Monday, January 23, 2012

Operation Congo Bars and One Resolution Down

It's a very rainy day over here where I live, so my hubby and I are cooped up in the house. He's feeling sick, and I needed something to do. What's better for a rainy day than a day full of baking?

Remember that post about my New Year's resolutions? Well, I've got one done! They're called Congo Bars, but I seriously love the name "brookies". That's really what they are: cookie brownies! I got the recipe from Bakerella, and if she loves it, I do, too!

Also, these babies are way easy, and I really enjoyed baking them! Apparently, if you use a mixer, you'll get a different texture than if you do it all by hand. Bakerella said she liked them better hand-mixed, so that's the way I tried them. Maybe next time, I'll try by mixer.

Congo Bars

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 pound light brown sugar (Oh yes, please!)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips

By hand:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set it aside.

Stir the pound of brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. If you melt the butter, the batter won't get as thick as it needs to be.

It helps to use the back of your spoon to better mix the two together, like this:

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.

By mixer:

Sift the 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 one.

Add vanilla and continue to mix on low.

Add flour and mix until combined.

The rest of the steps are the same, so I didn't want to repeat them. Keep reading:

Stir in the chocolate chips. I had some leftover butterscotch chips that needed using, so I tossed them in as well. The beauty of these babies is that you can put anything in!

Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish. I accidentally got a little overzealous with my greasing, but I guess that's okay. They'll pop right out of the pan, right? :)

Here's what my batter looked like with the mixer:

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake, but apparently, 30 minutes hasn't been enough for most bakers. If that's the case, and the tops are already brown and toasted, lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top and bake a little bit longer. For me, I just had to  keep them in for like 3 minutes more, checking them at 1 minute intervals.

They turned out perfect!

You want to see a close-up, don't you. Go on, take a peek. And be careful not to drool on your keyboard!

Oohhh, yes. And they taste just as amazing as they look!


Though the mixer was much easier to use than my chicken arms, success was just beyond my reach. They looked so perfect, smelled so divine, but not cooked all the way through. The corners were basically perfect, but the middle never did quite make it. I covered it with foil, then put it back in for over 15 minutes, checking every 3 just to be sure, and still, gooey and uncooked. I had to leave for an event at the aquarium I volunteer at, and so I left them in the capable hands of my husband. He turned the oven off and let them sit inside for a while longer. And then they burned. :( So, lesson learned. 1. The oven will still cook your food even when it's off. 2. I will never use a mixer for Congo Bars ever again!

If you had a different experience with these two methods, I'd love to hear it! Maybe I did something wrong with my mixer. Anyways, tell me about it!


  1. They look totally delicious! How about mailing some to Utah?? :)

    1. For sure! Email me your address, and I'll make sure you get some! ;)I'll probably need to make another batch, since my perfectly stacked batch got ransacked by Sam and my mom. But hey, more baking means more treats!