Looking for a soft and chewy cookie bar to make for dessert? These Congo Bars are loaded with chocolate chips and are easy to make with one bowl and one pan. The buttery chocolate chip cookie bars will disappear before you can even blink.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
All through high school I made these chewy cookie bars of deliciousness for every youth group event that needed food. It was must my sure fire recipe that never failed me and was always asked for.
Every time I showed up with a pan, these Congo Bars got devoured in no time at all.
Then I went to college, got married, had kids, and forgot about those chocolate chip cookie bars. Recently I was going through a box of old recipes I had kept and I found my recipe card for Congo Bars.
Now you may think they are just a blonde brownie, so what is the big deal? I can’t explain it. These classic cookie bars just have a slightly different taste than these M&M Blondies.
There is just something about a Congo Bar that I can’t resist. They are soft and chewy and have chocolatey goodness in every bite.
What are Congo Bars?
Congo bars are a vintage chocolate chip cookie bar recipe that can be found in your grandma’s cookbooks and most church cookbooks. The bars are very similar to blonde brownies, but the congo squares have a richer flavor.
Congo Bars Ingredients
These chocolate chip cookies bars come together quickly with just a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
- Butter – Unsalted and softened
- Brown Sugar – Two cups give these cookie bars a soft and gooey texture that is incredible.
- Eggs – Provides the moisture needed to bake the cookies.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds flavor.
- Flour – All purpose flour adds structure and stability to the bars.
- Baking Powder – Gives lift to the cookie bars as they bake.
- Salt – Balances out the sweetness.
- Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips – you can also use white chips, milk chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips if you prefer.
How to Make Congo Bars
The recipe for congo bars comes together in minutes. It is easy to mix the cookie batter in one bowl using a mixer.
- Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray or line it with parchment paper.
- Beat the softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until creamy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.
- Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until a soft dough forms.
- Stir in the chocolate chips gently.
- Spread the cookie batter in a prepared pan and bake.
- Remove and cool on a wire rack.
- The key to these gooey bars is not to over bake them. I have always baked this recipe for 28-30 minutes. Never more, never less. This gives the bars a very slightly crunchy top and sides, but the center of the chocolate chip cookie bars stay soft and gooey.
- All ovens bake differently though, so this could affect the congo bars. We have lived in different places over the years, and I have baked them in so many different ovens, but I still stick with 28-30 minutes.
- They will look under done when you first pull them out of the oven, but trust me. Let them sit on the counter and cool completely before you touch them.
- The center will fall slightly, but this is normal. Just trust me, and do not bake them more.
- Let the cookie bars cool completely before cutting into squares. They will keep their shape better cold.
- Try a warm square with a scoop of ice cream on top. Holy cow! Cookie dough goodness with melty ice cream is pretty much the bomb!
- Use white chocolate chips to change up the flavor of the cookie bars.
- Add nuts for a delicious crunch.
More Cookie Bar Recipes
- Butterscotch Bars
- M&M Brownies
- Funfetti Bars
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
- Best Lemon Bars
- Blonde Brownies
- Oatmeal Fudge Bars
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- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick baking spray.
- Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt and slowly add to the butter mixture until a soft thick dough forms.
- Stir the chocolate chips in by hand. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Do not over bake!!! Remove and let the bars cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Store in a tightly sealed container.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.
(original photo from August 2010)
*The post and recipe for these Congo Bars was originally published August 24, 2010. The pictures and post was updated and republished on November 19, 2018.