Friday, June 15, 2012

(Coco)Nuts About Dads

Professional family photo by Stan Reimer, Pratt, KS
I have the packages neatly wrapped in Kansas sunflower paper. The cards are signed and attached with an inch or two of tape.

But the best gift of the weekend won't be found by tearing off the Kansas sunflower paper. (Yes, I obviously need to replenish my "manly" wrapping paper selection.)

The best gift came complete with a fantastic light show. It wasn't in a box but in a slender cylinder-  a rain gauge. Around here, we got varying amounts from 1 to 1.5 inches. For my folks, it was more in the 0.80" to 0.90" range.

No question: It was the best gift a couple of farming dads could order for their Father's Day weekend.
Professional family photo at the top taken by Stan Reimer: Since it was taken in December 2011, my Dad has one new grandson-in-law and two more great-grandchildren, with another on the way.
Today, I'm thankful for the Daddys in my life - my own Dad and my late father-in-law Melvin who with Marie raised the best Daddy for my kids that I could have prayed for.

I also made a new sweet treat to go along with my gifts for my guys. These Caramel Coconut Bars are a tasty treat for Dads who like coconut. If yours doesn't, then you'll need to go with Plan B.

Since both Randy and my Dad choose to celebrate their birthdays with coconut-based cakes, this treat is made to order.

They are not as good as rain. But they are still good. Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and to the families blessed enough to have them!
Caramel Coconut Bars
Adapted from Cookies and Cups Blog
6 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
1 1/4 cups caramel bits (or chopped caramel pieces)
1 tbsp. milk
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes for garnish (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with cooking spray.

In mixer, beat butter and sugar together until well creamed. Add egg and vanilla and mix on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, salt, baking powder and coconut, mixing until combined.

Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

When the cookie base is baking, melt the caramel and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute at a time on 50 percent power, stirring after each minute, to prevent burning. Repeat until the caramel bits are melted and spreadable.

Spread caramel evenly over baked cookie base and return to oven, baking 10-12 more minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the caramel. Put back in the oven for 1 minute. Remove from oven and use an off-set spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the caramel layer. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired (The original recipe said 1/4 cup. I didn't think that was enough, but use your own judgment.)

Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Makes 30 bars.


  1. RAIN :) Glad to hear the great news, Kim. It keeps looking like it wants to rain, but all we get is a few drops. They say 70% chance this afternoon and tomorrow.

    Very well done with the Father's Day tribute. Neat variety of pictures.

    1. We got another 1.35 here at home last night. It is much appreciated after no rain at all last summer.