My Favorite Cookie: Congo Bars

by Andie Mitchell on May 30, 2011

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I’m a baker at heart. Don’t let this ol’ blog title fool you.

I cook; I make dinner every night; but I’m nothing without my beloved butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.

Lonely and lost without chocolate.

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This recipe is the one that I’m begged to bake over and over again.

Then, over again.

Family, friends, friends of friends, friends of my aunt’s neighbor’s dog’s breeder’s mother’s cousin’s third cousin (twice removed by marriage), you name it, come calling for a 13×9 of these rich treats.

“You sure you don’t want me to bake a sour cream fudge cake filled with vanilla buttercream and glazed with chocolate ganache?”

…”Yup. The bars’ll do it!”

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Congo bars. Thick, buttery squares of ultra-chewy brown sugar dough studded with rich white chocolate, threaded with flaked coconut, and smoky toasted pecans. One bite is a melting, gritty mouthful of luscious flavor and varied texture.

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These are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted.


I know, that was quite frightening. I’m terrified of words like “never,” phrases ending in “ever,” and all things set in stone. But when it comes to these chewy squares, I’m brazen.

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If you didn’t already believe in magic, these would convince you. It’s a wonder why Jehovah’s witnesses don’t tote these door to door.

Everyone would convert.

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Congo Bars

recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated

makes 24

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9″ pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined.

Fold in chocolate, coconut, and nuts. Turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until top is shiny, beginning to turn golden, and cracking around the edges. Cool on a rack to room temperature. Cut into squares.

makes 24

Nutrition Info for 1 bar: Calories 249, Total Fat 15.1 g, Carbohydrate 31.7 g, Fiber 1.3 g, Sugars 15.5 g,  Protein 2.9 g

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanna May 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm

These look delicious! I have a friend who would go nuts over these too – no pun intended. :) I’ll bet they’d be good with any kind of chips in them. I might have to try butterscotch. Mmmmm. Thank you for your post!


Frieda May 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Reading your blog is really hart if you are on a weight loss journey ;)


Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 31, 2011 at 2:41 am

ahh these look really good.. I have never actually HAD congo bars.. think I am going to have to try sometime soon, though!


Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 31, 2011 at 3:12 am

It’s interesting to see what people request! For me it is usually the easiest things I make which is kind of amusing. I wouldn’t survive without butter and sugar.


Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun May 31, 2011 at 3:30 am

My life would not be complete without butter and sugar, so I feel you. And I’m feeling these bars/cookies. I bet I would request them from you all the time too!


Laura @ Meet Virginia May 31, 2011 at 3:56 am

Mmm! Adding these to the ever growing list of your recipes that I want to make!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 31, 2011 at 5:04 am

Wow! I bet if YOU were to start toting these from door to door, you’d be rich!!


Amy B @ Second City Randomness May 31, 2011 at 5:40 am

I can definitely stand as a witness that these are, in fact, wonderful. They were a good snow day activity for me earlier this year… :)


Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy May 31, 2011 at 5:42 am

It’s like I knew you were going to post something extra delicious when I randomly bought a bag of while chocolate chips at the store this weekend.
Bakers ESP, that’s what that is.


Jen @ keepitsimplefoods May 31, 2011 at 6:20 am

These sound incredible! I will def be making a batch.


Riss May 31, 2011 at 6:54 am

I’m going into a sugar coma just looking at these… I’ll have to tuck this one away for a very special occasion. Like a Thursday evening. Or Arbor day. Or maybe even the first day in June.


Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) May 31, 2011 at 7:47 am

Could I subsitute anything else for the coconut? I’m not a huge fan of coconut at all :p !


Parita May 31, 2011 at 8:28 am

You had me at sugar! These looks delish…no wonder everyone and their moms wants to get their hands on some. :)


LizAshlee May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am

Yum! Yes, I will have one.or two.or three. Just give me the whole pan!

Have a terrific day!


Stephanie @cookinfanatic May 31, 2011 at 8:43 am

These sound so good! Anything with white chocolate and coconut and I’m pretty much sold. I made your tuna burgers again last night, this time for my little sister to try, and they were once again a huge hit :) I think they are going to be a summer staple recipe in our house!


Liz @ IHeartVegetables May 31, 2011 at 8:48 am

Wow those look amazing!! I love baking :) I think I like baking even more than cooking!


Rachel @ The Avid Appetite May 31, 2011 at 9:05 am

I love each and every ingredient in these bars! Delish! I can’t wait to try them…perhaps this coming weekend for my father in law’s birthday!


Leah @ Why Deprive? May 31, 2011 at 9:07 am

I definitely need to try these. They look so good its almost pornographic. But in a really, really good way. :)


Kelly May 31, 2011 at 10:02 am

I have never heard of Congo Bars…shame on me!


Gina May 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

Yum, I’ll bet these have awesome texture!


Alexa @ Simple Eats May 31, 2011 at 10:15 am

I would totally travel far and wide for those bars, too.


