While looking through my mother’s folder of torn and stained recipes (a habit that I just love), I came across a neatly typed recipe for “Congo Squares.” I could tell this was a very old recipe, and I vaguely remembered the name. As I read through the ingredients, I started to recollect the taste, which is somewhat similar to what I think we now call “Blondies.” I remembered my mother baking these bars for parties and company. I decided to give them a try and bring them to a Super Bowl party. They were yummy! And I was very nostalgic over the taste. It brought me back to my childhood, as tastes often do.
I couldn’t help but wonder where the name came from so I “Googled” it, and was just amazed to see the exact same recipe came up for “Congo Squares.” I thought that perhaps the name had been made up by whoever had typed this recipe for my mother. It turns out that this was a very popular recipe in the 1950s, put out by Nestle’s Chocolate.
I think you will enjoy these, if you don’t already have a similar recipe. I might make a change or two the next time I make them. I think the addition of some unsweetened coconut could be quite good. I also might add a tsp. of vanilla for flavor. Also, I deviated from the pan size in the recipe. I used a 9 x 13 baking pan instead of the 10 ½ x 15 ½ baking pan or cookie sheet suggested. I thought I would like the bars to be higher. I’m now second guessing my decision, and am wondering if they might not be tastier if they were thinner and chewier. You can decide for yourself. I don’t think there really is a wrong choice. Even the batter is delicious!!
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 cups (1 lb box) dark brown sugar
1 cup nuts, such as walnut or pecans, chopped
1 6 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1. Mix together and sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Melt the butter or shortening and mix well with the brown sugar. Let cool a few minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add dry ingredients, then nuts and chocolate. Mix well.
5. Pour into greased pan about 10 1/2 x15 1/2 x 3/4 inch. Or 9 x 13 pan.
6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. If using 9 x 13 pan, you will want to bake it 5 to 10 minutes longer.
7. When cool, cut into squares.