Chunky Chocolate
Peanut Butter Bars

Yield:48 bars
This recipe comes from the cookbook Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. It's a recipe I initially made to use up some leftover cocoanut, a box of cake mix, and some sweetened condensed milk that had been hanging around my cupboards for a while. They turned out to be pretty addictive and I've made the cookies several times now. Since they're made with a mix, they go together pretty quickly, but they do need to cool before they're cut.

Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
1 package plain yellow cake mix (~18.25 ounces)
1 cup chunky peanut butter
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick,) melted
2 large eggs
2 cups bitterweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk (non fat ok)
2 tablespoons unsweetened butter
1 cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed, or sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan, lined with foil if desired for easy removal of the cookies.

2. Place the cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides. Set aside.

3. For the filling, place the chocolate chips, condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir and cook until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut and vanilla until well distributed. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust, and spread it evenly with the rubber spatula so that it reaches the sides of the pan. Using your fingertips, crumble the reserved crust and scatter it evenly over the chocolate. Place the pan in the oven.

4. Bake until the topping is light brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

5. Cut into 48 bars and serve.