congo bars.

Glee ended last this week and now I feel like a piece of my soul is missing. I'm hardly a television junkie, I've never committed to watching a show religiously, I don't own a TiVo and I don't bother to catch up online the day after. I skipped over the Survivor craze, I've never seen an episode of Lost or Grey's Anatomy...I don't know, it's just too confining to work my schedule around a show. But Glee will cast a spell on you. I even wear a Glee t-shirt when I watch it. Okay, only for the finale. And I may or may not have had a dream about Puck afterwards. Just sayin'.

On a brighter note, that frees up my Tuesday night time slot for more baking! Kona stays with Justin during the week so that  cancels out my option to sniff puppy breath and squeeze his marshmallow paws and what am I left with?

Congo Bars. I have no idea why they're called Congo Bars and I can't imagine these are an authentic African treat, but I'm small town that way. They're more like a chocolate chip cookie, not as incredible as the recipe to end all recipes, but pretty close. They're softer, more like a cakey blondie, and they're infinitely adaptable. I used walnuts and milk chocolate chips, but you could use toffee bits, pecans, M&Ms, chopped malted milk balls...

These are a really great swap-out when you don't have time to scoop out individual cookies, or when you'd rather just be outside bonding with your new best friend.

Congo Bars
Adapted from Bakerella

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb. light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.

With a sturdy wooden spoon, stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together.

Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.

Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.

Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.

Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake. (If the bars look like they're getting too dark, cover it loosely with a tin foil tent the last 10 minutes or so of baking.)

Cool to room temperature then cut into squares.


  1. Anonymous10.6.10

    Congo bars! A blast from my past...love them!

  2. I love this recipe. It looks delicious and I want to make it.

    I'm from England and blog at www.ilovemealplans.com I found your site through tastespotting.com

  3. Oh my! YUM! A must make, for sure! Love your blog!

    Delightful Bitefuls

  4. Anonymous14.6.10

    I made these yesterday for work from your recipe, they are amazing! Everyone at work loved them. I used semi-sweet chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips, I am partial to them and omitted nuts incase of allergies.

    I was skepticle when I pulled them out of the oven and cut them, they were crispy on the outside, but they remained incredibly chewey. Honestly, PERFECT!

    Found your site via tastespotting. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. delicious looking bars!

  6. Hey, Brittany !
    These look wonderful :)

    But isnt a pound of sugar too much ?? What effect would it be on the final result if I cut that about half?

  7. Glad you all enjoyed!

    Aziz - I saw your comment and published it but I'm not sure why it's not showing up? I know a pound of brown sugar seems like a lot, but I think it equals out to about 2 cups, packed, which isn't bad for a 13x9 pan. If you reduce it, I don't think it'll have the same texture. Go for it! :)


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