I come from a family of sweet tooths and then I also married one. We love desserts and two of our favorites are brownies and German chocolate cake. One day when I was trying to decide which one to make, I thought — why not combine the two?

I gave it a try and came up with one of our new favorites. My German chocolate brownies are so full of chocolate flavor and the gooey, nutty topping soaks into the brownies making them even more moist and delicious. They are simple to make and that’s a good thing, because they seem to disappear quickly.

Belle’s German Chocolate Brownies

1 Box chocolate cake mix (devil’s food, German chocolate, or any chocolate flavor will work)

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup butter (room temperature)

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup chocolate chips

TOPPING:

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons corn syrup

2 tablespoons 2% milk

In a large bowl, mix together the dry cake mix, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, water, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread the mixture in a well-greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. While the cake is baking, make the topping.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the coconut, pecans, corn syrup and milk and mix well. When the cake is done, spread evenly over the top of the cake while still hot. Broil for 2 minutes to make the top browned and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins and a grandmother of eight. She is a cookbook author and novelist. For more recipes and information, visit her website www.brendastanleybooks.com.