When given the option between sweet and savory, I’ll inevitably select savory. Rosemary roasted almonds versus chocolate truffles? The almonds win nearly every time. With that in mind, there are very few baked goods recipes that I know by heart.
Growing up, my mother would often bake a pan of Congo Bars, working her magic without deviating from the recipe handed down from my grandmother. I’ve since heard from others that their mothers and grandmothers baked the same bar cookie, calling it all sorts of names but essentially, it’s this: brown sugar folded into melted butter, two handfuls of chocolate chips, plus the usual baking suspects of eggs, flour, salt and baking powder. You can add a cup of nuts if you like. Or not. They’re equally good either way. Serve with a small scoop of rich vanilla ice cream if it’s summer time.
Gluten-free update: You can find the gluten-free Congo Bar recipe here.
Growing up, we always had Congo Bars as a special treat. Today I know them as blondies, but we still call them Congo Bars!
- 2/3 cup butter
- 2 ¼ cups brown sugar
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup nuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs into the brown sugar and butter mixture, one at a time. Add the flour mixture to the saucepan, then the chocolate chips (and nuts, if using).
- Spread into a greased 9" x 13” pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the dough is lightly browned and a fork inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.