Ashley Bars

Yes, I’ve named this after myself because I’ve tinkered with it so much, it’s all mine now. This was a recipe my Mom got from somewhere and it was called Congo Bars then. I don’t know where that name came from because, essentially, the original recipe is like a chocolate-chip-cookie-brownie-with-walnuts. But, whatever…

Ingredients

  • ¾ Cup Butter
  • 2 ¼ Cup Brown Sugar (light or dark, I use whatever I have)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 ¾ Cup Flour
  • 2 ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 12 Ounces Milk Chocolate Morsels (if you’re in the US, you can also use semi-sweet if you want, or normal chocolate chips in the UK)
  • 6 Ounces Butterscotch Morsels (again, if you’re in the US, I haven’t seen these in the UK, alas)
  • ½ Bag Fudge Pieces (if you’re in England, you can get these little, tiny bits of fudge to put in baking, if you’re in America, you need to get an English person to send you some or you need to omit that part – I don’t know if they have these in Scotland, Wales or N. Ireland since I live in England, by the by, so, if you ask a Scotsman, Welshman or Irishman (or woman), they might not know what you’re on about).

Preheat oven to 325° (170° C). Prepare your pans (I use butter to grease everything – you can use Crisco or Trex).

Melt butter, then, once melted, add brown sugar and mix well. Cool (okay, the congo bar recipe says “cool” and, obviously, when you put in the eggs, you don’t want them to cook in hot butter but I just take my time melting the butter so it doesn’t get too hot, dump in the sugar and take this off the burner and then see to my flour bits and then go back and put the eggs in). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Usually, you sift flour to lighten the flour and get air into it as it gets all compacted in those flour bags or your flour canisters. But, with this, the end product is so dense and rich, you could probably skip the sifting part and just whisk these ingredients to combine. But, I like the act of sifting, it makes me feel all pastry chef-y, so I do it anyway.

Add flour mixture to the brown sugar mixture (or vice versa) and mix well. Add all your extra bits and mix well. This will take some arm power to stir all those bits into that heavy batter. This will also give you the feeling that you are burning calories so you can eat more Ashley Bars once they’re done. This will not actually be true but please, feel free to go with that thought.

Pour into two greased pans (7 ½” X 11 X 1 ½” – I don’t know where these dimensions came from, by the by, I think when I wrote down this recipe years ago, I measured one of my pans because I can be anal retentive, but I’m not good at measuring stuff, there might not even be a baking pan in these dimensions – but a square pan x 2’ll do, these don’t rise much, so don’t worry overly much about that part). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (or more, check – you can go two ways with these, underbake them for ooey gooey treats or bake them to the point where a toothpick comes out clean).

One warning on these: The batter sucks. It doesn’t taste great. The end product is freaking amazing, but skip the pre-baking treat of licking the spoon. You might like it. I do not. Though, once cooked, HEAVEN!

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