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chocolate chip meringue bars

These bars were my favorite childhood dessert.  I recently asked my mom for the recipe – but being that she is so neat and tidy (which is great), she often throws things away (not so great).  I suffer the same affliction at times.  Anyway, luckily my very good friend Michelle also loved these as a child (we were family friends so she was treated to my mom’s sweets).  And Michelle held onto the recipe!  It is a weird recipe and I had some doubts as I made them – but they were the same ones from my childhood.  I should tell you that these are very very sweet.  Not for the tame hearted sugar eaters here – but oh…for me – they are decadent and heavenly.  Rich and gooey.  I cut one up and put it in my vanilla ice cream last night and really, I felt so content.  My kids wouldn’t eat them the first night.  I said ok everyone – time for something new…my favorite… and I was met with groans of  “more dessert?”  And “can’t we just have a little candy tonight”  Oh boy.  The second night they tried it – and loved it – especially Sylvie and our neighbor Danika.  Greg said it tasted like cookie dough.  My friend Suzanne said a tiny square with her tea was all she could eat because she felt the sugar on her teeth (although she reported she’s excited to eat another small bite with lunch).  And her husband Jamie said yes, sweet, but good – and ate a hearty slice.  Again, this is not for everyone.

chocolate chip meringue bars:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar,  3/4 cup brown sugar for meringues topping (later)
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
semi chocolate chips – about 1 cup (or bittersweet might work great here! – next time I’ll try…to cut the sweetness)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.  (Line with parchment if you plan to invert on a pan – and cut neatly.  We just ate them out of the pan!)  Alternately line with parchment or foil – with an overhang so you can use as an aid to remove from pan.  Look to baking tips and pan prep for a visual.

Separate the eggs.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

Cream the butter with the sugars (remember just the 1/2 cup brown sugar) for 3-5 minutes – until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time until incorporated.  Add the water and vanilla and mix, scrape down, and mix again.  Add the dry ingredients by hand or on lowest speed until just combined.

Place dough in prepped pan and press to fill out evenly.  Spread and press the chocolate chips all around to cover.

With a hand mixer or in your stand mixer – whisk and beat up egg whites and slowly add brown sugar – on medium speed at first and then up to medium high until they get thick and hard peaks form (I needed to go longer here…although they were still good).  This should take several minutes.

Pour the meringue on top of the batter and bake from 45-60 minutes…but again, check often and before.  The top will get nicely browned and the middle will stay slightly gooey.  But I’ll be honest – it is hard to tell when these are done.  After poking around I realized I took the bars out too early – so I popped back into the oven.  If you need to, cut an edge and see what’s happening in there – but I will say even undercooked these are yummy.  Enjoy!

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6 Comments

  1. Rachel

    7 years ago

    So funny that you added this, because just a couple of weeks ago, I made a recipe I found on the web called Aunt Eva’s Mud Hen Bars and thought they were so cool looking, I made them for “snack club.” The kids raved, and I even sent some home with one of the boys, after which his mother actually called to thank me profusely for the treat!

    It’s almost exactly the same except for that recipe called for marshmallows and chopped nuts, in addition to the choco chips. Plus you have vanilla and soda in yours. But that chewy meringue topping just made the whole treat. Bummer was that they did not keep well. Have to have these while the chips are still mooshy, and the meringue’s still chewy.

    I’ll definitely try your recipe – for some comparison research. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Beth

    7 years ago

    Yums all around! Brought them to a small dinner party. Just a few technical difficulties, but they were still a big hit!

    OK, so they didn’t look exactly like yours…i realized that i had forgotten to add the egg yolk to the batter after i had already put it in the pan. just took it out of the pan, mixed in the yolk and put it back in. then, the hand mixer that i was given at my bridle shower 19 years ago, decided to die on me so the merinque may have not been beaten as stiff as it should have been! i checked it at 40 min, and took out at 45 min, still a bit undercooked (yummy gooey) in the middle, but the end result was still delish!!! thanks lisi, can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    Reply
  3. Lisi

    7 years ago

    so glad beth. i changed the baking time because of you …and me. think a little longer…sorry you had to be part of that experiment! time for a stand mixer. it will change your life.

    Reply
  4. barb

    7 years ago

    Absolutely awesome!! It was too funny, I was looking for something to bake, and had a flashback about these squares, my mom used to make them when I was growing up. I did a search on google, and voila!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for taking the time to post this great dessert square..bb

    Reply
  5. Shari

    7 years ago

    Okay, so I was at Beth’s on Wednesday & she had these in the oven…looked too yummy not to try…I had all of the ingredients so I dove in (I’m normally not so adventuresome in the kitchen 🙂 ). They were AMAZING. Thanksgiving crowd said they were “THE biggest hit.” Yum! Thank you Lis! XO

    Reply
  6. Jill

    7 years ago

    So, I needed something new to bring my family for Mother’s Day. Our gatherings always have way too many desserts and while we don’t need fancy, we do require yummy. These were fab. I’ve never made meringue with brown sugar — it really gave it an incredible flavor. And the meringue puffed up so nicely. I ended up putting foil over the top after about 35 minutes as the meringue was already brown enough. And I think I took them out after about 45 or 50 min. total. Most of it was perfectly done (that is, slightly underdone), although the blondie part of the ends were a tiny bit dry. Also, per your suggestion, used bittersweet chips (the large Ghiradelli ones) and that was a good choice as they weren’t too sweet at all. Totally addictive and definitely a keeper.
    –Jill
    P.S. Bought my mom and sister two cookie books from your list…can’t wait to eat whatever they bake from these.

    Reply

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