Claire @ Live and Love to Eat May 31, 2011 at 11:45 am

These look like an incredibly delicious, much better version of the “healthy” bars I made this weekend. Put mine to shame!


Harmony May 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Did I miss the oven temp somewhere? Shall I assume 350? Definitely want to make these.


Amalia May 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Harmony – I noticed that too.

Other recipes say 350. So that’s what I’m going by!


Sarah May 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm

These look amazing! Printing it up and adding it to my file! Thanks for making my Tuesday a little more awesome! ;)


Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) May 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm

These bars look so yummy, white chocolate chips are my favorite :D


Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Ahhh! I’m pretty sure these are the same bars my friend’s mom used to make, but I wasn’t sure what they were called so I have never recreated them. So excited to make these!


Lisa May 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm

These look so yummy—I can see why they’re highly requested. I bet they taste as good as they look!


anneliesz May 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I bet these would also be killer w/ macadamia nuts in place of the pecans. Or in addition. Because sometimes you feel like a nut… They sound perfectly paired with a cold glass of milk.


Megly May 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I’m considering making these for my boyfriend’s birthday….he’s not a a huge fan of coconut and I don’t usually have it in my pantry. Could it be skipped or will we really be missing out? They looks so good! Thanks :)


Bee May 31, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Yumm… I know what you mean about people having favorites, I’m constantly asked for either my baked mac and cheese or my three layer peanutbutter fudge brownies. These do look delicious though, perfect bake sale fodder! :)


Shippymolkfred June 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Another great recipe, thanks for sharing.
Scottish Greetings


Clarissa @ Sober and the City June 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I’m starting to really appreciate coconut on this raw foods thing…its about the only sweet thing I can eat!


HollyC June 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

What size of prepared pan? I can’t tell how big these are cut, but I’m guessing not a square pan! I’m making them now, so probably won’t get an answer soon enough, so I’ll wing it this time!!


HollyC June 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm

13×9 is what I guessed and they turned out great! Aren’t lasting long here!!


Arianna @ Laughter & Linguini June 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm

These look scrumptious! I can’t wait to make them. Thank you for sharing! :)


Maria June 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm


No joke. Sooo good!


Brandy June 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Can you tell me what oven temp and what size pan to use? I want to make these for my daughter to take to school for her last day…Thanks!


yumyumyummers June 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm

these cookies look so yummy. toasted pecans & shredded coconut!
btw, fantastic foodie fotos!


Heidi C June 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm


What temperature should these be cooked at? I didn’t see one specified in the recipe, so I’m going to assume it’s 350 F.


Linda December 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

I made these and took them to my aunt’s house for Christmas – they were a huge hit and my aunt wanted the reciped right away. This one’s a keeper!


Jamie March 12, 2012 at 12:37 am

I use dark and milk chocolate chunks and walnuts. And I dust the top of them with powdered sugar as soon as I take them out of the oven. They are my all time favorite cookie as well. Its tradition for my family to make them at Christmas, for everyone! Thanks for sharing!


helaine October 4, 2012 at 12:20 am

Hi my 1st time here…thanks for sharing. I need to lose weight maybe 15lb but I just can’t make it happen.. I have a ?…how can you lose/maintain any weight eating Congo bars? I am not criticizing…really I am just wondering how such a thing is possible… Great job and keep shinning…God bless!


Monica December 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I am Curious? U have two congo bar recipes on your site. They are similar with slightly different measurements on a few items. Which one do u normally stick to?


admin December 24, 2012 at 6:27 am

Hey Monica,
Sorry for the confusion! They’re just slightly tweaked versions. I’d say stick with this one!

Thanks :)



Tracy January 4, 2013 at 7:57 am

Thank you! They look delicious! However, can it be made without the coconut without affecting the results?



Tracy January 4, 2013 at 7:55 am

I’m wondering if you could tell me: can there be something else substituted for the coconut? Or can it be omitted from the recipe without affecting the results? Allergen alert. :(


Judy March 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I tried these and they are great. But you didn’t say what size pan to put them in and what temp to cook them, so I had to guess. I used a 9×9 pan and baked them at 350. It worked, but you should add these instructions to the recipe.



Andie March 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Hey Judy,

So sorry–my mistake. I just edited the recipe to include the pan size (13×9″) and temp (350). Thanks for trying them and for writing in; I really appreciate it!



Freeda April 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

Made these this morning; the house smells ah-maz-ing!


Camille January 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm


They are baking now! Thank You! I have been looking for a Congo Bar recipe I wanted to try. Had one years ago and the woman who made them died. Never got the recipe. Your picture got me….looks wonderful! I am a Jehovah Witness< and I have heard we should deliv er the mail< sell Avon or Fuller Brush if the people don't want the Watchtower or Awake magazines. LOL They are NOT getting my Congo Bars. I will be offering people What Does The Bible Really Teach! It answers so many questions from God's Word. Gonna check out the Tuna Burgers!



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