Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars
We love cookie bars at our house. I began my love of cookie bars quite young as it was one of those childhood sweet treats my Mom made often for my brothers and myself. Another life-long obsession is, my love affair with caramel. If I had to choose between chocolate and caramel? Well, there's no contest. My heart belongs to creamy, buttery, caramel. These caramel coconut pecan bars begin with a caramel cake mix, an easy caramel filling embellished with a sprinkle of toffee, coconut and toasted pecans. Pure heaven.
Tips for Making Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars
- Caramel cake mix can be hard to come by sometimes. If you're unable to find it, I've made these bars with butter pecan and yellow cake mix, too. They're different yet, still delicious.
- Dulce de Leche is a luscious thick caramel. It's readily available in most grocery stores in the Hispanic foods section. You can also find it in specialty food markets like World Market and Williams Sonoma.
- You may also be able to adapt this recipe with a thick caramel ice cream topping in the same amount.
- If you'd like to make your own, checkout my technique for making homemade dulce de leche in a slow cooker.
- Other caramel desserts you may enjoy are these caramel pecan turtle scotcheroos and easy caramel pecan sticky rolls.
- You may also enjoy this recipe for caramel pecan cupcakes from Garnish and Glaze.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Caramel Coconut Pecan Bars
- 1 cup pecan pieces toasted
- 1 15.25 oz box caramel cake mix See Cook's note
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup cold butter cubed
- 1 13.4 oz can dulce de leche
- 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup shredded sweetened flaked coconut
- ½ cup English toffee bits
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread pecan pieces in a single layer on a baking pan. Toast for 6-8 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- To a medium-size mixing bowl, add the cake mix, oats and cinnamon. Sift together with a whisk.
- Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients using a hand mixer, food processor, or by hand using a pastry blender. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Separate out 1 cup and keep chilled.
- Press the remaining mixture into an 13 x 9 inch non stick metal pan that has been sprayed with a baking spray.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer or a whisk, whip together dulce de leche, evaporated milk, egg and salt.
- Layer the pecans, toffee bits and coconut over the crust. Drizzle the caramel filling evenly on top.
- Crumble reserved chilled streusal topping and place back into the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.
- Cool completely in the pan on a baking rack before cutting.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- If you're unable to find caramel cake mix you can adapt using butter pecan or yellow cake mix. They're different yet, still delicious.
- Dulce de Leche is a luscious thick caramel. It's readily available at most grocery stores in the Hispanic foods section.