Every Epiphany, our family hosted an Open House for the entire congregation. It was a good way for our Pastor / Family to celebrate and share a special evening with our fellow friends and members.
For the week or so before, my Mother, sisters and I would spend lots of time in the kitchen, baking lots of special desserts for the evening. Dad was responsible for the candy cane cookies, and Joel helped with the buckeyes. The rest, the girls made and checked off our baking list.
We made buckeyes, coconut macaroons, tea cakes, gooey butter bars, candy cane cookies, caramel morsel bars, cranberry date bars, pizzelles and these fudge-full bars. I know it sounds like a lot but we wanted everyone to enjoy a variety of sweets!
There is something about these fudge-full bars that I really enjoy. It’s a bar recipe which keeps this recipe simple. There’s a nice combination of peanut butter and chocolate, which we all know is ideal. Plus, the middle chocolate layer is deliciously rich with a nice surprise of coconut.
For bottom layer and top:
1 package (17.5 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup coconut
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
In large mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter and eggs. Stir until dough holds together.
Press two-thirds of dough into the bottom of an ungreased 9 by 13 pan. Reserve remaining dough for topping.
In heavy saucepan, combine chocolate chops, sweetened condensed milk and butter. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, vanilla and nuts (if desired).
Pour filling over dough in pan. Use a spatula to ensure the filling completely covers the bottom dough layer.
Crumble reserved dough over filling to make a top layer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool and cut into bars.
For all the other chocolate recipes, click on the button image below to view the rest of the recipes from my 31 Days of Chocolate.