These Blondies 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. Apparently, congo bars are known to many as a bar containing coconut. These don’t have coconut making them blondies. Who knew we were calling them the wrong name all these years? To save on any confusion, I’ll go with the majority and call these Blondies.
These congo bars, I mean blondies, disappear as fast as they are made. Whenever my kids have friends over, I make a batch because seriously, who doesn’t love a chewy chocolate chip bar?
I wanted a chewier denser bar than the typical blondie recipe and I wanted it loaded with a rich caramel flavor. I created this recipe and finally accomplished my goal. These are by far the best blondies I have ever had. Ever! (Sorry Dad)
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. Adding an extra egg gave more of a chewy texture to the blondes. I use both baking soda and baking powder to get a slight lift. These bars are dense on their own so using both didn’t take away from that. Adding salt brings out all the flavor. I use Diamond Crystal fine salt (affiliate link).
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 it 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. 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 while they are 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.
Whenever I make these blondies, 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…
These Blondies 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.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter - (½ pound) melted
- 1 ¾ cups dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 ¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350.
Invert a 9 x 13 pan and line with foil shiny side down. Press the foil with your hands to mold around the pan. Remove the foil and invert pan. Place foil inside and carefully press into pan. Grease foil with butter or use baking spray. This creates a fitted lining for the pan which allows you to lift the bars out after they've cooled for easy slicing.*
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly until completely combined and smooth. It should be thick and lightened in color.
Whisk in the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Add flour mixture and chocolate chips and mix until fully incorporated, about 50 strokes. Use a spooned spatula or wooden spoon to mix.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and even out.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden and the center set. Better to err on the side of underdone than overdone. Cool then remove from pan by lifting foiled edges. Slice into squares. You can slice into 24 squares or 32 smaller cubes for a bite-sized treat.
*You can omit using foil and spray the baking pan and slice bars straight from the pan.
You can add 1/2 cup - 1 cup of chopped walnuts along with the chocolate chips for some added crunch.
Due to the skyrocketed price of vanilla, I have been using bourbon in place of the vanilla extract.