Twink's Treats: Conga in the Pie
A blast from the past – Conga Bars! When I was growing up, these delights were right up there with homemade chocolate chip cookies (Toll House). Of course, all the cookies we made then were homemade, as there were no refrigerated “slice and bake” packages then. My Aunt Mildred, a wonderful Southern cook who had no children, made these especially for my brother Robert, sister Tracy and me when we went to visit her in Florida, and always brought a tin of them to us when she came to visit us. That’s the first thing we looked for when we got out of the car and went into her house – and she never failed to disappoint us! They were always sitting right there on her kitchen counter, and we always were eager to dig right in. They taste similar to a Toll House cookie, but thicker, richer and better.
I don’t know where the name “Conga Bars” came from – as the word “conga” is described as “a tall, narrow, single-headed drum” and are used in bands that play Latin or African music. So, the only thing I can figure is that the originator ate some and felt like dancing around and beating on the conga drums!! Yes!
I took the Conga Bar one step further and made it into a pie. It’s different and very rich, and topped with ice cream enhances it even further. It’s a dessert that people of all ages love. This recipe makes two pies, so you can freeze one for another use. I always like to keep a pie or pound cake in the freezer for a quick dessert when you don’t have time to bake but are having a gathering. Here’s my version of Conga Bar Pie:
Conga Bar Pie
2 ¾ cups all purpose flour (I use White Lily)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (I use Land o’Lakes)
1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract ( I use McCormick’s)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I use Nestles Toll House Morsels)
Optional: 1/1/2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch pie plates. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and set aside. In bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer (mine’s a Kitchen Aid and I cannot be separated from it!), cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar, beat well until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Divide dough between the pie plates. Bake for 30 minutes or until pies are golden brown but still soft to the touch. Cool on wire rack – but this pie is also good served warm. Cut into wedges, and top with ice cream or whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.
Conga! Conga! Conga!
Until next time, be kinder than necessary, and be somebody’s sunshine today!!!