Congo Bar Cookies

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This is the perfect bar cookie–a never-fail recipe. Reader Barbara Dwyer wrote in search of it, remembering that her mom used to make it 50 years ago. Turns out it was a favorite of one-time Nestle’s chocolate test kitchen chief Helen Britt, too. She shared it in 1950.

Makes 4-dozen, two-inch square bar cookies


  • 2 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 2 1/4 cvups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped nutmeats
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate morsels


Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. Melt butter and add brown sugar to butter. Cool slightly. Beat eggs in to butter/sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, blend well. Add nuts and chocolate. Grease a 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 3/4 inch cookie sheet and line with waxed paper. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on rack and cut into two-inch squares.

10 thoughts on “Congo Bar Cookies

  1. I was not happy with this recipe – I found the bars to be very dense, dry and not sweet enough. When I checked this recipe against the Toll House cookie recipe, comparing relatively the same measurements, this recipe calls for 2 1/4 C. brown sugar and the Toll House recipe calls for only 3/4 C. brown sugar. Toll House calls for granulated sugar and this recipe has none. All in all, in the future I will simply use the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe and spread it into the pan to make bars.

    • It’s always a tough call: Should I print the recipe that someone requests exactly as it appeared when it was published? Or, tweak it to my liking? This recipe was the exact recipe the reader who requested it asked for. Sorry it wasn’t your favorite.

  2. This is the ORIGINAL Congo Square recipe. It is delicious. It’s meant to be dense. I believe it was on the Rockwood Chocolate Chip box way back in the late 1940’s or early 50’s. It was my Mom’s go-to recipe. If you use a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, you won’t get the same results.

  3. I use this same recipe from my grandfather with an addition. We cut and then roll in powdered sugar. I was shocked the recipe was almost word for word.


  4. National Blond Brownie Day, Jan. 22. Made these today! Recipe is from the Nestlé’s Chocolate book my Mom had. I forget nuts & add 1 cup extra white Chocolate chips instead. Never any left. And they ship well also!

  5. In my possession is a recipe I copied from a friend over 30 years ago, and I was checking to see if the ingredients were the same. The only difference I found was that her recipe called for 1 box of brown sugar (1 lb) which may equal your amount, and the vanilla. It’s a tried and true recipe. Thank you.

  6. This is the recipe that my mom used to make Congo Bars. The only difference in the recipe is that hers called for 2 1/2 cups of brown sugar instead of 2 1/4. I am so excited to have this recipe as my copy was torn, making it difficult to read the flour measurement. Thank you for posting this recipe!!

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