Peanut Butter Coconut-Caramel Bars

Yes, they are eerily similar to the Six-C Bars–but with peanut butter. Homegirl forgot PB last time, so here’s a new and improved bar.

Except still totally different.

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Hey, did you know? Summer’s here, it’s hot as hell and I’m sweating like a mofo. Of course, my pale skin makes an appearance due to the fact that anyone choosing wearing pants in this excruciating weather is obviously deranged. And by ‘pale’ skin, I mean somewhere on the end of the spectrum where ghosts and jellyfish lie–nearly transparent.

Yet, people feel the need to point it out as if it isn’t terribly, BLINDINGLY obvious. “Wow, you’re so pale!” or my personal fave, snide comments about “my color.”

All I really have to say is “TANNING MOM”. I mean, really now. Is she human or a baseball mitt? At least when I’m forty, people will tell I’m a human and not a walking hide.

Plus, there’s something really weird about laying in a coffin full of UV lights. Juuuuust saying.

I was always slightly confused by the stigma against pale skin that reallllly tan people give off. Like pale people are disgusting things somewhere on the spectrum near camel toes and unibrows.

I’m sorry, but nothing is pleasurable in sitting outside baking my skin cells to a golden brown for hours on end. I don’t like being outside for more than five minutes if I can help it, much less laying out poolside or anything.

I remember one time, I went to the lake with a friend and we brought out beach towels and magazines and “laid” in the sun, “tanning.” And by “laid” and “tanning” I mean I restlessly flip-flopped from back to tummy about every minute, checking my skin wishing it would just goddamn cook already but became disappointed when I realized I had only been laying in the sun for a total of about two minutes and fifteen seconds and was thus, not a shade darker than computer paper.

I also heard the rumor that if you burn first, you’ll fade to a pretty tan color. I’d seen it happen on lobster kids at school who, by the next week, looked like thirteen year old Brazilian models strutting about. I figured I would be no exception and cooked myself to a nice crab-shell color one day and just spent the next week and a half crying, burning my ass off, and peeling my skin…. which, after a week and a half of utter pain and pointlessness, I reverted back to my normal shade of milk.

I didn’t even get a shade darker. I literally went from bright red to white in a week. Dude, if I’m gonna get melanoma, let’s at least make me look pretty beforehand, right?!

Thankfully, it took one hideously bad sunburn to realize tanning was not for me, like baseball hats or country music, and since, I’ve been vigilant about applying SPF all over, everyday.

Plus, I think the pale works for me, you know? Snow White is hella pale with dark hair, like me. So therefore, I’m kind of a princess. I’m pretty sure I’ll tell that to the next snobby orange girl who snickers at my paleness. “I’M A PRINCESS, BITCH. LIKE SNOW WHITE! TRY PUTTING A CROWN ON YOUR CATCHER’S MIT FACE!!”

Being a princess totally has its perks, like avoiding cancer and eating these bars–oh yeah, you were here for that recipe, weren’t you? Uh, sorry for the tangent then.

So they’re cake mix bars, per the usual, but topped with salted caramel sauce, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips and toasted coconut.

Being a princess rules.

Peanut Butter Coconut-Caramel Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
About 8 peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
2/3 cup caramel sauce*

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, extending the ends over the sides of the pan. Lightly grease the foil and set the pan aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, eggs and oil until combined (dough will be thick). Stir in the chocolate chips and coconut to blend.
3. Pour about 3/4 of the dough into the prepared pan and, using a greased rubber spatula (or your hand), gently press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
4. Top the bottom layer with the caramel sauce, drizzling it evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups. Next, crumble the remaining dough over the top.
5. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until edges are lightly golden and top has begun to brown slightly. Center may still be slightly jiggly; that’s the caramel, so don’t overbake it. Allow the bars to cool completely before lifting from the pan and cutting into squares. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature for approx. 2-3 days.
**Note: I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce, which has sea-salt in the sauce. If you can’t find it or don’t want to use it, that’s fine–just substitute with a regular jar of caramel sundae sauce and add about 1/2 tsp-1 tsp sea salt to it before drizzling on the bars, then bake according to the recipe.**

I am on such a toasted coconut kick it’s stupid. And since coconut is tiny, it has no calories. And since coconut has no calories, neither do these bars, which explains why I had seven of them consecutively. And then three more after dinner, maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. But only maybe.

I hope you have a fantabulous day!!

xo, Hayley

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  1. Ahahahaha! I’m with ya sister! Coffin of uv lights, ha! Us transparently white girls will be the envy of the leathery faced 40 year olds, with our smooth non wrinkled white skin. 🙂
    These bars? Amazing! You have put everything yummy in one place! I would have had at least 7 myself. Yum!

  2. Oh yum. Love! And you made me choke on my Chex mix with your reference to the catchers mit.

  3. Ha! You should have seen me on vacation–wearing SPF 70 and reapplying every 30 minutes. I’m pretty sure I was the only person “sunbathing” on the beach with her swimsuit coverup still on and a beach towel over her face. I’m with you–I burn and then go back to translucent.

    And these bars? Pretty much rule. I LOVE coconut! Oh, and peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate…

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