These bars were fast and awesome. However, they are incredibly sweet! I am very happy that I used unsweetened coconut instead of the suggested sweetened and used all semi-sweet chocolate instead of a mixture with milk chocolate as suggested in the recipe. Next time, I will even drop down the sugar on the crust as much as I can. Aside from the high level of sweetness, I loved them and will make them again for a potluck or party in the future.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 whole crackers)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
For the topping
1 1/4 cups UNsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips (I used all semi-sweet)
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup chopped pecans or any other nut you fancy, if desired
Make the crust
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Butter an 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-9-inch baking pan, dust with flour, and tap out the excess.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and light brown sugar and mix well.
3. Work the butter into the crumb mixture with your hands until the crumbs are evenly coated with buttery goo. Spread the crumb crust in the prepared baking pan, pressing down gently with your hands. You don’t want to make the crust too dense or compact. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the topping. Oh, and leave the oven on.
Make the topping and assemble the congo bars
4. While the crust is cooling, mix together the coconut, both chocolates, and the condensed milk. Add the pecans or other nuts, if desired. Spread the mixture evenly over the warm crust. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is set and light brown. Watch carefully toward the end of the baking time to make sure the top doesn’t become too bubbly or dark.
5. Let the pan of bars cool on a wire rack for 2 hours or so, until chocolate is no longer soft. Cut into whatever size or shape you fancy.