Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Congo Bars

When we saw these bars over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, we knew we had to try them...and soon!!  We had the perfect opportunity when we had company over (the elders) last Friday!  We loved the mix of the 2 different brownies and the chocolate ganache on top was the perfect addition!  Kyla helped with that part!

Congo Bars
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
PRINT RECIPE
Congo Layer:
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white (save the egg yolk for the brownie layer!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (we used pecans)

Brownie Layer:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Ganache Drizzle:
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (or chocolate chips work well)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9X13 inch pan with foil and lightly grease & flour (we forgot to flour the pan & it didn't stick at all!).

For the Congo layer:  In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl or mixer stir together the butter, brown sugar, egg, egg white, and vanilla until just blended.  Stir in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth.

Scoop the batter into the prepared 9X13 pan and spread it to cover the pan as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle with the walnuts or pecans and gently press them into the batter.

Partially bake the congo bar for 12-15 minutes...you want the top to be no longer shiny and begin to start pulling away from the sides of the pan.  Place pan on a wire rack to cool.

For the Brownie layer:  In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over very low heat, stirring until smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.

Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined.  Add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until well blended.  Stir in the flour mixture just until the batter is smooth.  Scoop the batter over top the still warm congo layer and spread as evenly as possible.

Put back in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  The top needs to appear set and feel firm, and a toothpick inserted should come out with moist crumbs attached.  Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.  The top layer will set up as it cools as well.

To make the Ganache drizzle:  Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan or in your microwave, bring the cream just to a boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds.  Whisk together until smooth and creamy.  Set the mixture aside for a bit until it begins to cool and thickens slightly.

Pour the warm glaze into a small ziploc bag.  Take one of the corners and cut a small opening to allow a thin glow of glaze.  Squeezing lightly, pipe lines of chocolate in a zig-zag pattern over the brownie.  Set aside until the chocolate glaze is set.

Eat it with some vanilla ice cream or cool whip on top...or as is...and ENJOY!  We sure did!!
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