Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

Think “Blondie Brownie” with all sorts of goodies added in!

Coconut + Chips = Chocolate Coconut BarI guess these are called “Congo Bars” – but I had never heard them called that (I do not think I have ever had them before either). These bar cookies are a perfect way to use up some of those 1/2 bags of sweets you have left over from other sweets. I did not have plain chocolate chips, so used a mix of plain/peanut butter. My mom hates coconut, so for her I would replace that with something else. You could make this with dried fruits to pretend to be healthier.

photographed by NJ Wedding Photographer: Rich Alborn

We recently brought these to a pot-luck (that we showed up late to) and even though most people had already eaten & had dessert – these still ended up disappearing!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

Congo Bars

(as adapted from The Curvy Carrot, check out the “Congo Bars“)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted/cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • CHIPS: 1 cup total, mix it up with chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, & peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus an additional 1/2 cup for topping the bars
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, plus an additional 1/2 cup for topping the bars
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted, plus more for garnish
  • [1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped coarsely] – skip for the “no-nut” crowd

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Fold and fit two large pieces of foil perpendicular to one another in the baking pan, making sure to leave about 3 inches of overhang on each side.  ***This will help you remove the bars from the baking pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the melted butter and brown sugar until combined. On medium-low speed, add the eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Stop the mixer and manually fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, mixing until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut to the batter. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan.

Bake for at least 22-25 minutes (until the top is slightly cracked and the bars feel firm to the touch).  *I ended up baking mine for at least 30 minutes – but be sure to check frequently to avoid over-baking. Remove the bars from the oven, garnish with the additional chocolate chips and coconut (if desired) and cool on a wire rack. Remove the bars from the pan by holding on to the overhanging foil edges and cut into bars.

And I leave you with this… these bar cookies are made with your “sweets leftovers” – so the next time you meet someone who tells you they don’t like leftovers (even though I’m not sure how that is possible) you should direct them to these bar cookies & then ask them how they feel about leftovers!

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