I've been totally slacking.
The truth is I just haven't been baking the past two weeks. I know... who am I? All I'm going to say is that I've been distracted. Lots going on at work, a little travel, my half-marathon about a month away and many nights out with friends have been filling my calendar, but I'll let you use your imagination as to the real culprit. However, there's no excuse to leave ya'll hanging - so you have my apologies! I can't swear it won't happen again (life getting in the way, that is) but I'll always own up to it. Promise.
To ease back into baking the aforementioned culprit chose a chocolate treat that sounded perfect in terms of ease and general deliciousness. My Mom used to make these when I was a kid and I remember being so confused about sweetened condensed milk. The thick stuff looked more like pudding than the milk I poured on my Kix. But it was soooooo good and lick-your-lips sweet.
These "magic" bars are an adaptation of my Mom's classic recipe but the little change made them better than I ever remembered (don't tell!). As a semi-respectable home baker, I don't mess much in the cake mix aisle at the grocery store - but we could be on to something with this new use for boxed mix... as a crust! These bars are 100% delicious and the perfect treat for a decadent dessert. I'm looking forward to finding more uses for boxed cake mixes - the possibilities are endless!
German Chocolate Coconut Bars
1 pkg. german chocolate cake mix
1.3 cup butter, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flaked sweetened coconut, divided
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Pour cake mix into large bowl; cut in butter and lightly beaten egg with pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly. Press onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch pan (I used two 8 x 8-inch pans).
Combine sweetened condensed milk, egg and vanilla in medium bowl; beat until well combined. Stir in 1 cup coconut, nuts and 1/2 cup morsels. Spread mixture evenly over base; sprinkle with remaining coconut and morsels. Lightly press down morsels.
Bake for 30-32 minutes or until center is almost set. Center will be firm when cool. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars (and try not to eat them all by yourself!).