Browned Butter M&M Congo Bars

These are essentially just a different name for Blondies, but “Congo Bars” sounds more fun so I’m going with that.  The beauty of these is that you can pretty much throw whatever you want in there.  I chose m&m’s (because I’m giving most of these to a 5-year-old), semisweet chips, butterscotch chips and toffee bits…because I like all those things.

I said I’m giving most of these to a 5-year-old.  I didn’t say I’m giving them all to him.

Ingredients

·        2 ½ cups flour

·        2 t baking powder

·        ½ t baking soda

·        1 t salt

·        2/3 cup butter

·        2 cups dark brown sugar

·        3 eggs, brought to room temperature

·        2 t vanilla

·        ¾ cup m&m’s, separated

·        ½ cup semisweet chips

·        ½ cup butterscotch chips

·        ¼ cup toffee bits

Directions

Butter and flour a 13” x 9” baking pan and set it aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set that aside as well.

Put the butter in a small saucepan and turn the heat up to medium.  Start stirring immediately and keep stirring until the butter is completely melted little bits of brown start to appear in it.  This won’t take long – maybe just a couple minutes.  Take the pan off the heat.IMG_4015

Put the brown sugar in a large bowl and pour in the browned butter.  IMG_4019Mix with your hand mixer until it is fairly smooth – say 3 minutes.  Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat again until well combined.

Get your bowl with the dry ingredients and pour them into the browned butter mixture.  Mix again, just until everything is combined and then put your hand mixer away.IMG_4020

Pour in  1/2 cup of the m&m’s, semisweet chips, butterscotch chips and toffee bits and fold in with a wooden spoon until they’re evenly mixed in the batter.

Pour (or spoon) the dough into the prepared pan and press with your hands to get it about even.  Take the remaining 1/4 cup of m&m’s and sprinkle them evenly over the top.IMG_4023

Bake at 350 for about a half hour, until they’re golden brown on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry with just moist crumbs.  Every oven is different – if your pan of congos is brown on the edges but a toothpick inserted in the center still comes out wet, then lightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and keep cooking until the toothpick no longer comes out wet.IMG_4027IMG_4028

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool, cut them into bars and serve!IMG_1026IMG_1030

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