Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I hope you have chocolate chips handy


They’re cookies. They’re brownies. They’re brookies. Whatever you want to call them they’re good. They combine the taste of a chocolate chip cookie and with the texture of a moist brownie. The best of both worlds. Actually, they do have a name. They’re called Congo Bars. Wait… I think I just heard a bunch of you go “oh, yeah … I’ve had those before.”

Well, I had them for the first time the other day. My friend Lori gave me one to try and I subsequently held her hostage until she gave me the recipe

Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been and how I could have gone this long without tasting easy treats like this. What else am I missing out on?


Here’s all the ingredients. Simple stuff.


If you follow the directions in the recipe, you combine everything by hand, but I decided to use my mixer and let it do all the work. They were yummy, but not completely the same texture as Lori’s. So I made them a second time the very next day and did it her way. I like how they came out when stirring by hand better, but either way they’re really good.


Look at that beautifully thick batter.


Spread it all out in a 13 X 9 pan and bake for about 30 minutes.


Cool and cut.


These are from the first batch. You can’t really tell by the photos, but the texture is different from the ones below.


These are from the second batch and slightly… just slightly, more cakey when you sink your teeth in.

At first I thought it was just a difference in baking time, but Lori also made a batch using a mixer without knowing that was how I made mine and both of ours came out the same.

She likes the mixing by hand method better, too. Again, this is a subtle difference, just thought I’d share.

The great thing about these bars is that you can mix in different additions if you want.


How about butterscotch or peanut butter chips?


M&M’s maybe.


You could even cut up a few caramel candies into small pieces if you wanted a chewy surprise inside.

Customize, baby.


Here’s the recipe Lori uses. She’s tried several, but settled on this one she found somewhere on the internet. If you google Congo Bars, you should find a bunch of variations to play with.

Congo Bars

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb. light brown sugar (Oh my and thank you!)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

By mixer:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugar using a mixer until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition.
Add vanilla and mix.
Add flour and mix until combined.
Stir in chips and then pecans.

By hand:

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
Stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together.
Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.

Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

UPDATE: Hey guys. Seems some of you are having mixed results. Most find these awesome, but some say they’re not done at 30 minutes. I’m starting to think my oven runs hotter than most. So, if the bars aren’t done at 30 minutes and the tops feel like they are getting too brown, then place a sheet of aluminum foil on top and bake a little longer. Use a toothpick to insert and check for doneness before removing from the oven. Also make sure you sifted the dry ingredients and used room temp butter, not melted. The batter should be thick like the photo above.

Janet L said...


August 2, 2011 12:06 AM
Nadia said...

I stumbled upon this lovely website, Made these and OMG I loved, loved, loved them !!! I am always back for more both for the Congo bars and all the other delicious recopies ! These recipes are amazing and i love experimenting with them ! Nx

September 7, 2011 06:06 AM
Casey said...

made these last week. I put them in for 30 min and they over baked. It was too dry to eat so I had to toss them

September 11, 2011 04:04 PM
Camilla said...

Hi there Bakerella! I made a dairy-free version of these delicious treats the other day. I replaced the butter with soya margarine and used dairy-free chocolate buttons instead of chocolate chips. I had the same problem with the bars being underdone at 30 mins, but I think I just didn’t put enough chocolate chips in. They were still amazingly tasty without the buttery goodness though!! I think that’s thanks to the pound of brown sugar….

September 11, 2011 04:50 PM
Victoria Tran said...

I just made these right now!! They are so delicious.. but so confusing! I’m not sure if I’m eating a brownie or a cookie. But so worth making. They’re also incredibly moist!

September 22, 2011 03:28 AM
Adriel Sumathipala said...


September 23, 2011 06:02 PM
Anonymous said...

I just want to say the look YUMMMMY

October 22, 2011 11:59 AM
Sweet Tooth said...

OMG! I was looking for Brookies and google gave me these! Not the same but these looks good too! :D

October 23, 2011 06:48 AM
Rachel said...

Thanks for the recipe – found it on Friday and made them twice over the weekend! My husband needed to enter something into a cookie contest at his work, and your recipe won! These are amazing!

November 1, 2011 05:17 PM
ASHLEY said...

My grandma & I have been making these for my entire life! We call them congo squares. Everyone loves them! I love how ours always seems to melt in our mouths! I’m not sure if this is the exact recipe we use, but my grandma & I always use an electric mixer & they always turn out fabulous.

These are like my ultimate comfort food and it’s one thing I’ll always remember about my grandma, even when she’s gone!

