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Candy Recipe: Vacation Bar

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Vacation Bar Four Pieces

Growing up in California, summer was always different from the rest of the country. For unknown reasons (at least to me), California schools let out in late June as opposed to May like everyone else in the country. As a result, summer vacation spans all the way until September (October even when I studied at U.C.L.A.).

What’s weird about this is that the rest of the country is back to their typical regimens while Californians have little to do. So how do Californians spend this month of September? They go to Hawaii!

All my friends were always going to Hawaii because it was still warm enough to enjoy, but the peak tourist season had already elapsed. Unfortunately, my parents had this thing about summer school and quality time with the family. As a result, I still have yet to find myself out on a beach in Maui.

But since I can’t afford to go to Hawaii at the moment, I decided I would bring the island to me. That translates to the candy bar of the month for September being what I call the Vacation Bar.

The Vacation Bar is a candy bar that fuses all things amazing about Hawaii. It’s a white fudge bar topped with toasted coconut and filled with pieces of banana, papaya, mango, pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts. Despite the seemingly intricate list of ingredients, the recipe for this bar is actually rather simple.

Vacation Bar Unsliced

Vacation Bar Recipe

    You will need:
  • Baking Pan (8x4x3)
  • Wax Paper
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Electric Mixer with Beater Attachment
  • Double Boiler
  • Cookie Sheet
  • 12 oz of White Chocolate (bark works fine)
  • 1, 8 oz Package of Cream Cheese Softened (feel free to use fat free or Neufchatel for healthier alternatives)
  • 1 oz of Melted Butter
  • 2 Cups of Confectioner’s Sugar (or substitute 24 packets of artificial sweetener)
  • 1tbs of Vanilla
  • ½ Cup of Chopped or Crumbled Macadamia Nuts (I used maple coated ones for a sweeter taste)
  • ½ Cup of Chopped, Dried Fruit (I just purchased a tropical fruit blend, but you can customize these to your liking)
  • 1 Cup of Shaved Coconut

Vacation Bar Two Pieces

Step 1. Toast ½ cup of coconut. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lay a sheet of wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and sprinkle on the coconut. Place in the oven until coconut starts to golden, occasionally redistributing the coconut with the spatula to allow for even heating.

Step 2. Lay a piece of wax or parchment paper inside your baking pan. Sprinkle half of the toasted coconut on the paper.

Step 3. Add the softened cream cheese to the mixing bowl. You should be able to spread apart the cheese with the rubber spatula effortlessly when it is at the right consistency. Beat the cream cheese on a low setting until it fluffs, and then add the sugar and melted butter while increasing the speed of the mixer. You can also add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc. here if you want a little spice to your fudge.

Step 4. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. This can be easily changed to melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe container. You can also fill a large pot with 100-degree F water, and then set a smaller bowl containing the chocolate inside of the pot to melt it.

Step 5. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla to the mixing bowl and blend on high. When the mixture is fully blended, add the nuts, fruit, and un-toasted coconut. Continue mixing until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Step 6. Scoop the mixture with the spatula into the baking ban. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut.

Step 7. Place in refrigerator for several hours until or until firm. Then slice and serve.

So what do you think of my Vacation Bar? Do you feel transported to paradise of aloha, or would you rather be eating a Mounds Bar in Oahu? If not, make this recipe your own. Maybe your idea of a great getaway is New England; use blueberries and cranberries instead of tropical fruit with maple instead of vanilla. Your ideal vacation could be anywhere in this world, and sometimes your kitchen is your best travel agent.

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One Response to “Candy Recipe: Vacation Bar”

  1. 1
    Tracy says:

    Sounds like a fun idea, although, if you really wanted to have the flavor of Hawaii in there, you should include some Rice Krispies. Rice is a major staple of their official food: the plate lunch. And if you were really feeling adventurous, you’d toss in a little Spam. Y’know, just grate it right over the top and tell people it’s some kind of passionfruit jerky.

    I grew up in California, but Hawaii symbolized family reunions for me, so as a spring break destination, it didn’t hold a lot of appeal. Now I’m in New England, so maybe that maple variation is what I need to get fully acclimated.

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