Sunday, April 3, 2016

Coconut Pecan Bars

1 cake mix
1 stick melted butter, cooled
1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Pour cake mix, butter and egg into a bowl.  Mix well.  Press into baking dish.  In a medium size sauce pan on medium high heat combine coconut, nuts, sugar and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until mixture starts to thicken.  Remove from heat.  Cut cream cheese into chunks and add to mixture.  Stir until melted and blended.  Stir in vanilla.  Spread evenly over cake mix.  Bake 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Makes about 24 bars.

Comments:  I found this recipe online and since it had some of my favorite ingredients - coconut, nuts, cream cheese - I had to make it.  For my cake mix I used Butter Pecan.  Also, I had a couple bags of walnuts and only 1 bag of pecans so I used walnuts instead of pecans.  And believe me, I couldn't tell the difference I have a feeling due to using the Butter Pecan mix.  I also used rum extract instead of the vanilla, only because I had about 1/2 tsp. left and needed to use it up too before buying more.  I don't think the rum made that much difference, if any, in taste.  The recipe said to reduce heat and simmer until it starts to thicken.  Mine never did thicken so I added the cream cheese after most of the water had cooked out.  No matter what, this dish came out delicious!  My lucky food testers all had nothing but praises for it and one question.  When will you make this one again?!
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