November 9, 2011 10:03 PM
Yajayra Gonzalez said...

I tried this recipe this weekend and they were delicious!! I added some peanut butter to the mix, they came out a bit dry but I beleive they were over cooked a bit. My fiance and kids loved it! Need to try them again and leave them in there less time. Thanks for the recipe!

November 14, 2011 12:36 PM
Denise said...

How many do these yield?

November 19, 2011 06:08 PM
April McDaniel said...

Oh My!!! These look scrumptious!!! Can’t wait to make!!!

December 28, 2011 10:40 PM
LeeAnn said...

Found this on Pinterest, they are in the oven now & smell SO good! Thanks for the recipe!!

January 11, 2012 11:23 PM
Flo' said...

Yeeah’ I make them, it was a big success!
all my friend ask me to taste them!
I make an other version with a nutella chantilly on the top!
THANK you!

a belgian fan!

January 22, 2012 04:24 PM
Alesia said...

My brother just asked for this recipe YESTERDAY! We’ve used it since I was a kid and can’t find it in Mom’s recipe box. This is THE EXACT recipe from over THIRTY years ago!! It still ROCKS!!!

February 3, 2012 11:15 AM
Jac said...

Enjoying this right now. They are fabulous thank you bakerella you are my hero. I had your french toast with bananas this morning for breakfast now congo bars with my cup of tea in the afternoon. It is freezing cold in Scotland and you have managed to keep me cosy all day! I wonder what delights I can make for tea…

February 7, 2012 09:39 AM
Maitri devi said...

Bakerella, I just made this Congo Bar but why the textur is more like brownies so maybe the right name is Blondie Brownies…anyway the taste is yummmmyyy..

February 29, 2012 08:30 AM
Katie said...

I made these “brookies” last night and oh. my. word. hold the phone and don’t call your girlfriends because you’ll want these all to yourself! These are INCREDIBLE! (I can feel my thighs thickening as I consider how much damage I’ll do tonight.) They’re dense like brownies but taste like cookies. The softened butter and copious amount of brown sugar render this dessert todiefor. I mixed in two cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and Reese’s pieces, with more sprinkled on top – with this dish, the more the better! I did the “whack” halfway through baking and I think it made them even denser. (The “whack” is just what it sounds like – with the pan firmly held by your oven mittened-hands, whack the bottom of the pan against the counter top several taps. Don’t get too crazy though – envision how Mother Teresa might do it.) I kept trying to swat my husband’s curious hands away, but he ended up having a nighttime snack (and I admit, I couldn’t resist a nibble either). It’s a big batch, but I’m sure it will all be consumed by his small group of college guys tonight!

Note: I baked them for 33 minutes, 20 minutes covered and 13 uncovered, to prevent too hard of a top forming. I cooled them in the pan; coupled with that and the extra three minutes, I think this helped them set up in the middle.

Bakerella, you’re becoming my go-to source for dessert making. Move over, Southern Living, Family Circle, AND Home and Garden!

March 1, 2012 11:54 AM
Lauren said...

These are the best blondies I’ve ever made! Thanks for the great recipe!

March 4, 2012 11:27 PM
Sabrina said...

Mine got flat :( any idea on what could have gone wrong????

March 20, 2012 07:17 AM
Nikkie said...

I just made these :D

April 2, 2012 09:37 PM
Lilith said...

Well, I was very excited to make these. I followed the recipe exactly. Did it by hand to avoid overmixing. Batter looked exactly like the photograph. Left it in the oven for 45 minutes. (at 30 i put the aluminum on top) The outside was tough. The inside was still a little .. well, not goop, but not as solid as i expected. Could not successfully cut them out in squares because of how tough the outside was. The texture was awkward. I didn’t enjoy these as I hoped. Expensive failed attempt sadly.


April 11, 2012 11:17 PM
Claire said...

Ooohh… I *wish* I had chocolate chips handy!

April 15, 2012 10:39 AM
Anne said...

I am making these right they are baking in the oven this minute :) I know they may not last as long as it took for them to bake!! thanks Bakerella
P.S so glad to hear your doing well post surgery, you’ve been in our prayers(my kids say “prayers for the baking lady” lol. you are extremely talented, thank you for sharing with us

May 2, 2012 06:16 PM
CJ at Food Stories said...

I found your site on the net and thought I’d stop by and check it out. I just subscribed to your feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!

