Monday, March 16, 2009

Sweets to the Sweet

What do you bake when you want something really delicious that can be whipped up easily, is portable, and is loved by all? The answer would be blondies/chocolate chip pan cookies/congo bars (which is what my family calls them).

We had dinner at my brother in law's last night, and his girlfriend made delicious short ribs in the slow cooker. (I'm totally buying one, and will practice on it when I'm on leave waiting for Baby Icing). She asked me to bring dessert, and I wanted to share this recipe - not only does it make really pretty toffee colored cookies, but it couldn't be simpler!
It is from the back of the Guittard brand of chocolate chips (but I think it would work well with any brand).

Congo Bars

2/1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c. butter (I like to use unsalted butter, but I think you could use salted as well - maybe then no added salt?)
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar (packed firmly)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups (one bag) chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts - I generally leave these out because I never keep them around.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugars until light. Add in vanilla and eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
  3. Add the chocolate chips. Spread into pre greased 9" x 13" pan (the original recipe calls for a 10" x 15", but I don't have one and this worked out well)
  4. Bake for 25 minutes (again, 20-25 if you're using the larger pan). You may need to give these a couple of extra minutes, but they do continue cooking as they sit on the cooling rack.

I'm making them again tonight, because I want to bring them to my office as a thank you for the really adorable shower they threw me today! I got tiny and cute outfits for Baby Icing, and a gift card to Babies R Us that I'm sure is going to come in handy for those last minute necessities!

In other news, we had an absolutely lovely, but tiring weekend. I managed to drag myself out for exercise both days, but my three mile walks are starting to seem like 10 miles. I'm taking it easy, and carry water and a cell phone with me, but I have a really hard time sleeping if I don't get any exercise during the day.

Saturday night, we had dinner at Mastro's - if you go - get the warm spinach salad and the lobster mashed potatoes. We had a lovely time celebrating our friend's birthday, and are so excited to hear that his wife will be having a baby in late September! Honestly, being pregnant has been a bit lonely, because I really only have one friend who has a baby! I'm thrilled, and can't wait to meet their little one, who I am sure will be a very good friend to Baby Icing.

I also managed to make some red lentil soup and some more blueberry muffins for the freezer. Tonight I made another batch of regular lentil soup - I'll post this recipe soon. I'm working on having a decent amount of soups and nutritious meals frozen so that we don't have to eat takeout all the time.

We have friends from college stopping by on Wednesday night which should be fun, and I'm hoping that work stays calm this week because I'm about wiped out by 3:00 p.m. every day! I'm still mulling over potential baby announcements. Only 5 weeks to go starting tomorrow!


  1. Looks absolutely delicious! Must try that recipe; I make a cooking exception for baking (which I do enjoy, the end result in particular).

  2. I am also pg and I love reading your blog. Please include me once you go private...