A coconut treat from childhood


Ellen Costigan from Florence, N.J., was searching for a recipe for Congo Bars that she had made many years ago as a schoolgirl. She remembered that they had chocolate chips, nuts and coconut.

Many readers responded with their recipes for Congo Bars, but only a few of the recipes submitted had coconut in them.

Leslie Riden of Bel Air researched her recipe and cookbook collection and sent in multiple recipes for the bars, one of which contained coconut. The recipe from 110 Cookie Recipes by Betty Crocker sounds the most like what our reader was looking for.

The addition of the coconut and oats in this recipe makes this a less-traditional-tasting Congo Bar but one that is delicious nonetheless. It was easy to prepare, although the dough was a bit on the sticky side. I recommend using wax paper to help spread it in the pan. These goodies are sure to be a hit at any bake sale.

Congo Bars

Makes 24 bars

cooking spray to prepare pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus enough to prepare pan

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 cups quick-cook oatmeal (dry)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13 inches by 9 inches by 2 inches.

Beat remaining flour, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, baking soda, salt and egg in a large bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly until blended.

Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients. Put into prepared pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until edges are golden (center will be soft); cool.

Loosen edges from pan, using knife or metal spatula, cut into 3-by-1 1/2 -inch bars.

Per serving: 197 calories; 3 grams protein; 12 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 22 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 29 milligrams cholesterol; 112 milligrams sodium

Recipe requests

Helen Dahlquist of Salem, Ore., is looking for a recipe for "Oven Stew," where the meat, vegetables and liquid are slow-cooked for four or five hours.

Patsy Bettelyoun of Hot Springs, S.D., would like a recipe for a "smooth and creamy" vanilla fudge.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, put each on a separate piece of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Names must accompany recipes for them to be published. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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