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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Red Velvet Coconut Bars

UPDATE - After Book Club:
I would now substitute a basic chocolate cake mix instead of Red Velvet.  The red from the cake mix got all over fingers, teeth, and tongues.  Since bars are meant to be handled with your fingers, and I saw how intense the red was, I did take forks and plates and lots of napkins.  It was a bit embarrassing to see how overly intense the red was.  Oh well, lesson learned.  It was really tasty though!  Try it with just a chocolate cake mix and it will do fine...although, at Christmas, it might be pretty!
I am going to my first Book Club meeting Tuesday morning at Paragraph's on Padre and wanted to take a treat to have with coffee.  I found a recipe on Inside BruCrew Life's blog and I wanted to give it a try, but as so often happens, I didn't have all of the ingredients.  Since I'd rather be nibbled to death by ducks than go to the grocery store today, I scanned my pantry shelves.  I went crazy... I just flew by the seat of my pants and hoped it would turn out better than okay...but if it was at least okay, I'd have something to take.  I am a huge fan of Jocelyn at Inside BruCrew Life - she has a plethora of yummy desserts and I have tried several of them... not a bad one in the bunch.  I was very hopeful that my fly-by of one of her desserts would be something she might appreciate.

Here's what I ended up with:
Red Velvet Coconut Bars

Red Velvet Coconut Bars
Inspired by Inside BruCrew Life


1 Red Velvet cake mix (used Duncan Hines)
6 Tbsp salted butter, melted
1/3 cup Half and Half
1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
7 ounce bag of Bakers Angel Flake Coconut (sweetened)
6 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 tsp. brewed coffee
1/2 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a 9x13 pan with cooking spray (I used a glass pan because I wanted to see what the layers looked like) .
Combine the cake mix, melted butter, and half and half until crumbly and wet.

Press one half of the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Set the remaining dough to the side. (If you failed to heed my warning to wear gloves - well, you now have red hands)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until mostly smooth.  Add the coconut and mix on low.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the dough in the pan and smooth out evenly with a spatula.

Pull and drop bits of the rest of the cake dough over the top of the cream cheese mixture.  The dough is very "doughy" so try to pull small pieces and get them evenly over the will not provide full coverage.  That's okay.

Bake at 350 degrees 28-30 minutes.  There was still a bit of jiggle in the middle when it came out.  That's okay too. It firms up when cooled.  The edges are lightly browned.  Place pan on rack and allow to cool completely.

Place chocolate chips in a heat resistant mixing bowl and add one teaspoon of brewed coffee.  In a small saucepan, bring the whipping cream just to a slight boil, stirring the entire time.  Remove immediately from the heat as it reaches a boil and pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips.  Stir until mixture is creamy and richly chocolate!  You have ganache....yum.

Spread thinly over the top of the bars.  Let set completely before cutting into squares.

The "red" part of the Red Velvet is quite messy and impossible
to cut without getting color on the white portion.
Regardless, they are delicious!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


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