Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pink Lemonade Bars

We didn't post a recipe last week because we were busy celebrating the Fourth of July holiday by camping at one of our favorite state parks.  Nothing makes summer more enjoyable than shared experiences of the season.  Here are a few random observances from the last week that illustrate what makes summer so special to us:

* the relaxing fun of observing fireworks just over the tree tops from the comfort of your lawn chair and seated at your own campfire on a warm, pleasant evening.
*seeing block after block of vintage homes in a neighborhood that prides itself in flying hundreds of American flags during the Fourth of July holiday.
*watching children ride their bikes at full steam and then coast as far as they can.
*picking ripe cherry tomatoes from the garden and then popping them in your mouth while they are still warm from the sun.
*canning and freezing each week's garden bounty for later enjoyment in the winter.  This one includes sitting on the screen porch after the canning is done and listening for the "ping"  from inside the house of each lid as it seals.
*sectioning fruit with Olivia to make citrus marmalade and getting sticky juice everywhere--including our elbows.  By the way, the marmalade made her house smell wonderful.

Whatever makes your summer great, we hope you are enjoying lots of it.  Summer seems to be flying by at lightning speed!  These pink lemonade bars will be a hit at your next picnic or gathering.  They are sweet, tart, and refreshing!

Pink Lemonade Bars

1 package white cake mix
1 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 (6 oz.) can frozen pink lemonade from concentrate, thawed
Few drops red food coloring
1 (4 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (8 or 9-inch) baked pie crust
1/2 cup coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 13 x 9 inch pan with foil, leaving two inch overhang on all sides.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.  Combine the cake mix, toasted coconut, and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until crumbly.  Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 12 minutes or until light golden brown.  

Cool the crust completely before proceeding with the recipe.

BEAT cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, lemonade concentrate and food color, if desired.

FOLD in whipped topping. Pour into prepared pie crust. Chill 4 hours or until set. Garnish with coconut.

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