Samoa Cookie Bars

Sometimes taking a rest day is clear cut, other times the line is blurred. I left work early on Tuesday because I had the beginnings of a pretty wicked migraine. I get them every few months or so and they suck, blah. Luckily after a dose of Imitrex and a looong nap, the pain was gone. I woke up around 8pm groggy and feeling out of sorts. Although I wasn’t sure, I thought an easy run might help, so I headed out for 4 easy miles in Central Park. It turned out to be a good decision – I returned feeling energized and ready to tackle my to-do list. From 10pm-midnight I hand washed all of my running clothes, mopped the floor, and baked up some yummy treats. Huzzah for running-induced energy!

My general rule for running while sick is as follows: If my troubles are below the neck (fever, chills, stomach pains, etc) I will take a rest day. If, however, I just have a headache, sore throat, or stuffy nose, I will attempt an easy run. Usually I feel better afterward!

I’ve been craving Girl Scout cookies lately (Mom, if you’re reading this – can you order me some?!), but haven’t been able to locate any in the city. Soo, I decided to bake a batch of cookie bars that reminded me of Samoas. These bars came together quickly (I mixed everything in one bowl!), so they were perfect to make on a busy weeknight.

Samoa Cookie Bars (makes 12)


  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup, shredded coconut (sweetened)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I broke a dark chocolate bar into small chunks)


  • Preheat the oven to 35o degrees. Coat a 8″ x 8″ pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix together the melted butter and sugar until combined. Add the egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  • Slowly mix the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the coconut flakes and chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are *just* slightly golden brown. You don’t want to overbake!
  • Allow cookie bars to cool completely and then cut into 12 pieces.

Note: If you wanted to get fancy, you could garnish the top of the bars with drizzled chocolate or caramel sauce.

Today, I hit the roads for an early 7-miler and came back to sample a few bites of cookie bar with my morning coffee. The migraine is gone, I started the day with running, and I have a plate of goodies waiting for me at home. Wednesday is definitely beating Tuesday by a long shot!

How do you decide whether to run or take a rest day when you’re feeling under the weather?

  • Yummm, I want a cookie! Seriously, how is it 2011 and we still can’t buy Girl Scout cookies online??

    Just curious, why the handwashing of the running clothes?? I have a couple of “under-armour type” pieces that I line-dry, but I usually just throw everything in the wash.

  • @Emilia – I drop off all my laundry at the laundromat for wash ‘n fold service and I’m worried that they will put my running clothes in a super hot dryer. Eeek.

  • You know what those would be good for? A birthday present. Don’t you think? Right?

    I honestly have a pretty good read on my body, and in general, I can tell when I can/should run. Most of the time, my yuckiness is caused by sleep deprivation, and that means I get my rear out the door to run. But if I’m legitimately sick (as in, not just headache/sneeziness), I will take a pass on running. And I am not going to say, “But I rarely get sick!” because we all know how statements like THAT turn out.

  • Meggie

    Lauren Fleshman blogged on running when sick also recently! Guess ’tis the season for sickness!

    Wash and fold is God’s greatest gift to my life, but I don’t send half my running clothes there, mostly the winter ones.

  • These look ridiculous!! 🙂 It depends how sick I am in terms of working out, I try to push through it and if I feel worse the next day I rest 🙂

  • I ran through a cold last time I had one (August). I’d cough up a storm trying to get to sleep at night, but when it came to running, I was perfectly fine. When I threw out my back, I obviously took time off.

  • Laura R

    Those cookie bars look delcious! Sometimes if I’m feeling under the weather I will tell myself that I can run fewer miles if I at least run – like at least get out the door and go!

  • Completely agree with your above the neck/below the neck rule. That’s exactly what I follow. But if you’re sick (above the neck) and not feeling a run, always take a rest day!

  • Hand washing clothes!? That’s intense. I’m impressed.

    Thanks for your advice re: iron supplements btw. Liquid ferrous sulfate it is.

    I follow the same above/below the neck rule you do, because I heard it somewhere once when I was a teen. I remember the one time I tried to push through a body-ache I was like 18, got on a stair-master, and just about fell asleep. I felt so weak. It was a dumb idea…

  • Kelly

    I have always wondered about this…but is Central Park safe? I know you run there a lot at night and early morning when it is dark and some times alone. I, self admittedly, don’t know much about Central Park aside from the stereotypes we hear on the news or how it is portrayed in TV shows like Law & Order…haha! So I always wonder what is it REALLY like.

