Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Hope You Have A Glass of Milk in Hand!

This year, I procrastinated my plans for Teachers' Day. I had such big plans; I wanted to make a 'First Aid Kit' for the teachers - a box filled with white board markers, colored pens, highlighters, glue sticks, correction tape, sticker labels, metal clips, and even some chocolates!

In the end, I didn't have time to do such a thing. I think it had something to do with the fact that the Teachers' Day celebration was squeezed in between a long week of exams. Where lah sempat nak study paper Piñata lagi, nak go shopping lagi, nak packing lagi. *chuckles* In the end, I decided to just wing it by baking yet another batch of Congo Bars. (Replicating last year's gift... OMG I've stopped to an all new low!) *giggles* Of course, in an attempt to make it slightly different from what I did last year, I enlisted Aiden's help in drizzling some homemade Salted Caramel sauce on top.

So why Congo Bars, you ask? Logically I needed a dessert that was sturdy enough to withstand curious hands. I've tried giving macarons previously and I actually had to hand carry them to school. With Congo Bars, I knew they would survive a trip on the school van plus some swinging in the paper bag courtesy of dear Aiden. These are some tough cookies! But... not really, as the texture is soft, chewy and decadent, especially when they are slightly warm. Who can resist a buttery chocolate chip cookie in a chunky square form? Dip them in warm milk... and *drool*

Some tips and tricks for Congo Bars:
  • Some people call it Blondies because it is the blonde version of Brownies.
  • Use brown sugar instead of white caster sugar as it makes the bars thick and rich. And good quality chocolate will go a longgggg way.
  • You can customize your bars by adding some butterscotch chips or M&Ms to the batter, or sprinkle some almond slices on the top. You can also save some of the chocolate chips from the recipe, and sprinkle them on the top before baking, for some visual impact.
  • Do not overbake! As soon as you get a clean skewer, take it out of the oven. It should look puffy, soft, and golden, while the center will still be soft.

Anyway, let's get to the recipe:

Congo Bars
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
150gm butter
180gm brown sugar (reduced from 240gm of original recipe)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
325gm chocolate chips (I did half chocolate, half butterscotch)

  • Pre-heat oven to 170degC. Grease and flour generously a 10 x10 pan (I made 12x12).
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar. 
  • Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.
  • Add vanilla essence. Mix well.
  • Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Fold in chocolate (and butterscotch) chips.
  • Spread batter evenly into baking pan, using a spatula to even out the surface. Sprinkle almonds or chocolate chips, if desired.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Make sure you don’t over bake!
  • Cool bars completely. Cut into squares. Store leftovers in airtight container at room temp.

Individually packed for each teacher. Next time, must save some chocolate chips for the top!

Aiden hard at work.

Next up, the Salted Caramel sauce. So rich and creamy, it is perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, cheesecake, sweet breads and more! And only 4 ingredients required... why would you even bother buying this from the stores?

Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction)

200g granulated sugar
90g salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
120ml heavy cream (I used my favourite Anchor whipped cream)
1 teaspoon salt
  • Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
  • Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  • Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. A whisk helps if you find the butter is separating from the sugar.
  • Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.

Congo bars drizzled with salted caramel.

You can make this caramel in advance. Make sure it is covered tightly and store it for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe. This caramel can be left at room temperature for a day if you're traveling or gifting it.

Happy baking!


  1. I wish I am your son's teacher. :). lucky them. but btw, i'm an engineer too.

    1. Heyyyy fellow engineer! This is no rocket science right? :)


Thank you in advance for leaving a comment. ;) All comments are moderated. Liz

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...