May 3, 2012 02:29 PM
Maggie said...

just made these – they were quick & easy and turned out GREAT! I would recommend lightening up on the baking powder a little bit. Also, mine only took 22 minutes to cook. Thank you for the recipe! I will definitely be making them again!

May 4, 2012 12:54 PM
Cat Lover said...

I just read this and the first thing that came into my mind was: Yum! A friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a very long time is coming to my house tomorrow and now I have the perfect thing to give her! My friend showed me this website and now I have a list about what I need to bake…..*sight* Where have I been?

May 25, 2012 04:48 PM
bakerella said...

I <3 bakerella!

May 25, 2012 08:36 PM
Lori Fountain said...

Fantastic! All the kids in my grade school went crazy for Congo bars… they cost 10 cents each back then! My kids and I are loving this recipe! Thanks Bakerella and Lori!

May 26, 2012 04:43 PM
Beth Fraser said...

I made them for Independence day :) turned out great! lots of raving reviews at the picnik!

July 4, 2012 05:34 PM
tanya said...

luv it

July 27, 2012 08:17 PM
LC said...

I’ve made these a bunch of times but for some reason this time when I followed the directions exactly they came out undercooked near the bottom. When I made them before I must’ve done a mixture of granulated sugar and brown sugar and/or left out a bit of the dry mixture because they came out great. This time I followed directions exactly and at 30mins they were golden on top, I used a cake tester and it came out clean and then let them cool, but when I went to cut into them they were still a bit raw towards the bottom. I tried covering them and put them in another 25mins but they’re still not fully cooked and the top is as brown as I want to go :( When I make them again I’ll try the granulated sugar/brown sugar mixture.

August 5, 2012 02:15 AM
Casey said...

I cooked them but when I pulled them out at 30 they were basically hollow inside, because only the shell had cooked. I then put them back for 10 minutes. Still the same. At this point I was a bit worried about overcooking them and pulled them out again. Still completely gooey on the inside :(

Definitely still yum though!

August 18, 2012 05:25 AM
Pete Corrado said...

Oh, yes! I got the recipe 50 years ago, from a friend! They are delish, & everyone want your recipe!

September 21, 2012 04:49 PM
Tanisha said...

I tried these the other day because I have been craving them for so long (read: 15 years). I wrote about my experience on my blog ( Loved them! Mine were a bit dry, but I think I’ll try cooking them for 25 min next time. Thanks :)

October 3, 2012 02:33 PM
marlilyn said...

This is the same as my moms recipe. We do by hand, press them in a lg cookie sheet, and bake for 20 min. They come out fine. I think by using a lg baking sheet, they are pressed out thinner , and therefore cook quicker. Enjoy. We have had this recipe for over 50 yrs!!

October 13, 2012 11:21 AM
Hannah said...

Ooo, yummy :) Those are so good!!! Definately a keeper :)

October 14, 2012 08:37 PM
Jill said...

Blonde Brownies as we call them have been part of our family forever!!!! This what we do… micro save bowl combine brown sugar & butter, micro untill butter just melts stir by hand until mixed. Pour into mixing bowl, while that cools slightly mix your dry ingredients in same bowl just used. Now add 1 egg at a time until incorporated in bown sugar butter mixture. Key here is use Jumbo eggs or add another egg if using smaller eggs. On slow spead slowly add dry ingredients then stir choc chips & nuts if desired in by hand. 350 for 25 min. Or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

October 17, 2012 09:46 PM
Gian said...

Hey! Im from brazil and i just tried baking these! Unfortunately, i baked them at the wrong temperature (our standard temperature unit is Celsius, so i ended up burning my first batch :(. )

However, ill try again soon :)

October 19, 2012 11:41 AM
DeAnna said...

I just made these and after 45 mins they were still doughy :( I put foil on the top after about 30 mins but the bottom started to burn so I had to pull them out.. I have not ever had this problem in my oven with other recipes.

October 20, 2012 02:26 PM
Bre said...

So I was SUPER stoked about trying these, until they came out. They were not at all like brownies (texture wise). Tasty yes, but really sort of dry and cakey. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but needless to say, I was muey disappointed. =( Have any ideas as to why they were fluffy and cake-like, as apposed to moist and fudgy?

October 22, 2012 01:04 AM
BB said...

Oh my gosh, I have made these for almost 40 years and have never seen the recipe anywhere! These are the best, but with all the yummy ingred. how could they be anything but! I always use real butter, so they are scrumpdiliocious!

October 23, 2012 06:30 AM
Lynne said...

