Congo Squares or pan cookie bars have a buttery and chewy texture. They are thick and chocked full of rich, semi-sweet chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut. Absolutely divine!
I’ve always loved to bake. At 8 I was making desserts by myself. At 10 I’d clip recipes out of Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living. I still have those clippings. Some I’ve never made and some are old favorites. This recipe was clipped out of an old newspaper article. It’s so old and tattered I can barely read it. I don’t know why I haven’t re-written it at some point over the years.
What are Congo Bars?
Congo Bars are a mixture of butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts. They are thick like pan cookies or blondies.
I prefer them served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. However, you choose how you like to eat the best!
Congo Bars have basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
How to Make Congo Squares
- Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until the yolk is incorporated. Add the in vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
- Grease and flour a 10×15-inch baking pan or a 9×13-inch baking pan. If using 10×15 pan, bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. If using a 9×13 pan, bake for 35-40 minutes.
Can I substitute ingredients?
I recommend you use real butter, always. As well, for this recipe, I would not change the base ingredients.
- I never have great success substitute gluten-free flour. Therefore, I don’t have a recommendation for that change.
- However, you can substitute the chocolate chips for semi-sweet, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate. Just use the same amount.
- You may also use almonds, walnuts, or another nut for the pecans.
- Finally, You can omit the coconut and not replace it with another ingredient if you don’t like coconut.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.
- ⅔ cup butter recommended
- 2 and ¼ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 and ¾ cup all-purpose flour I use this
- 2 and ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla I use this
- 1 cup pecans chopped, I like this brand
- 1 and ½ cup chocolate chips semi-sweet, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white
- 1 cup shredded coconut optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13* inch baking pan with non-stick spray. (See notes above.)
- Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the batter. Beat well. Add the vanilla, nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut. Mix until fully combined.
- Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned on the edges, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut into squares and serve with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Enjoy!