Samoa Magic Bars

Samoa Magic Bars

When in doubt, always follow behavior patterns that have proven successful in the past.

Example: when I’m not sure what to bake, the answer is magic bars, pure and simple. Because no matter how basic a magic bar is, different flavors and combinations abound. And when there are Girl Scout cookies in the world, attention must be paid.

Samoa Magic Bars

This is my one-year blogiversary, everyone. You’d think I’d be celebrating by popping champagne and downing one of my decadent desserts, and perhaps that will happen, too. At the moment, though, I’m feeling more contemplative than celebratory.

Samoa Magic Bars

You see, blogging is kind of hard, if you keep it up. I have a demanding full-time job as a high school teacher, and I also have three small kids. Any attention I give Just About Baked has to be stolen time. That happens early in the morning before anybody is awake, late at night after everyone is asleep, or on weekends, when the kitchen suddenly becomes a whirlwind of spilled flour and sugar.

Samoa Magic Bars

Through this year, Just About Baked has become stronger and is shaping into something that I’m really proud of. There’s still so much I want to do, and I’m not sure when that will happen. But I’ve learned something really important in life, and it applies to my blog. Ready for this wisdom?

Forget perfect. Try good enough.

Samoa Magic Bars

You see, I’m never going to be perfect, not in anything. I’ll never be the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect teacher, the perfect person. And my blog won’t be, either. My pictures could use some improvement, I am guilty of the occasional typo, and I have left ingredients out of recipes. Sorry, folks.

Samoa Magic Bars

Those transgressions alone are enough to shut down many a food blogger. But that’s not going to happen here. I can’t learn or grow if I quit, and unless I accept that my blog, as it stands, is good enough. I will keep working and trying, and that’s all I can do.

Samoa Magic Bars

So on this one-year anniversary of Just About Baked, I’ve gotten pretty serious. But I also want to say thank you to all of you who read and support my blog, who write in lovely comments, and who compliment my crazy ideas, like this one. After all, why not make a Samoa more of a delight by adding it to a chocolate graham cracker crust topped with coconut, chocolate chips, Samoa pieces, and condensed milk?

See? Magic. Even magic doesn’t have to be perfect. So happy blogiversary to me, and here’s to being good enough. Let’s all raise a magic bar to that!


Samoa Magic Bars


1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups chocolate chips
10 Samoas, broken into small pieces
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil, letting the foil hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate chips for one minute. Stir until smooth. Add the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa and brown sugar, mixing until the crumbs are moistened.
  3. Press the crust into the prepared pan with a rubber spatula, ensuring that everything is packed in evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the crust from the oven. Lightly but evenly spread on the coconut. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, and then the Samoas. Be sure to cover every possible area with the broken cookies. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares.



I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg

    Mir – What a beautifully written post! You’re such a humble blogger (and talented, too). I give you a ton of credit for balancing teaching and kids at home. I am a teacher as well (and a part-time barista) and understand how difficult it is to find balance. Luckily, baking is something that you love and you’re putting a full heart into the process. The reason I went into the teaching profession is because I love learning. I learn something new every single day. The process of learning is similar in blogging I think. We make mistakes and then we make huge achievements that we’re proud of. Congratulations on your one year anniversary in blogging! You’re my hero for all of these GSC recipes. My boxes haven’t come in yet and I’m getting way too excited about experimenting with your recipes.
    Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You are so kind, Erin! Thanks for the sweet words. I’ve been teaching for 15 years now so I’ve got that down, but blogging is still quite a learning curve! Thanks for being such a faithful reader.

  2. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Magic bars that contain girl scout cookies are sure to be amazing! I wish I had these for breakfast, Mir! I love the flavors in here!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Slow Cooker Cranberry Spice TeaMy Profile

    1. Mir

      They were my dinner last night, Gayle! I’m kind of wishing all my meals were like that…

  3. mira

    These magic bars are fantastic! Great use of samoa cookies! Need to try some of your bars recipes very soon, because I’ve been craving them for a while! They look so good!!!
    mira recently posted…Persimmon Coconut Chia PuddingsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Le me know if you do, Mira! I like to know how things turn out…

  4. Rachelle

    Happy anniversary/blogaversary!!! Mir, I love reading your blog and your photos are alway gorgeous. Keep them coming!
    Rachelle recently posted…Meatball SlidersMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Rachelle, you are so kind. Thanks for the really nice words of encouragement, and thanks for reading!

