk violently until combined and smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
To make/assemble the bark, line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper leaving some overhang to pull the bark out with. Blitz the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments stirring after 1 1/2 minutes and watching carefully until melted and smooth (do NOT overheat...stir to make sure you really still need to melt the chocolate further, sometimes the residual heat will melt any lumps you do see). Pour half the chocolate into the pan and spread or tip to smooth. Sprinkle some or all of the shortbread over the chocolate and press gently down. Transfer to the freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden. Then remove from the freezer and pour the caramel sauce on top spreading until an even layer. Sprinkle with coconut and press into the caramel gently. Return the pan to the freezer to harden further for 5-10 minutes. Remove from freezer and top with the remaining chocolate. drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with coconut. Harden further in the fridge but bring the bark more to room temperature before cutting with a sharp knife so it doesn't splinter. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.