The story goes that my great-grandmother (affectionately known as 'Big Bubbie') used to make these Congo Squares (a classic early 20th Century American recipe from the back of a brown sugar box) quite often and would keep them sitting on her kitchen counter. When her grandchildren would come to visit and want to eat one, they would be met with disappointment when they were told that they were just for her son, Joe (the doctor.)
* It is key to make this recipe all by hand (no mixers), as it affects the texture and consistency of the squares/bars.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt margarine in a saucepan (or glass bowl in microwave, if desired). Add brown sugar and mix well with a fork (the mixture should have a thick paste-like consistency). Add eggs one at a time and continue mixing with a fork. Add all the dry ingredients, vanilla, and pecans and mix well. Grease a 9" square pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out fairly dry (should still be slightly moist).