This recipe for Meringue Topped Chocolate Chip Bars has been around since the 1930’s. They’re often called Chocolate Halfway Bars…and are a close relative to Mud Hen Bars which have the addition of marshmallows. When I saw them on the American Heritage Cooking blog, I knew I must give them a whirl.
The original recipe calls for shortening in the base, but I swapped this out for butter, plus upped the original chocolate. Duh. The crackly meringue topping isn’t the easiest to cut. Scoring while warm may give a better presentation, but we were running out the door when these came out of the oven. The family didn’t seem to mind the that their bars weren’t perfectly square or covered with an unmarred brown sugar meringue topping. I have a feeling you’ll be just as intrigued by these as I was…enough to give them a try.
- 1 cup flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ½ teaspoons water
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375° and line 8 x 8 inch baking dish with non-stick foil or foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, soda, and baking powder and set aside.
- In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter with the ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup brown sugar until very light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, water, vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour mixture.
- Pat into baking dish and top with chocolate chips.
- Beat egg white until stiff; gradually beat in ½ cup brown sugar. Spread over chocolate. Bake in for 25 minutes or until top is golden. Cut into bars while warm. Cool completely.