Irvin Lin

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars

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I’ve been making congo bars ever since I ran across the recipe in an old cookbook years ago and my friends have been clamoring for them ever since. In fact, I can’t seem to have a gathering with any of my friends without them asking where the congo bars are.

This variation of my congo bars brings them to a new level. Full of peanut butter goodness and aromatic toasted coconut, these chocolate studded treats are sure to be a favorite around your home too.

Congo bars are basically blondies or cookie bars. Super easy to make since there’s no measuring out individual cookies, they are equally easy to eat – as my partner can attest to. In fact, he has forbidden me to make them unless we have company over, as too many of them end up being eaten by him and him alone. I prefer to use unsweetened shredded coconut in these, as the sweetened type tends to toast rather irregularly because of the sugar, but if you do use the sweetened coconut, just watch the pan carefully as you toast it and stir constantly. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute melted unsalted butter, but your congo bars won’t have that elusive vanilla scented coconut flavor that the oil gives it.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 24 bars

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars


Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars Ingredients - Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator Peanut Butter

1 cup shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
2 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup Smooth Operator peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F and line a 10 x 15 inch baking sheet with aluminum foil, with at least an inch of foil overhanging the edges. Coat the foil lightly with a neutral flavored cooking spray.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Coat the foil lightly with a neutral flavored cooking spray

2. Toast the shredded coconut in a medium sized nonstick pan. Cook on high heat, stirring frequently until the coconut turns a golden brown, about two or three minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Toast the shredded coconut

3. Place the sugar, peanut butter and coconut oil in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until the peanut butter and oil are incorporated. Add the eggs, one a time, mixing enough to incorporate the egg into the batter before adding the next one. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Place the sugar, peanut butter and coconut oil in the bowl

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Add the eggs, one a time

4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt into the dough. Beat until the flour is incorporated. Add the toasted coconut. And mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Repeat with the chocolate chips.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Add the toasted coconut. And mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Repeat with the chocolate chips

5. Press the dough into the pan and spread with your fingers until you have an even layer filling the entire pan. You may need to distribute some of the chocolate chips by pressing them in, if they have fallen out.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Press the dough into the pan

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Pull out from the oven and let them rest on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes, or until they have firmed up. Using the overhanging foil, pull the entire pan of congo bars straight up and move to a cutting board. Cut into bars and serve.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars - Bake for 20 to 25 minutes

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars


Irvin uses chocolate chips in these congo bars. What other mix-ins would you include in this recipe?

Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of Smooth Operator, the peanut butter used in this recipe!


– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, August 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 8/24/12 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one 16oz jar of Smooth Operator peanut butter ($5 value). Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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45 Responses to Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars

  1. Cindy Downs says:

    They look great as is, but maybe some white chocolate chips? omg, I’m gaining weight just looking at these!

  2. Diane Conklin says:

    I would add Oats!

  3. Sharon Phillips says:

    I’m not a huge fan of walnuts, so I would love roasted salted macadamias with this combo of toasted coconut! I also only use unsweetened coconut in my baked goods, much more crunch and sort of an elusive coconut taste.

  4. Angelique Drummond says:

    First off, YUM, this recipe looks super good! Secondly I would probably add pecans or since there is coconut in these perhaps macadamia nuts are more suitable.

  5. Cindy Moreno says:

    1-1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
    3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

    Melt and Drizzle over the top. 🙂

  6. Karyn - Pint Sized Baker says:

    Dried fruit – pineapple, mango, and papaya. Those with the coconut and peanut butter would be great!

  7. Andrea says:

    1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips

  8. Francisco says:

    Dried guava or banana chips for some extra crunch!

  9. shawna says:

    carob chips!!! instead of chocolate chips.

  10. Denice Fullerton says:

    Dry Cherries

  11. Lauren says:

    pecans! =]

  12. Lynette C says:

    Dried Cherries or cranberries,or nuts,coconut glaze on top and shaved chocolate!!

  13. Adrianna H says:

    I would add raisins and lots of cinnamon.

  14. Julie Cover says:

    I would add butterscotch chips!!

  15. Tammy Meese says:

    Oats, dried cherries and pecans….. Or milk chips and roasted peanuts….

  16. wanda h says:

    oatmeal would be great, butterscotch chips or nuts ……….sounds delicious!!!!

  17. Angie says:

    one batch with M&M”s.
    next batch with chopped up Reese’s peanutbutter cups.

  18. Eva says:

    peanut butter chips and chocolate chips for extra pb oomph!

    or chocoalte covered peanut butter pretzels and a little extra sea salt for sweet/savory

  19. megan kupres says:

    White chocolate and crasins instead of chocolate chips.

  20. Jessica K says:

    pb chips

  21. Joy says:

    I would definitely add oats and nuts to give it more crunch! I love a great chewy crunchy bar.

  22. Kelli says:

    I’d add coarsely chopped peanuts.

  23. Makayla says:

    Chopped dates and walnuts!

  24. Holly says:

    I would add pecans and white chocolate chips too. Another variation I would add carmel and pecans!
    MMMM! this is making me so hungry!

  25. katherine d says:


    katherinedibello (at) gmail (Dot) com

  26. gwen planteen says:

    I would use half smooth operator peanut butter and half dark chocolate dreams { peanut butter blended with rich dark chocolate} to make the 3/4 cup.

  27. Laura Henley says:

    I would add white chocolate chips in addition to the regular choc chips, as well as craisins, and chopped pecans.

  28. Mal @ The Chic Geek says:

    I think many things would be good in these- I would probably add some toasted coconut or pecans!

  29. Terra says:

    Heath bar pieces and chunk chocolate for delectable delightfulness!

  30. Emily says:

    Yum! These look amazing.
    I would add crushed pretzels to give them a salty kick! Salty & Sweet desserts = HEAVEN. <3

  31. DM Moon says:

    I would add some white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips.

  32. Sarah says:

    Chopped up honey roasted peanuts!

  33. Jenna says:

    I’d make these with dark chocolate chocolate chips or reeses pieces chips. I would probably experiment with some marshmellow and/or dried cranberries as well.

  34. laney liner says:

    i’d add some dried cherries…yum…and maybe an extra helping of peanut
    butter & co PB.

  35. Alyssa says:

    Mmmmm I’d add some cinnamon chips…I love that combo with peanut butter!!

  36. Amanda says:

    I think that these would be good with some sort of nuts in them like crushed macadamias or almonds and maybe even some granola. Anything that would give it a little crunch 🙂

  37. Kayla says:

    Ooh, I would love to add some rice crispy cereal to give it a crunch bar-like texture. Looks delish!

  38. Yoojin says:

    I would add raisins and white chocolate chips. OMG YUM.

  39. Maria@Cardigan_Crew says:

    Peanut butter chips!

  40. Melissa says:

    I would add banana chips!

  41. Taylor says:

    Dried berries or nuts!

  42. Renata says:


  43. Georgiana says:

    Mmm! Dried dates for fiber!

  44. Sherry Tejada says:


    Sherry Tejada

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Coconut Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Congo Bars