• Thanks, Carrie! We came to the conclusion on Facebook that all Congo Bars are Blondies, but not all Blondies are Congo Bars… sorta like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. 😉 Whatever they’re called, they’re still pretty tasty!

  1. Madison Chloe Marie

    I’ve had blondies at Ruby Tuesday’s, but I’ve never had a congo bar before, they sound so intriguing especially when I’m feeling like indulging into something sweet and fabulous.

  2. Carmel

    I have my Grandma’s recipe for Congo Bars which is about 80 years old. It’s almost the same as your mom’s. 3 cups of flour and three tsp of baking powder and a whole bag of chips are about the only differences. Can’t beat em!

  3. Shirley Sedalnick

    Thank you for Congo bar recipe. My granddaughter is getting two batches..her favorite. She is in Hilo Hawaii.

  4. SR

    4 stars
    1. Blondies are butterscotch bar cookies (butterscotch ‘brownies,’ as some call them. Chocolate chips are sometimes added.
    2. The 5 (or 7) Layer Bar/Magic Cookie Bar/Hello Dolly Bar is a cookie bar containing at least: butter, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, coconut and sweetened condensed milk. The 7-layer version (assuming the butter and crumbs are separate layers, and not a single crust) also usually contains butterscotch-flavored chips and chopped nuts.
    3. The Congo Bar was a chocolate bar that could withstand temperatures of up to 140° Celsius. It was developed in the late 1980s for the U.S. military specifically as part of the survival gear for soldiers serving in the first war in Iraq. It’s production didn’t last beyond that, even though it apparently tasted quite a bit better than earlier military chocolate.
    4. That said, there is a bar cookie that some people call a Congo Bar that appears to be a chocolate chip cookie with coconut mixed in, baked in bar form. I’ve also seen Magic-5-7-Layer-Hello-Dolly-Cookie Bars referred to as Congo Bars.

    Except for the military chocolate, it seems that it’s four slightly different combinations of roughly the same ingredients, prepared in slightly different ways and probably with different regional names.
    Anyway, the bars/cookies in your pics look great!

  5. Thom

    5 stars
    This is the EXACT recipe I copied from my mom’s… you guessed it… index card for Congo Bars!

    She was married in the 1950s. We ate these growing up. Never knew the origin of the recipe. Never had coconut in them. Never called them Blondies. Sometimes they had chopped pecans; other times chopped walnuts.

    Oh, and of course, we never melted the butter in the microwave because… this was before there was one in every kitchen! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Elizabeth

    I was just asking myself, what the heck happened to congo bars and what the heck is the differnence between a congo bar and a blondie. And there you were asking the same question! Yes, I grew up on congo bars, too, and they never had coconut. Lost track of the recipe, though. so very happy you have provided. Cam’t wait to try them!

  7. Bonnie Shelby Martin

    5 stars
    In the 1950s my mother made Congo Squares a lot from a recipe she obtained from one of those collection of recipe books sold to make money for specific organizations—this was from The Navy Wives Club of Oceana, Virginia. Very similar to your Congo Bars, but with pecans.
    In the book, Damon Lee Fowler’s New Southern Baking, he has the recipe for Congo Squares. He states there are many folk explanations for the name, with the most plausible that it was named after the Congo Square in New Orleans that is located in Louie Armstrong Park.

  8. dale armer

    i have the exact recipe from my grandma. only difference is an extra egg in yours. will give it a try. a post i read stated the name comes from the congo room in a california club. could be!! amazing recipe.

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