ABC: Congo Brownies

I have a confession – love brownies.  Don’t like blondies.  I usually find them over-top too sweet.  So when I saw this choice from our ABC line up, I was not inspired at all.

Tom on the other hand got all excited and pump fisted the air yelling “FINALLY, something that is not cake – YES!”

Do you think he is trying to tell me something?

Yeah, I did not think so.

So, after all that hula-hoop performance by him, I could not say no to this, plus I been slacking on my participation with the group, I was boxed in.

As with anything to do with cooking - If you love what you are cooking the cooking gods will give you free reigns and it’s smooth sailing for you.  If the opposite is true and you do not love it, the cooking gods will throw curve ball after curve ball just to keep you on your toes.

I had no issues with the first batter – the congo layer, which will be the “blond” layer of these bar.

The issue became quite apparent once they were cooking away in the oven.  When I took a peek, I realized that the layer was baking up above the rim of the pan.

The following thoughts raced thru my head – The hell?  Did I over do it on the baking powder? Oh, wait there was no baking powder.  What is happening? Why are they so high?  How in the world am I going to layer the chocolate layer on this and bake and not have it bake OUT OF THE SHEET PAN?

Did you guys catch that? – “the sheet pan”, remember it, embrace it.  Because, I’m going to show you WHAT NOT TO DO.

Using your “speed” reading capabilities for reading recipes is NOT A GOOD THING.

I sort of read the instructions in a hurry and did not really compute that the pan that I needed to bake these were in a 13x9 pan.  For some unknown reason I read – “quarter sheet pan”, which in my defense it’s noted in the instructions – not for you to use, but to REFERENCE the size of the baking PAN needed (not sheet).  Guess what I baked my first layer in? Yep, in a sheet pan – which is 13x9x2. Did you see that “2” at the end?  Yeah, the final bars are about 4” in height… basic math here dictates that this sheet pan IS NOT THE BAKING PAN TO USE.

Baking gods – 1, Monica - 0

So, survival of the brownies became the theme from here forward.

Found the RIGHT baking pan and placed on the counter and decided that I was going to tackle that in a bit.

In the meantime mixed up the second batch of layer – the “brownie” layer.  Once I got the failure out of the oven, I knew there was nothing I could do except “cut and place”.

While it was still hot, I cut the layer up by half and carefully lifted out of the sheet pan and moved it over to the baking pan, working as fast as I could…

I was patching 101 BIG TIME.

It did not look pretty.

Don’t judge!Eextreme circumstances, mean crazy ideas - I was not going to loose a perfectly good portion of the mix – no sir.

It seemed to work.

Looked pretty ugly.

No, I’ sorry I don’t document my failures in the kitchen, so no pictures to show you, but it was ugly.

Take my word for it.

I figure the brownie layer will hide the ugliness.

So, I slapped that layer on, and back to the oven it went to finish baking time.

Monica 1 – Baking gods – 1

At this point I decided to quit while ahead and skipped the chocolate sauce.


Tom and the little man loved them, in fact they did not last. By the 3 day of baking they were gone, gone.

I actually like them.  The brownie part was perfectly not sweet, which counter balance the mild sweetness of the blondie layer.  So I guess Flo has showed me that there are ways to make this classic dessert right up my alley. The only thing I had to say is that if they past the 3 day mark, they do get a bit dry, even storing them in a plastic container – but, they are that good and doubt very much they will even get to a 3 day storing period in the first place.

You can check out the other creations from my ABC peers by visiting the Avid Baker Challenge blog.

And if you want to give it a spin you can find the recipe here