I had a real dilemma knowing what to call this, in America they call this a Congo Bar, the website I found it on, Bakerella, calls it a brookie, we at home like crookie (said all gruff and inducing fits of giggles!), basically this is a very gorgeous, soft and chewy, big fat cookie baked in a 13 x 9 inch pan, and cut into chunks. Warm from the oven it will almost eat like cake, 24 hours in it’s deliciously chewy and cookie like. I am on an endless quest to perfect the chocolate chip cookie, I love the ones you get freshly baked from Subway or the supermarkets, this recipe has taken a good deal of the urge away. It does have a ridiculous amount of sugar in it which I think is the secret to the chewiness, it’s also really simple and they keep, if you resist them, several days in an airtight container. The things I inflict on myself to find these things out! I have made this once with very finely chopped pecans and once without, it is up to you whether you include them or not, my children prefer them without. The first time I made these I used all brown sugar, the second time I made them with half brown, half white, and it didn’t alter them much, I would say that you should not go any further than this as the brown sugar is important to the taste, it has a richer flavour than white sugar, and different consistency in baking. Most cookie recipes however use a mixture of brown and white sugar so I felt confident in giving it a try. I would like to reduce the amount of sugar but having looked at many recipes for this they all use the same amount, so for now, I leave it to a time when I can afford to play, and just resign myself to the fact that you cannot call these healthy in any way!
See the recipe on Bakerella and her wonderful pictures and an abundance of sweet treats here. She has some interesting ideas on additions to the cookie mixture! Seeing her glorious pictures makes me want a new camera! I get a lot of envy in my searches for fantastic food. One thing that she noticed is that somehow you get a slightly different result if you make these with a food mixer(they will be more cake like), you will get the best result if you show the mixture your love and a little elbow grease and make these with your trusty wooden spoon!
350g / 12oz / 2 3/4 cups plain flour
2 and a half teaspoons baking powder
half a teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 lb / 450g / 2 1/4 cups brown sugar (or half brown and white)
150 g / 5 oz / 2/3 cup room temperature butter
4 medium eggs , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
320g / 11 1/2oz / 2 cups chocolate chips, plain or milk
*optional-half a cup / handful of finely chopped pecans
- Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4, 180 degC, 350 degF.
- Grease and line a 9 x 13 inch tray that is at least one inch deep.
- In one bowl sieve your flour, add the baking powder and salt(if using) and give it a little mix.
- In a large mixing bowl mix the sugar into the butter until the two are well incorporated.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
- Add the vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts, if using. A trick I discovered when making muffins is that if you dust the chocolate chips in a little flour they shouldn’t sink to the bottom of the mix when baking.
- Add the flour mix and stir it in well.
- Scrape into your lined, greased pan. It will be really thick, and look pretty irrestible already (there was a small squabble over licking the bowl).
- Bake in the oven for thirty minutes (if like my oven yours runs a little cool give it another five minutes if you test with a cocktail stick and it comes out sticky still). You are aiming for a pale gold colour, do not over bake, or you will lose the soft chewiness you are after.
- Cool in the pan for ten minutes or so, and then get it onto a cooling rack. Chop up into pieces as big or small as you wish! I think anything from 18 to 24 pieces is good.