Coconut Cheesecake Bars

For those whole love cooking, baking, and throwing parties, here is a little something you could whip up for an hors d’oeuvre. You will need:

1/2 cup raw chip coconut
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup orange juice
1 egg
1 mango, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread coconut in a 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, 4 to 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring once. Cool. For crust, place 2 Tbsp. of the toasted coconut in the bowl of a food processor. Transfer remaining coconut to a bowl; cover and set aside. To food processor add graham cracker crumbs, the 2 Tbsp. sugar, and the orange peel. Gradually add melted butter, processing with on-off turns until mixture begins to come together. Press mixture into the bottom of the 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack, about 15 minutes.

2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, the 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Add orange juice; beat until smooth. Stir in egg. Pour mixture over baked crust. Bake about 15 minutes or until center is just set. Cool on wire rack. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

3. Cut into bars. Spoon on mango and sprinkle with reserved toasted coconut. Make 16 bars.

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