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 fun to make and SO fun to 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!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- classic cookie bar recipe
- ooey gooey deliciousness!
- one bowl prep
- easy cleanup
- use this as a base with any addition you’d like
What are congo bars?
Congo bar recipes abound in old fashioned church cookbooks. I have a stack 2 1/2 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
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 2 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 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.