My Favorite Cookie: Congo Bars

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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.

There.

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

Comments

  1. says

    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!

  2. says

    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.

  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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 :)

  6. says

    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! :)

  7. HollyC says

    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!!

  8. Maria says

    OH MY GOD I JUST MADE THESE AND THEY’RE INCREDIBLE THANKS SO MUCH YOU ROCK MY LIFE HAS JUST BEEN MADE

    No joke. Sooo good!

  9. Brandy says

    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!

  10. Heidi C says

    Andie-

    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.

  11. Linda says

    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!

  12. Jamie says

    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!

  13. helaine says

    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!

  14. Monica says

    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 says

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

      Thanks :)

      Andie

      • Tracy says

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

        Thanks!

  15. Tracy says

    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. :(

  16. Judy says

    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.

    thanks

    • Andie says

      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!

      Andie

  17. Camille says

    THEY ARE BAKING NOW!

    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!

    i

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