Congo Bars!

So I thought I would be nice and bring in a yummy treat for my brave co-workers who, without regard for their own safety, came to work today with a pending snow storm. So I flipped through all the easy to transport desserts in my arsenal and decided upon those oh so delicious favorites, the Congo Bar, similar to the magic bar, this is a more congealed sticky version, done with more of a batter, where as the magic bar is a layered bar. Same ingredients, different method, wonderful results! So, that being said here is the recipe, I highly recommend making them, its easy, they keep well in an air tight container, or in the freezer, but it’s unlikely you will have any leftover to store!

First pre-heat the oven to 325 and line a 9×13 inch baking dish with aluminum foil, allowing the foil to hang over the narrow sides a few inches. Grease or spray the foil with non stick spray.

Then you need to make the cookie crust, fairly simple. 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour, 3/4 cups brown sugar (the original recipe says dark, light works just as well) and 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbls unsalted butter. This step is similar to the pie dough, you need to cut the cold butter into the flour and brown sugar. You can do this with a pastry cutter, or if you don’t have one you can use a fork or even your fingers. Basically you want to mash it all up until it resemble coarse crumbs. Then press the dough into an even layer into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until the edges are just barely browned. Remove the crust and allow to cool slightly.

While the crust cools a bit you can make the sticky topping. In a medium bowl mix the following with an electic mixed (you can use a whisk if you dont have an electric mixer, but its going to be tiresome, these are sticky ingredients!) 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 2 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk, 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 tsp baking powder, generous 1/8 tsp salt. 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Blend ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Then beat in 2 1/2 Tbls of all pourpose flour, then stir in 1 cup shopped pecans (I had whole ones that I used for the caramel apple pie, just put them into a zip top bag and smashed up with a frying pan) 1 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup chocolate chips (i prefer the milk chocolate morsels, but you can use whatever you prefer). Pour this mixture over the crust and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it though after about 28 minutes. You want the whole thing to be golden brown and the middle to be barely cooked through, a little wiggle is fine. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely! This is really important, it’s not like cookies or brownies where you can sneak them when they are hot and fresh from the oven, if you try to cut these before they cool they will ooze everywhere make a mess and destroy the bars, trust me I have made this mistake on several occasions! Your patience will be rewarded!

Once the bars have cooled completely, use the excess foil as handles and lift the bars out of the pan and place on a cutting surface. Remove the foil and using a big and SHARP knife cut into bars, wipe the blade with a warm damp dish  towel between cutting to get a cleaner cut.

Thats pretty much it, put into an air tight container and bring to work as a good bribe to get people to do stuff for you (Thanks Melissa for the photo op!), or kick up your feet, put on a good movie and proceed to eat them all, just make sure to have plenty of milk on hand! Enjoy!!!

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