  • @Kelly – I think I am more brazen than most when it comes to night time running in Central Park, but it really is a safe place (I think). It’s much safer than it was in the 70’s and 80’s – there are people running/biking at ALL hours of the day and night and police cars make rounds regularly. That being said, I try to limit solo night time runs. If I *do* run in the dark, I leave the ipod at home and try to stick to well-lit paths in the busier, Southern end of the park.

  • I want those. Immediately. When I’m really on the fence about whether or not I should run I usually decide to go out and just see how I feel without any mileage or time goals. If I feel like crap after 10 minutes, I just turn around and go home.

  • ummmmm handwash clothes?! you are my hero. i probably washer wash many things that aren’t supposed to be because i refuse to handwash things.

    i use the neck rule too. and samoas? i think you mean caramel delights 😉

  • Sarah

    I was actually just thinking about this, because I’m recovering from a cold myself. When it’s just congestion and a headache, running almost always makes me feel better and more energized. My general rule is that if I can go to class sick, then I can do a run sick. If I know I’d feel guilty missing out on my other obligations, then I shouldn’t let myself off of running either. Unless it’s a stomach ache or something that would be really uncomfortable and yucky to run with.
    Also, samoas are my favorite girl scout cookie! I definitely have to try making these.

  • ooh, those are my favorite type of GS cookies! This looks delicious!

  • I heart samoas! those look delicious. I usually use the neck up rule too, and usually feel better after a run. Glad you’re feeling better 🙂

    I’m down for a run tomorrow morning if you are! I’ll e-mail/text ya!

  • Anne
  • I’ve heard that Kellogg just came out with a new flavor of their fiber bars that’s something like coconut chocolate. According to Hungry Girl, they taste just like Samoas! I’m on the hunt for them and will let you know if I find them in the city 🙂

  • Those look delicious!! I totally eat my baked goods with coffee for breakfast too – its the best. Sometimes when I’m sick running helps (like you said, if its a head thing), but if I’m achey, or if I start running and just feel terrible, I will stop. I’ve learned the hard way that rushing through the rest process doesn’t help. Sinus things have been making it a little hard for me to breathe while running lately, but it mainly just requires slowing down sometimes, and I don’t think I’m making it worse.

  • zero time to write a good comment. like your philosophy on running vs. sick-induced rest.

    cannot wait until i can make those samoa bars! holy moly.

  • I’ve been wanting Girl Scout cookies and not finding them either – no co-workers have forms on display for their daughters, no one’s been bothering me at the supermarket. Thanks for posting this recipe, which I’ll definitely be making soon!

  • these sound AWESOME! I recently made a different version of samoa bars–I am obsessed:

  • J

    Those look delicious! IF I wasn’t full on 4 cupcakes I could totally go for some right!

  • jason

    Those bars look awesome! If you are looking for some other good treats I just opened a Etsy shop with amazing sweets, check it out!

  • YUMM, those cookies look awesome! i generally don’t have any *rules* when it comes to taking rest days, although admittedly, i probably should be taking more of them. haha…i’m brutal at listening to my body….:)

  • I couldn’t find girl scout cookies in the city either! So I actually had my mom send me caramel delites (that’s what samaoa’s are called from my hometown!!) sneaky kids we are 😉 Those bars look like an awesome alternative, though! 🙂

  • I follow the same rule of thumb as you– anything above the neck is a go to run and anything below the neck is a no-go. I typically find running actually helps clear out things like congestions or head colds, but certainly doesn’t help the flu or other aches. I guess the one exception is that I do not run with a fever, but I suppose that’s a whole body issue.

    I need to either make your recipe now or get my hands on a box of samoas ASAP! I miss being a Girl Scout…

  • Kristan

    I have to try to make those bars. They look delicious! Glad you felt better. My only rule of thumb is not to run right after eating nachos.

  • Megan, you just provided me with the ultimate recipe for my husband’s birthday treat next week! Every year my sisters get him a total of about 15 boxes of Samoas–he is a fiend. Posting this is a total godsend. (Now I have to sneakily bookmark it somewhere he won’t find it… shoes wish list, possibly)?

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  • I made these this past weekend. They were delicious! This recipe is a keeper. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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