Congo bars AKA chocolate cookie bars


Congo bars are a Sunday staple at my mother in law’s house. This yummy recipe was passed down from my husband’s grandma and is one we all LOVE.

We’ve been staying at my in-law’s this weekend, until we head out to Ohio… so we just HAD to make these delicious cookie bars. They are so easy to make and are super yummy! Crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle… just the way I like them. Pure chocolate goodness I tell ya! Top these congo bars with ice cream and you have a match made in heaven. Too bad the pan was gone in about .25 seconds! Next time. ;)

Congo bars recipe ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup salted butter (softened)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Congo bars AKA chocolate cookie bars yummy with ice cream on top!

Congo bars AKA chocolate cookie bars printable recipe

Congo bars


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup salted butter (softened)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add in eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Mix the baking powder and salt with 1 cup of flour. Pour into the butter mixture and stir in the rest of the flour. Fold in chocolate chips.
2. Grease a 12x14 pan (13x9 will work too) and lightly dust with flour. Press dough into pan with flour on your hands. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Oven temps will vary.     3. Test with a tooth pick. The dough should be soft in the center.
4. Allow bars to cool and then enjoy with a cold glass of milk!


Congo bars AKA chocolate cookie bars yummy with ice cream on top! My husband's favorite dessert!

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reeses peanut butter bars

Thanks for reading! Come back soon!

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Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Jenn@TheBoiledNoodle posted on May 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm (#

    I can taste the chocolate gooey-ness already!! My kiddos are going to lov these!

  2. Ann posted on May 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm (#

    These look incredible…I can see why they vanished so quickly!

  3. debbiedoos posted on May 29, 2013 at 4:58 am (#

    Oops, my comment…this recipe looks so good. I may try it this weekend for a girls get together. Thanks for sharing your family recipe.

  4. marie posted on May 29, 2013 at 10:41 am (#


    • marie posted on May 29, 2013 at 10:43 am (#

      Caprese pasta looks delicious, will try tonight.

  5. Crystal posted on May 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm (#

    Super delicious!! I love the gooey center. So yummy!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  6. Zinnirah posted on June 28, 2013 at 9:42 am (#

    Yummy!! I have tried the recipe… It works

    • Jamielyn posted on June 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm (#

      Thanks Zinnirah! We love this recipe too! It’s one our faves!

      • Erika posted on May 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm (#

        Wonder why my chocolate chips didn’t melt to give me the gooey effect:/

      • Jamielyn posted on July 23, 2014 at 9:04 pm (#

        Hi Erika! I once made them with chocolate chips that had some of that white coating on them that they get after a while and had the same problem. Using fresh chocolate chips always works…I use Hersheys! :)

  7. Mia posted on July 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm (#

    mentioned these delicious treats in my blog! thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. Tara posted on July 17, 2013 at 11:35 pm (#

    Thanks for posting these! We love them and make them far too often now :)

    • Jamielyn posted on July 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm (#

      I’m so glad you love them! Whenever my family is deciding which dessert to make, these are always at the top of the list! :)

  9. Kelsey posted on July 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm (#

    You and your sweet recipes are going to make me gain 50 pounds! Lol!

    • Jamielyn posted on August 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm (#

      Haha! You’ll have to pick one treat to make a week! ;)

  10. Dee posted on September 7, 2013 at 1:37 am (#

    Had a recipe for these about 20 yrs ago, but after several moves it got misplaced. I loved them, so thanks for this recipe & many happy memories of making these.

    • Jamielyn posted on September 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm (#

      I’m so glad you found the recipe again! It is definitely a recipe I would not want to lose…my family loves them! :)

  11. Brynna posted on October 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm (#

    My aunt used to make Congo bars all the time when we would come to visit as kids. I loved them! Your recipe tasted just like I remember them. Thanks for bringing back memories that I can now share with my kids!

    • Jamielyn posted on October 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm (#

      I’m so glad the Congo bars brought back great memories! These are our families favorite treat! I got the recipe from my mother in law! :)

  12. Meg C posted on October 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm (#

    My mom has always made congo bars, but our family recipe is different than you’re recipe. If they are anything like that my mom makes, then I know the are delicious!

    • Jamielyn posted on October 31, 2013 at 2:53 pm (#

      Congo bars are my FAVORITE! I love how soft, gooey, and chocolately there are! Glad you grew up with them too!

  13. Belinda F. posted on December 14, 2013 at 7:31 am (#

    I have tried quite a few of these recipes . They are great and easy

    • Jamielyn posted on December 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm (#

      I love these recipes too, they are so easy and always delicious! Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Sara posted on January 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm (#

    I made these a few nights ago. My co-workers loved them but I felt like they were missing a little “something” – I would probably add vanilla next time.

