Congo Brownie Bars

I’m struggling with a bit of writer’s block for these bars – I can’t seem to think of too many adjectives to describe them, except that they are good. Really, really good.

They are composed of a perfectly chewy blondie layer and a not-too-intense chocolate brownie layer.

I liked these – a lot. They have earned the distinction of being one of the few recipes that I’ve baked an entire batch of, just so I could have extras in the freezer.  Something about their simplicity really hit the spot.

The original recipe calls for a cup of walnuts to be sprinkled over the blondie batter before baking, but as you can see, I left them out. I contemplated throwing a handful of chocolate chips into the brownie batter, but I’m glad I didn’t. I think it would have interfered with the harmony of two smooth bars baked together.

This recipe is definitely worth making – again.

Congo Brownie Bars – adapted from Flo Braker

Blondie layer:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white (save the yolk for the brownies)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Brownie layer:
1 cup plus 2 tbs. all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
4 oz. unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray, and set aside.

Make the blondie layer first: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, egg, egg white and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan and use an off set spatula to spread it evenly. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top is no longer shiny – about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and set it aside while you prepare the brownie layer.

Make the brownie layer: Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a small saucepan, over very low heat, melt together the butter and unsweetened chocolate, stirring until smooth. Stir in the granulated sugar, then add the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix just to incorporate. Drop dollops of the brownie batter over the blondie layer, and use an offset spatula to spread it as evenly as possible.

Return the pan to the oven, and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the top is no longer shiny, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Allow to cool before cutting and/or serving.

Yield: 2 dozen (or more, depending upon how you cut them)

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18 thoughts on “Congo Brownie Bars

  1. Oooh! I’m copying this one down. I had something like this recently but it was made with a box mix. I was thinking of experimenting with a scratch recipe by just combining a brownie and blondie recipe, but with this the work is done for me!

  2. I just reread the recipe because I might make it this weekend, but I have a question. For both batters, the directions say to mix the dry ingredients, then mix the wet ingredients, but there’s no explanation of when to mix them together. I’m assuming that after mixing the wet ingredients you just add the dry a little at a time until incorporated?

  3. I agree. These were marvelous!!! I followed your advice and skipped the nuts and tried adding chocolate chips between the layers. Of course they melted… Which my daughters thought added to the goodness, particularly when they were slightly warm. Thanks so much for calling my attention to these. I had considered them in the past, but it took your blog to get me to make them!

  4. i am baking a batch right now…the first layer is really very thick – a bit like caramel…is it the right texture? i used dark brown sugar for the blondie layer, and think i didn’t spread evenly – there were 2 big ‘bubbles’ on the blondie base. just spread the brownie layer on, and popped into the oven – can’t wait to taste them!

  5. Hello. I did not make these but a friend made them with walnuts. I found that with walnuts, they are almost bitter. Generally, I find walnuts to be on the bitter side of most nuts. Perhaps it is the use of unsweetened cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate with the walnuts but the original recipe was not enjoyable. Maybe a sweeter nut like macadamias would be better.

  6. I have made these several times and they are definitely my favorite on this site! They are exactly the perfect amount of blondie chewyness to chocolatey brownie goodness. Thank you so much for these wonderful recipes (:

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