I’ve tasted dozens of Congo Bars over the years, and in my opinion, these really are the best ever! Loaded with two types of chocolate, pecans, and coconut, every bite is chewy, buttery, and absolutely divine.
I got this recipe from a cousin several years ago after she brought them to a family reunion. I have never tasted a recipe for congo bars that’s better than this one!
What is a congo bar made of?
The ingredients in congo squares are similar to chocolate chip cookies. But instead of soft butter, you use melted, so they are even more chewy. Extra brown sugar gives them a deep caramel flavor.
And instead of just having chocolate chips, these bars have two kinds of chocolate, chopped nuts, and coconut.
If you like chocolate chip cookies, you’ll love this congo bars recipe!
WHY YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE CONGO SQUARES:
- All the prep is done in one bowl, and you don’t even need a mixer. Just a whisk and a wooden spoon or spatula.
- They are even more chewy, rich, and buttery than chocolate chip cookies thanks to melted butter and all brown sugar.
- No scooping and rolling cookie dough, just press into a pan, bake, and you are done!
- Those crinkly tops – oh baby, don’t get me started. If you see the crinkly top, you know they’re gonna be good.
- They are perfect for feeding a crowd. You can even double the recipe and make them in a jelly roll pan. So easy to transport!
HOW TO MAKE CONGO BARS
- PREP – Melt your butter in the microwave or a saucepan. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non stick cooking spray. Toast coconut and pecans. Preheat oven to 350°.
- WET INGREDIENTS – In a large bowl, whisk together the cooled butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk till smooth.
- DRY INGREDIENTS – Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir into wet ingredients till barely combined. Stir in the chopped pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips.
- BAKE – Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the top is shiny and the sides are golden brown. Don’t overbake, they will continue to set up after you remove them from the oven.
Leftovers? You can store leftover bar cookies at room temperature for 5-6 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze them for 3-4 months. I like to wrap them individually, then place them in heavy duty ziplock bags.
- Make sure you let your butter cool for a few minutes or it melts the brown sugar too much and throws off the texture of the bars.
- For easy removal and cutting, line your pan with foil or parchment paper before spraying with cooking spray.
- Toasting the coconut and pecans definitely does give these the best flavor! Bake cold pecans for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. If they are room temperature, you’ll only need 7-8 minutes. Coconut will only take 5-7 minutes.
- For an even deeper caramel color, use dark brown sugar.
- Use any type of chocolate you like. You can use milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate, chocolate chunks, chopped Hershey bars, or even butterscotch chips. (Just remember that they are best with two types of chocolate!)
- Instead of pecans, you can use walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or even peanuts.
- Sprinkle the top of the batter with flaky sea salt before baking.
- Serve them warm topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel or hot fudge sauce. An easy but epic dessert that looks fancy but is so easy!
MORE DESSERT BARS:
- Snickerdoodle Bars
- Toffee Bars
- Oatmeal Fudge Bars
- Peanut Butter Chip Bars
- Pumpkin Blondies
- Toffee Almond Bars
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars
- Golden Graham S’mores
- Nut Bar Recipe
- Jan Hagel (Cinnamon Sugar Bars)
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Butterscotch Bars
CONGO BAR RECIPE
- 3/4 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, *toasted
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut, *toasted
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- Whisk together melted butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir into creamed mixture. Add nuts, coconut, and chips.
- Spread into a well greased and parchment lined 9x13" pan.
- Bake at 350° for about 22-25 minutes. Top will be shiny and golden brown. Don't over-bake!
To toast pecans - bake cold pecans for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees or until lightly browned. If they are room temperature, you’ll only need 7-8 minutes.
Coconut will only take 5-7 minutes at 375°. Watch it closely and stir often.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g