    • Jamielyn posted on January 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm (#

      I just re-read the recipe from my mother-in-law and it had 1 tsp of vanilla! Thanks for catching that Sara, I just updated it! Hopefully they turn out a little better next time! :)

      • Jessica posted on January 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm (#

        They are LITERALLY in my oven right now. Totally stoked to taste them. I accidentally put them in the pan without adding the vanilla so I kind of stirred it in… hope they work out!

      • Jamielyn posted on January 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm (#

        I hope you liked them Jessica! They are definitely a family favorite in our house! :)

  15. Dima posted on February 16, 2014 at 10:42 am (#

    i ran out of butter so i used coconut oil instead. And do not forget to add the vanilla, it was listed in the ingredients needed, but not in the instructions on when to add it.

    • Jamielyn posted on February 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm (#

      I’ve made a s’mores version of these with marshmallows and graham crackers and the marshmallows really do make them yummy! :) Thanks for catching that…I will add where to add the vanilla in the recipe! Glad you liked this family favorite recipe!

  16. Catherine R. posted on February 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm (#

    Just put them in the oven, can’t wait to see how they turn out! :)

    • Jamielyn posted on February 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm (#

      I hope you enjoyed these Catherine! These gooey bars are definitely a family favorite!

  17. Erika posted on May 25, 2014 at 8:18 pm (#

    Why didn’t mine come out gooey?

    • Jamielyn posted on May 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm (#

      Hi Erika! I’m sorry yours didn’t turn out gooey, you must have cooked them too long. The first time I made my mother in law’s recipe, mine came out more cakey. Next time make sure to cook them less and they should be gooey! :)

  18. Katie posted on June 8, 2014 at 9:00 pm (#

    Like a previous poster, these did not turn out gooey for me. I cooked them for 29 minutes, because at 25 minutes only the edges were brown. But at 29 minutes, the edges had burnt.

    • Jamielyn posted on July 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm (#

      Hi Katie! I’m sorry these didn’t turn out for you. The first time my sister made them, she said they were more cakey, with a little less flour they turned out perfect for her. Maybe try that! :)

  19. Juju posted on June 10, 2014 at 11:43 pm (#

    So happy to see this recipe! My mother used to make them 50 years ago and I somehow thought they came from the Congregational Church. :)

    • Jamielyn posted on July 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm (#

      It is such a delicious recipe! I’m so glad it got passed down to me! :)

  20. hana posted on September 9, 2014 at 12:10 am (#

    The gooeeyyyy chocolate! Yumm! This looks so good! 

    • Jamielyn posted on September 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm (#

      The gooey chocolate is my favorite part! SO GOOD!

  21. Arrem posted on October 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm (#

    This looks so beautiful!!! I will try it this week end or the next! Will be bringing it to church… So I get my piece and it’s gone, coz for sure I can finish the whole pan!

    • Jamielyn posted on October 8, 2014 at 12:21 am (#

      Thanks! It is a family favorite. :)

  22. Kristie posted on March 20, 2015 at 9:27 pm (#

    these are amazing. I took a cpl of tips from chocolate chip cookie recipes and omg is all I can say. I used sea salt rather than reg salt and I cut flour and used 1 cup of cake flower and the rest reg flower and also used 2 hefty tablespoons of vanilla if not more because we love the flavor in the cookie recipes. Happy baking !!! 

    • Jamielyn posted on May 3, 2015 at 12:55 am (#

      I’m so glad you liked these Congo Bars, they are a family favorite! Thanks for your comment. :)

  23. Laura posted on May 1, 2015 at 7:47 am (#

    Are you oven temperatures in c or f ?  

  24. Kathy posted on May 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm (#

    These are great I put them in a square muffin tin to bake do they are easier to pack in my sons lunch box for school as an occasional treat. Love that we can share recipes around the world ( I’m in Australia)

    • Jamielyn posted on May 18, 2015 at 10:18 pm (#

      Thanks for your comment Kathy! :)

  25. Victoria posted on May 9, 2016 at 10:07 pm (#

    Was wondering if anyone tried using dark chocolate chips the larger ones. I don’t know if they will be sweet enough. 

    • I Heart Naptime posted on May 10, 2016 at 7:28 am (#

      That sounds delicious!

  26. Eva posted on March 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm (#

    I LOVE the name of your blog. I heart nap time too! I’ll bet a nap will be called for after a few of these congo bars. Yum.

  27. Lisa posted on May 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm (#

    I’ve made these Congo Bars twice for my guy and he loves them! His grandmother used to make them so I was thrilled when I saw your recipe used butter like she did.
    The recipe is perfect every time. I’m making more tomorrow. I call them high-end chocolate chip cookie bars. They’re delish!!