Here’s how congo bars save me:
Do your kids do this?
“Mom, there’a bake sale tomorrow and I need to bring something.”
or “Mom, can you make a treat for my class party?”
I used to panic. Now I just make these congo bars, also known as blondies. It’s one of my survival recipes.
Because they’re as easy as brownies but a little unexpected. A super-buttery blondie, rich with chocolate chips and chewy from the coconut.
The nuts add terrific flavor, but of course can be left out of your congo bars.
Any which way, they’re a one-bowl affair made from ingredients I keep on hand. The recipe comes from an old Cook’s Illustrated that I’ve adapted with flaked coconut and doubled to fit in a 11-by-17 sheet pan.
That way, it feeds a whole class or soccer team. And I don’t have to break a sweat.
And cut into larger pieces, these congo bars also turn into a terrific dessert.
Just add ice cream and fudge sauce.
What’s your go-to baking recipe? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.
Buttery and chewy, these congo bars seal the deal on everything from a bake sale to a potluck. This recipe, adapted from Cook's Illustrated, is for a 11-by-17 baking sheet for a large batch to serve a crowd, or they freeze well, too.
- 2 cups walnut or pecan pieces
- 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 cups (15ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 cups (21 ounces) packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs pastured
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups chocolate chips semi-sweet, bittersweet or milk chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Spread the nuts on an 11-b-17 rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Spread the coconut on the baking sheet and toast, stirring 2 to 3 times, until light golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl to cool.
Line the baking sheet with foil, overhanging both ends and grease well. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Whisk the butter and brown sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Add the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula just until the flour blends in. Fold in the chocolate chips, nuts and coconut and stir to distribute them evenly throughout the dough without overmixing.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and the center springs back, 22-25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
To serve, use the overhanging foil to lift the bars from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into rectangles, smaller for party-sized servings or larger for a dessert.