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Congo bars on a cooling rack.
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Congo Bars

Loaded with chocolate, nuts, and coconut, Congo Bars hit all the right notes. Some say nothing else even comes close to how good they are. No mixer is required and, like other bar cookies, they travel well! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 24 bars
Calories 238kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup butter melted and cooled (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut toasted (see note 1)
  • 1 cup pecans toasted (4 ounces, see note 2)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (3 ounces, see note 3)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (3 ounces)

Instructions

  • Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan with a foil sling or parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined. 
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in coconut, pecans, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips.  
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist with a few crumbs attached, about 22 to 25 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking time.
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove from pan using foil sling and cut into 24 squares. 

Notes

  1. Shredded coconut: I prefer the sweetened kind here but unsweetened is good too. For extra crunch, toast the coconut.
  2. Pecans: Halves or pieces are fine, just toast the pecans for extra crunch and flavor. Or, substitute a different nut such as walnuts or hazelnuts.
  3. Chocolate chips: The recipe calls for semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, but you can substitute dark chocolate, milk chocolate, butterscotch chips, or even chopped bar chocolate.
  4. Toasting: Toasted coconut and roasted nuts add amazing, next-level crunch and taste.
  5. Clean-cut bars: Because the pan is lined with a foil sling, it's really easy to lift all the bars completely out of the pan. For the cleanest, easiest cuts, cool the bars completely. By the way, this recipe makes two dozen 2 1/2"-square bars, but you can cut them smaller (or larger) if you like.
  6. Make ahead:  Store Congo Bars in an airtight container at room temperature and they'll last about a week.
  7. Freezing: I like to wrap up cut bars individually, and stash them in a freezer bag. They'll keep about 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg