Monday, October 8, 2007

Congo Bars

These probably have a different real name, but Ava's class at preschool made them during their Africa Unit, thus they are named appropriately. It doesn't matter what you call them, they are by far the best bar cookie I have ever made.

2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

All ingredients should be allowed to come to room temperature. This is important. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together salt, baking powder, and flour
When oven is hot, place coconut on a cookie sheet and toast until lightly browned (1 or 2 minutes). Remove and let cool.
Using an electric mixer, mix together butter and brown sugar. Add the beaten egg bit by bit, mixing well. Add vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture by hand with a wooden spoon. Stir well.
Gently stir in chocolate chips and toasted coconut.
Grease a 9 by 13 cake pan. Spread the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven as soon as sharp knife inserted into center pulls away clean- do not over-bake!
Cool, cut into bars, and serve.

I am not sure why "cake pan" is so important. Maybe it means you can't use a glass baking pan. I made this in a metal cake pan so I am not sure what would happen if you tried it in a glass dish. It also states that the coconut can be replaced in whole or in part with your favorite chopped nuts.

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