Our family has been baking Congo Squares for years too. Love these, seeing this recipe has inspired me to make some tomorrow !!

October 28, 2012 01:45 AM
Andrea Perlman said...

I am a good fairly experienced baker. I followed the recipe to a T. They are completely underdone even with more baking. This is why a test kitchen comes in handy.

November 21, 2012 03:30 PM
bakerella#1teenfan said...

i hope i have butter handy!

December 13, 2012 12:09 AM
bakerella#1teenfan said...

i am baking these now, theyve been in the oven for an hour, and theyre still not done. :’( ive used the hand method. :{}
whats even worse, is that while i was testing it to check if its cooked, ive -accidently- made this BIG BIG BIG hole smack in the middle. the inside still looks like the batter i left in the pan, although it has rised a bit and has formed a little layer of something that isnt crusty! im desperate! ive made those before for a party using my own homemade brown sugar, they were a little undercooked down but no one seemed to notice and they were a big hit but everyone said they were a lot to have. is it because i used dark brown sugar? what did i do wrong???! HELLLLP!

December 13, 2012 10:04 AM
bakerella#1teenfan said...

OH, thank god!! it worked! i went to check after a few minutes and they werent ready, so i covered them with aluminum foil and raised the temp a little, about 400 degrees:>> and it worrrked! YUMORAMA

December 13, 2012 11:02 AM
Jen Hames said...

Just wanted to say how fantastic these are.
Made them twice so far. The first time, I made them as-is and they were so yummy. The second time, I substituted 3/4 cup whole wheat flour for all-purpose and also added a 1/2 cup of oats. And still delicious!

January 21, 2013 02:16 PM
Ashley said...

These are AWESOME! I made them for my baby shower favors and they were a HIT!!!

January 31, 2013 06:40 PM
muslima girl said...

Thanks for an awesome recipe. I am going to make these now because of how good they look and because I am in NEED of something chocolatey and amazing..

I have question … it may seem silly ..
but does the pound of brown sugar have to be packed or not?

Thanks for any responses…

February 6, 2013 08:23 PM
Chonga licious said...

Yumm to da umm umm, in my tumm tumm

February 7, 2013 03:02 PM
Tinga said...

1967, Indiana University Commons, my first experience with Congo Bars! and all these years I have known that ‘Blondies’ are not the same thing. Thank you from the bottom of my stomach!!

May 24, 2013 10:34 PM
Latisha said...

I loved these! I made them to go in my father’s day baskets for my dad and brothers and they couldn’t get enough of them!… Great recipe!

July 17, 2013 08:48 AM
Jadie said...

Made these the other night and they were absolutely amazing! I was weary of the baking time after reading some of the other comments, but mine came out just perfect! I used the hand method and baked it a glass 9×13 for 40 minutes. I let it cool overnight (just put the entire pan on top of a cooling rack) and when I cut it the next morning, they were perfectly cooked! Everybody loved them! Thanks for another great recipe!

August 19, 2013 01:28 PM
G said...

I just made these for my students. They LOVED them! The bars were perfect, nice and chewy but dense enough that a small portion felt significant. I started a 2nd batch without realizing I didn’t have enough brown sugar, or any molasses, so I just substituted white. The texture wasn’t even comparable, but they were still soft and flavorful enough. Fantastic recipe, thank you so much!

October 16, 2013 12:58 AM
Kirsten said...

I made these and they were amazing. I posted about them here

If you would like me to take them down or give you more credit just let me know.

Thanks, and cheers for an awesome recipe!

Kirsten :)

November 18, 2013 04:43 AM
Pearl said...

These are just like the blondies that I make except the butter isn’t melted and I added some Reese’s peanut butter chips and doubled the recipe and baked it in a 15×9 cake pan. Holy deep dish awesomeness!! Thanks for sharing. Love your recipes and site.

February 26, 2014 10:36 AM
dash aris said...

will try it tonight. Can’t wait. Melting already. He he :)

March 4, 2014 05:12 AM
Suraya said...

Hm…totally true! I tried the recipe yesterday…sooooo nice & delicious!

June 18, 2014 03:00 AM
mona said...

yam yam yam,i am baking one rite now

July 17, 2014 10:03 AM
Amy said...

How many bars does this make?

November 26, 2014 12:12 PM
nana said...

Huhu..just made this today..with different recipe i found on the internet..i dont like the finish product..i think i’ll try yours tomorrow. I hope this time it would turn out great..q

August 10, 2015 09:56 AM
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