These Congo Bars are thick, gooey, chewy, toothsome, and the best of the best. Loaded with chocolate chips and rich with caramel flavor, these will be your go to recipe for a simple delicious snack. No mixer required.
When I was little, my Dad would make these bars that tasted like a fat, gooey, chocolate chip cookie and he called them Congo Bars. They were such a treat and every time I make these Congo bars, I think of my Dad. Now, I make them for my kids and their friends and let me tell you, they are the most requested snack. I should call them thick, gooey, magical, Congo bars because they disappear as quick as I make them.
To obtain that rich caramel flavor, I found using dark brown sugar produced the best results. You want to whisk the dark brown sugar and melted butter until it lightens in color. You’ll know when it’s properly mixed because the sugar will pull away from the bowl. You’ll get a good arm workout and burn a few calories which allows you to enjoy one (mostly) guilt free.
Adding an extra egg gives more of a chewy texture to the blondes. I use both baking soda and baking powder to get a slight lift. Salt brings out all the flavor and sweetness of baked goods. It’s a necessity.
I don’t know what is up with the price of vanilla lately, but when you bake as much as I do, you go through a bottle in no time. What used to cost me a few bucks for a bottle is now close to $40 for the same sized bottle. Because of this, I have been using bourbon as a substitute for the vanilla. No one complained and it tastes great. It’s less expensive than the vanilla, making it my go to vanilla extract substitute.
Lining the baking dish with foil allows you to lift the bars out of the pan for easy slicing. To line the pan, flip the baking dish over, then mold a piece of foil by pressing it to the underside and sides of the pan. This will shape the foil in the form of the pan. Flip the baking dish back over and place the molded piece of foil inside. Butter or spray with baking spray. Of course, you can simply spray the baking dish and cut the bars directly from the pan. The first few pieces may be harder to get out, but it’s not a deal breaker.
One important thing to note, these must be completely cooled before slicing to firm up a bit. They are thick and chewy and a little gooey when warmed. Sometimes it’s hard to wait. Just ask my impatient family who tend to cut them while they’re still warm. They don’t really hold their own because they haven’t had a chance to firm up. Are they still good? Of course! These also freeze well allowing you to have some ready whenever you like.
My Dad would make these with walnuts. He didn’t measure. Instead he would grab a handful or two, chop them, and add them into the batter along with the chocolate chips. You can add them if you wish.
Whenever I make these Congo bars, it puts a smile on my face because I remember making them with my Dad. I hope you enjoy these and create some happy memories with your family.
Try some of my other bar recipes that are simple and delicious:
- Chocolate Ganache Peanut Butter Bars
- Honey Nut Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
- Best Cocoa Brownies
Be happy, eat well…
Congo BarsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 ¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 ¾ cups dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- butter or baking spray for coating baking pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil. Flip the baking dish over, then mold a piece of foil by pressing it to the underside and sides of the pan. This will shape the foil in the form of the pan. Flip the baking dish back over and place the molded piece of foil inside. Butter or spray with baking spray.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Thoroughly beat in the eggs then add vanilla.
- Add in flour mixture and chocolate chips and mix until combined.
- Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Better to slightly under bake than over bake.
- Let cool then slice them into 24 squares.