I’ve been making congo bars ever since I ran across the recipe in an old cookbook years ago and my friends have been clamoring for them ever since. In fact, I can’t seem to have a gathering with any of my friends without them asking where the congo bars are.
This variation of my congo bars brings them to a new level. Full of peanut butter goodness and aromatic toasted coconut, these chocolate studded treats are sure to be a favorite around your home too.
Congo bars are basically blondies or cookie bars. Super easy to make since there’s no measuring out individual cookies, they are equally easy to eat – as my partner can attest to. In fact, he has forbidden me to make them unless we have company over, as too many of them end up being eaten by him and him alone. I prefer to use unsweetened shredded coconut in these, as the sweetened type tends to toast rather irregularly because of the sugar, but if you do use the sweetened coconut, just watch the pan carefully as you toast it and stir constantly. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute melted unsalted butter, but your congo bars won’t have that elusive vanilla scented coconut flavor that the oil gives it.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 24 bars
1 cup shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
2 ⅓ cups dark brown sugar
¾ cup Smooth Operator peanut butter
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ¼ cup all purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F and line a 10 x 15 inch baking sheet with aluminum foil, with at least an inch of foil overhanging the edges. Coat the foil lightly with a neutral flavored cooking spray.
2. Toast the shredded coconut in a medium sized nonstick pan. Cook on high heat, stirring frequently until the coconut turns a golden brown, about two or three minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. Place the sugar, peanut butter and coconut oil in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until the peanut butter and oil are incorporated. Add the eggs, one a time, mixing enough to incorporate the egg into the batter before adding the next one. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt into the dough. Beat until the flour is incorporated. Add the toasted coconut. And mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Repeat with the chocolate chips.
5. Press the dough into the pan and spread with your fingers until you have an even layer filling the entire pan. You may need to distribute some of the chocolate chips by pressing them in, if they have fallen out.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Pull out from the oven and let them rest on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes, or until they have firmed up. Using the overhanging foil, pull the entire pan of congo bars straight up and move to a cutting board. Cut into bars and serve.
PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY
Irvin uses chocolate chips in these congo bars. What other mix-ins would you include in this recipe?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of Smooth Operator, the peanut butter used in this recipe!
- The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, August 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.
- One entry per person.
- Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
- Winner(s) will have until 8/24/12 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
- Winner will win one 16oz jar of Smooth Operator peanut butter ($5 value). Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
- No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.