  5. Jen @ Baked by an Introvert

    I love your use of girls scout cookies, Mir. These magic bars look insanely good. Happy blogaversary! I’m a new reader but I’m loving everything here!
    Jen @ Baked by an Introvert recently posted…Bourbon Cookie Butter CupsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Welcome, Jen! Thanks for checking out the site. Can’t wait to get to know you!

  6. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    Congrats on one year blogging Mir! So glad to have “met” you this year – I love reading your blog! These bars look amazing (like all your desserts I must say!) and I need to make them soon! I have a hard enough time balancing the blog and 3 kids, and I’m at home, not working full time on top of it all, so I think you’re doing pretty well! I’m completely impressed that you can manage all that!
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Apple Oatmeal SquaresMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks so much, Stacey! I’ve so much enjoyed your blog this year, too! And as for balancing everything, well, some days I’m barely hanging on!

  7. Manali @ CookWithManali

    Congratulations on 1 year Mir! 🙂 Keep going! The bars look wonderful!
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Big Cluster Chocolate GranolaMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Manali! I plan to! 🙂

  8. Heather B.

    Mir, I absolutley loved what you wrote today about being good enough:) Your desserts are always so mouth-watering, and your pictures really show off your baking creativity, but I always find myself drawn to your honest writing. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary for “Just About Baked”! I’m so glad I’ve met you, friend:)

    1. Mir

      You are awesome, Heather. And I’m glad you’re back, because I’ve missed you! Thanks for your super nice words and constant support!

  9. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    Happy one year!!! Seriously thoughtful post, and so important to realize that perfection isn’t always what you need to be striving for. Plus, all those ‘established professional food bloggers’ probably made many more mistakes in their first year! I think just finding a groove that works for you is whats important; after all, we all started blogging for ourselves and not to please anyone else. Also these bars are giving me life. They look beyond amazing, what with the samoas and the chocolate and the melty chocolate chips. Pinning! 🙂
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…{Vegan} Spaghetti with Lemon Cream Sauce + SpinachMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks for the pin and for being a regular follower, Medha! It’s funny how we start blogging for ourselves and then it winds up being such a huge personal project that we share with others. I love it!

  10. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

    These are magic alright!
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) recently posted…Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      And you would know, o creator of magical cookies! Thanks, Jocelyn!

  11. Mary Frances

    Happy one year Mir! Wow, every time I see one of these posts, I’m always like, how do they do it?? My blog didn’t look like any of yalls at all after one year – keep up the amazing work, you’re rocking this blog thing! Getting a shout out from Dorothy was the coolest thing ever – I had a fangirl moment for you 🙂
    ANYWAYS these bars rank second of coolest things ever. Samoas for the win!
    Mary Frances recently posted…{Gluten Free and Vegan} Deep Dish Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks SO much, Mary Frances! I was seriously humbled (and thrilled) to get that shout out. It totally made my week. Probably my month.
      And I so much appreciate your constantly awesome comments. Your blog rocks, and you really take time to connect with your readers. It’s amazing!

  12. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    Magic bars are always one of my go-tos. There are so many ways to make them! I think this is my favorite, hands down!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Mint Chip Ice Cream CupcakesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      That means a lot coming from you, Dorothy! You know your magic bars!

  13. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    Congratulations on the one year blogiversary!!! Major props to you for everything you manage beside the blog…color me impressed!!! I can hardly keep up and I stay at home all day long!!! But yes, to every single thing you said!!! Just keep trying and enjoying the ride and you will go far! And these bars…man, I am in love with them!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted…Luck of the Irish Giveaway: Win a Keurig Brewer and $100 CashMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks so much, Jocelyn! Your blog is a huge inspiration to me, so I’m very grateful to have you to set such an amazing example!

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