Do you like chocolate chip cookies and brownie ? Well, if you do, then you will like Congo Bars. It is similar to a Blondie. It’s made the similar way with regular brownies but instead of it being chocolate, vanilla is used, hence the name. Some make blondie with white chocolate in replacement of dark chocolate from a brownie, but I think that’s too sweet even for me. But Congo Bars don’t, it has brown sugar instead hence the chewy, moist texture (but sweet as well) I’m not really sure where Congo Bar originates from but definitely not from African counterparts. Apparently, it is a classic southeastern US treat. And it’s so old that there’s a 100 year old recipe cut out!
Having said that, I actually haven’t found out until about 2 months ago where I attended a buttercream flower class and the teacher made it for us. I’m like “wha? what bars ?” So, if you wanna know, it is quite popular amongst the Malay communities here in Malaysia as I’ve never met someone else who knows what is Congo Bar apart from them. So hey, if you have some chocolate chip handy, hurry and make them!
In this recipe, I use 2 types of chocolate chips; Ghirardelli and Hershey’s. One of the chip size is smaller and one is bigger. The bigger ones goes into the cake and part of the smaller ones goes on top of the cake. So you get some ooey gooey chocolate inside the cake when you bite, while keeping it visually abundance with chocolate chips. See, win win ;). But fret not if you don’t have different types of chocolate chip. You can use dark couverture chocolate buttons and it works well too! Callebaut has some really awesome chocolate if you are looking for some.
The recipe is very straight forward using creaming method but with melted butter instead of room temperature butter. Do not reduce too much of the sugar (as I’ve already reduced from the original). The sugar is important in keeping the bar chewy and moist and not cakey and dry. It is a little tricky of the baking time. If you want a chewy bar, then bake only at 25. If you want a more cakey texture, do 30 mins. Oh yummy I think I may need to go bake a batch 😉
- 190g Salted Butter, melted
- 280g brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 280g all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 140g Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip
- 140g Hersheys Chocolate Chip
- 60g toasted walnut.
- Preheat oven to 175 C. Line a 10” square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a double boiler or microwave. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and mix till thoroughly mixed with a whisk. Add eggs, 1 at a time.
- Sift flour and baking powder together and fold it into the batter till almost mixed through with a spatula Add 1 of the chocolate chips and walnut and mix till batter is smooth.
- Spread batter in the prepared pan and smooth it evenly. Sprinkle the other type of chocolate chip on top. Bake congo bars for 25-30 minutes or until they are set and lightly brown.
- Let it cool in the pan. Remove from pan and cut bars evenly. Store in an airtight container.