So apparently, I’m waaaay behind the times when it comes to these magnificent little bars. You may know them as Mud Hen bars or maybe Halfway Cookies or even Chocolate Chip Cookie Meringue Bars (boring!), but I was introduced to them as Scripture Bars. So Scripture Bars they shall be known to me and mine.
Come to find out, this recipe (or one like it) exists in just about every church cookbook and black plastic spiral bound family reunion cookbook for the last 50 years. I’ve obviously been out of the loop on this one. I was kind of left with the feeling I may or may not have been living under a rock for the last 30+ years (either that or my family and church has seriously dropped the ball on the whole submit-a-recipe-and-make-a-cookbook thing).
I found this recipe (and about 58 others) after stealing my friend Deb’s awesome extended family cookbook. When I asked Deb about the bars, she said her mom had submitted this recipe and that it’s one she has made for years and years to eat while they read scriptures together as a family (hence the name). Talk about a sweet memory! Deb raved about them so I knew I had to make them. And I did. That same day. Because self-control is not my middle name.
Different than absolutely any other bar dessert I’ve ever made, the best way to describe these babies is a lightly sweet cookie crust with a chewy, marshmallow topping and chocolate chips sandwiched in between. The contrast in textures is what won me over. And that yummy, chewy top layer is so fun and delicious that I wondered for the 10th bar, er, I mean, time, where these have been all my life.
Unique and so very tasty, no matter what they are called, you kind of have to make them at least once in your lifetime. I cut the sugar in half and they were still plenty sweet (in fact, I loved how the sweet marshmallow top layer complimented the tender, just barely sweet cookie layer) especially when you factor in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Hello.
Of course now I’m pretty sure I need to get my hands on every other family and church cookbook that exists in the world just to find out what else I’ve been missing. I hate feeling left out.
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks (save the whites for later in the recipe)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- With an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), beat the butter and granulated sugar together until creamy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat again until well-combined. Stir in the flour, salt and baking powder and mix until the dough comes together.
- Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips and marshmallows over the top.
- In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (they'll be foamy at first and then turn white and thick). Add the brown sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Dollop the egg white mixture over the top of the bars and using an offset spatula or thin knife, spread as evenly as possible (it's ok if the chocolate chips and marshmallows peek through, it doesn't have to be perfect).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and is set in the middle.
- Let the bars cool completely. For easier cutting, run a sharp knife under hot water, wipe dry and cut.
Recipe Source: adapted from Deb’s mom (two of the loveliest people I know!)