Why is it that everything very good is so very, very bad?
Take this modified Paula Deen recipe for Gooey Butter Bars that the genius over at Brown Sugar Mama had the fantastic idea of adding coconut and lemon to. There are almost 3/4lbs of butter in this this recipe and so much sugar that you will lose count of the amount.
Which is why they are so good.
And also why a sad person who is trying to lose her baby weight should not have in the house. Why am I sad? I registered my first baby for kindergarten this morning. I can’t believe how fast the time goes. When I’m sad, I want to eat sweets. This was just a really dumb thing to have in the house today.
I love lemon bars, and this was like a coconutty lemon bar on crack. So, so good.
So good that I couldn’t control myself and had to leave my husband a note that said “Please! Take these to work! Take them all! Get them out of my house! Immediately! Don’t forget them!”
My kids helped me make these and we had them in the oven about 15 minutes later. Super easy. They look like a lot of work, but it’s really just combining of a few ingredients and baking. Check out the directions. There are very few. Wham bam.
Recipe slightly adapted from Brown Sugar Mama
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup sweetened coconut, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat your oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.
Mix together your crust ingredients and pat it evenly into the bottom of your pan.
Cream together your filling ingredients and dump them over the top of the crust.
To make your topping, using a pastry blender or a fork, mix together the butter, flour, sugars, and 1/2 cup of the coconut until a crumbly, crisp like consistency. Sprinkle over the top of the filling. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut over that.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Do not overbake. The center will still be slightly unset and gooey but will set up as it cools. Cool to room temp and then refrigerate before cutting into squares for best results.