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A beloved recipe, passed down in handwriting from my mother's mother.
It might have been published in a ladies magazine first—similar recipes found online claim conga squares have been around since the early 1950s, when Cuban music would have been influencing American culture.
The recipe below evolved into my family favorite. Some recipes call for coconut, but my own family’s recipe does not. I guess coconut might not have been easily found in every market at the time, or would have had an imported price tag that would have made it too expensive an ingredient. Or quite possibly, someone in the family did not care for coconut!
2 3/4 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups butter
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 package chocolate chips (this used to be 12 oz, amiright?) Any amount around 1.5 to 2 cups is good, use your judgement)
Optional: 1 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350˚F
- Combine flour, salt, baking powder, set aside.
- MELT (yes, melt) the butter and move it to a mixing bowl (bowl shouldn't be hot). Stir in sugar until well mixed. Mix in eggs one at a time until well mixed.
- Mix in dry ingredients completely and then fold in chips (and optionals.). The batter will be fudgy and the chips might not stick to the batter. That’s fine.
- Spread it evenly into a well-greased (spray, oil, or rub with butter) 9X13 pan and cook for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. You don't want it gooey inside.
- Cool and cut into squares of desired size. The photo shows appx. 1" squares, making them look cube like. (Trashing a half eaten conga from someone's used plate after a party makes me sad. So I make them bite sized.)
I have also spread the dough out in a larger, deep dish cookie sheet. It cooks faster (check it often and use toothpick, I don't know what your cookie sheet looks like) yields thinner squares.
They freeze beautifully. I bake them days in advance of an event so I don't go crazy last minute. Freeze them until serving time, they thaw out soft and fresh.
So there you go. Enjoy!
Designer/Maker, National Picnic