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The gooiest chocolate chip cookie bars around. These amazing Congo Bars are a recipe that has stood the test of time. You’ll love their versatility.
This year I’ve had a goal to throw in a couple of “fun” recipes along with our regularly scheduled recipes. These congo bars are the first of these recipes. Is it amazingly unique? Nope. But it is a vintage classic that was easy to make and photograph.
The ooey. The gooey. The melty chocolate. These type of recipes give me a chance to practice my photography…and you get to enjoy a delicious recipe if you’d like too.
Congo bar recipes abound in old fashioned church cookbooks. I have a stack 2 ½ feet high of books that my grandma collected over all of her years of being a pastor’s wife. And almost every one has “congo bars” in it.
As far as where the name came from? I have absolutely no idea and no where I look tells me. But Congo Bars are simply a delicious chocolate chip cookie bar that you can bake either in a 9×13 baking pan or a larger jelly roll pan. They are a classic recipe and great for feeding a crowd. In one recipe book, the author said she kept them on hand for neighborhood kids who stopped in. I love that.
How to Make Congo Bars
Some recipes call for melting the butter and sugar together on the stovetop, but I really so no reason to dirty a saucepan and turn on the stove. Just use a microwave safe bowl and melt the butter in the microwave. Then continue making the bars in the same bowl. Easy as ever and no extra dishes to clean.
Melt. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter completely. Add the brown sugar and use a hand mixer to mix the sugar and butter together well.
Mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix again just until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Fold. Fold in the chocolate chips. The batter will be very thick.
Bake. Spread in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges.
Now I like soft, gooey, chocolate chip cookie bars, which means they are slightly underbaked. If you prefer your cookie bars more “done”, continue cooking another 3-5 minutes. The cookies will more crisp that way.
The variations on this congo bar recipe are virtually endless.
Turtle Bars: Add caramel bits, chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
White Chocolate Cranberry: Add white chocolate chips, pecans and dried cranberries.
Raisin Nut: Add a teaspoon of cinnamon, raisins and walnuts.
Almond: Add almond flavor, sliced almonds and white chocolate.
Kitchen Sink Bars: Use all of the little remaining bits and pieces of candy and chocolate chip bags you find in your pantry.
Best Ever Congo Bar Recipe
4.64 from 88 votes
The gooiest chocolate chip cookie bars around! These amazing Congo Bars are a recipe that has stood the test of time. You'll love their versatility.
Spray a 9×13 baking pan* with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter completely.
Add the brown sugar and use a hand mixer to mix the sugar and butter together well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix again just until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Fold in the chocolate chips. The batter will be very thick.
Spread in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges.
These are meant to be gooey bars. If you don't want them gooey and would like them more crisp, go ahead and bake them a few minutes longer.
Cut into squares once they are cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
You can freeze them if you'd like for up to 2 months.
*You can use an 11×14 or even 10×15 baking pan for thinner bars. They won’t take quite as long to cook so watch them carefully.The calories shown are based on the recipe being cut into 20 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 cookie bar. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**
What are the two different chocolates in the picture, of each bar?
Yummy! Thanks for sharing your congo bars with us over at tasty Tuesday! Can’t wait to try them.
These are a favorite in my house! The first time I made them I let them cook a few minutes longer as they didn’t look done but now I take them out at 25 and they are soooo oooey gooey….like a big warm, soft chocolate chip cookie! Wicked good! Wouldn’t change a thing!
Did not come out well we cooked them for 30 minutes and maybe you should’ve stopped at 25 but they looked very wet and 25. The problem is I believe the amount of baking powder that seems like way too much baking powder should’ve just used 1 teaspoon not 2 1/2 teaspoons. I suspect that might be a typo. I’ll try it again with just a teaspoon of baking powder and only 25 minutes of cook. Not a fan we’ll have to add ice cream or something to make it edible.
This was a weekly treat at our house growing up. Now in my early 70’s I make it for my Grandkids and they love them as well as my Brownies.
Fantastic recipe!!! I like my bars a little firmer to hold on to, so baked them 30 minutes instead of 25, and they did exactly like you said. This could be a weekly treat!
Can you use coconut?
I was trying to remember the name of these and when I did I wasn’t sure so I looked it up. This is exactly the recipe I used as a kid. I think we added butterscotch bits as well.
Wonderful recipe! Very smooth and rich cookie bar! My whole family enjoyed this recipe.
Hello! My grandmother has used this exact recipe for decades! However, her recipe calls for 2 eggs instead of 3. Can you explain what the extra egg does for the recipe? Thanks!