Sunday, November 21, 2010

Congo Bars (aka Blondies with Coconut)

Whenever I hear the word "congo," I think "Amy, pretty." and "Ugly gorillas, ugly. Go away." It's the movie with the monkey that signs and wears a machine that makes it seem like she's talking. But I digress.

Any-non-chocolate-brownies, I am still on a fall-oriented baking kick. Blondies remind you of fall, right? Well, if they don't, they should because that's why I made them.

Technically with the addition of toasted coconut they become Congo Bars. I don't particularly understand why coconut makes the descriptor "Congo" apt, but I'll go with it.

Congo Bars

  • 7 1/2oz AP flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 12T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 10 1/2 oz brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (Why do recipes specify LARGE eggs? Are they really that much bigger?)
  • 1 1/2t vanilla
  • 1/2c semisweet chocolate chips (ATK says to use these instead of butterscotch)
  • 1/2c white chocolate chips
  • 1c pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2c unsweetened coconut, toasted
  1. Purchase this immediately. Don't make any more brownies, blondies, or other dessert-y bars without it. And spray with veggie oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a different bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until combined.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (...or else. BUM BUM BUM!)
  6. Fold in the semisweet and white chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and the nuts.
  7. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch (22 to 25 min).
  9. Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely.
To toast the coconut: Bake at 350 degrees, stirring 2 to 3 times, until light golden, for 4 to 5 minutes.

The Baker's Edge? We have one; it's awesome. That is, if you have a preference for edges. And brownies, etc. bake more evenly in this pan.

These Congo bars were thick and rich. I had really wanted to use butterscotch chips, but ATK said that the flavor didn't stand out enough and their tasters had responded much more favorably to semisweet. ATK has yet to let me down, so I was happy to follow their advice. I think it turned out well.

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