Congo Bars are similar to blondies, but their signature add-ins include coconut, nuts and lots of chocolate. They are simply, yet classy and easy to dress up. Over the years I’ve tried several recipes, including this one which I call the Mimi in Maine recipe because it was contributed by someone named Mimi.
The original recipe calls for a 9×13 inch pan, but I like the bars slightly thinner so I use a 15×10 inch pan. Sometimes I halve the recipe and use a 9 inch square pan. The original recipe also calls for salted butter, but I almost always use unsalted so my recipe calls for unsalted and a bit more salt.
- 2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pound (456 grams) light brown sugar (2 1/4 cups, packed)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups (340 grams) all purpose flour (weigh flour or aerate well before measuring**)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (decrease to 1/2 if using salted butter)
- 10 oz (284 grams) bittersweet chocolate, cut in chunks
- 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut
- Preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10x15 inch pan or line with parchment. Alternatively, you may use a 9x13 inch pan for thicker bars.
- In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, breaking up any lumps in the sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then stir in the chocolate and nuts.
- Spread the batter as evenly as possible into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (for 15x10 inch pan) or 25-30 minutes (for 9x13 inch pan) until a deep golden brown or the coconut just begins to brown. Cool briefly, then score into triangle swhile still warm. When completely cool, pull apart.