Chocolate Chip Cookie Meringue Bars

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).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Meringue Bars

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.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Meringue Bars

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.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Meringue Bars

One Year Ago: Death by Chocolate 7-Layer Bars
Two Years Ago: How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Nutella {2-Minute} Mug Cake

Scripture Bars {Cookie Bars with Marshmallow Meringue Topping}

Yield: 18 - 24 bars

Scripture Bars {Cookie Bars with Marshmallow Meringue Topping}


  • 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
  • Toppings:
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • Meringue:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and marshmallows over the top.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and is set in the middle.
  8. 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!)

34 Responses to Scripture Bars {i.e. Mud Hen Bars or Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars}

  1. Natasha says:

    These are such a great treat! The kids enjoyed helping put them together. They are perfectly sweet and a little delicate tasting. The knife warmed under hot water worked like a charm to cut them nicely. Thanks for another keeper!

  2. Blayre says:

    UMMM… I ate the whole pan myself.

  3. Rachael K says:

    I just made these, and they turned out great! Very different than any other cookies I’ve had. I was worried about the bottom cookie layer because it was really crumbly and didn’t really come together while I was mixing it. It pressed into the pan just fine, so that was a relief. I have lots of church cookbooks too, but I had never heard of these before. There’s a minor league baseball team here in Toledo called the Mud Hens, so I just had to try them. I’m glad I did! Thanks for all of your yummy recipes!

  4. Amber says:

    We tried these tonight. Maybe I messed them up somehow, but I didnt love the bottom “crust”. My daughter politely said, “Can you never make these again Mom?” Haha

  5. Cari says:

    My husband and I had never heard of these bars. They were SO good! We halved the recipe, figuring it would last us a few days with our small family. Nope. Almost the whole pan is gone!

  6. Becky says:

    I liked these a lot! They were sweet, but not as sweet as a typical bar cookie, plus the meringue was a fun addition to make them different from the norm.

    Thanks for yet another winner, Mel!

  7. Sound Beacher says:

    I made them yesterday, after sending hubby out in the blizzard for the mini marshmellows! I was whipping the egg whites into the stiff peaks and had not added the brown sugar, when I did it lost the stiff peaks and was a little liquidy. I went ahead and baked them and they do seem to look like yours. Does adding the brown sugar change the texture or did I just time it wrong? They are a very unique taste, delicious. I’m taking them to a gals’ tea party today. I think they’ll like them!

    • Mel says:

      Adding the brown sugar does change the texture of the meringue (different than granulated sugar or no sugar). Did you try to whip the meringue after the brown sugar to see if it would stiffen up? Either way, sounds like they still worked out which is good!

  8. Cassie says:

    Love your blog. Made these today but the cookie crust was not done, very gooey instead of crisp. I used a glass 9×13 pan, do you think that could have been the problem?

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, that might be part of it. Glass pans do bake differently than aluminum. Sounds like with a glass pan the baking time might need to be increased a bit.

  9. Mel says:

    Hey everyone, Michelle (above in the comments) is correct; I always post the recipe the way I’ve made it with my adaptations. So yes, the recipe reflects the decrease in sugar already (the original called for twice as much).

  10. Christine says:

    I have the same question about the amount of sugar.

  11. Christine says:

    I have the same question abiut the amount of sugar.

  12. Sara says:

    Just made them! Taking a meal to a new mom tonight and the whole meal consists of your recipes! I jumped on thinking I was going to make the chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and saw these and couldn’t pass trying them. They can’t cool fast enough!

  13. Tanya says:

    Are those supposed to be semi-sweet chips?

  14. Susanj says:

    looks delicious.

  15. I’ve obviously been missing out too, cause I’ve never heard of those either! They look amazing though so I’m pretty sure I need to make them soon!

  16. Laurel says:

    None of my ward books have these. Looks Devine though. Ha!

  17. Alycia says:

    I have never heard of these or had anything like them, either! I’m sure that won’t be true by this afternoon, though. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Heather rackham says:

    does the recipe reflect the full sugar amount or just half?

  19. Becky says:

    Well, I must have been living under the rock with you…it’s nice down here 🙂

    These look great! Can’t wait to give them a try. You are my go-to for cookie bar recipes, so I know these won’t disappoint!

  20. Barbara H says:

    I grew up with my mom making these, they are a family favorite. Her version doesn’t have marshmallows but has orange zest in the base.

  21. Anna says:

    You mention using less sugar than the source recipe in the body of the article. Does the recipe reflect that already?


    • Julie says:

      I have the same question about the sugar. I have church books and not one has this recipe. Too funny. Wonder if it’s a regional thing. We are in California.

    • Michelle says:

      Usually if Mel changes a recipe, she talks about that change in the blog post and then cites the change in the recipe source at the bottom, i.e. “adapted from Debs’s mom” like she did here rather than just stating the source, “Deb’s mom”if she didn’t change anything, so I think it is safe to assume she gave us the recipe with her adaptations, including reducing the sugar. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Yep! The sugar in the recipe posted is decreased by half from the original.

  22. Heather bell says:

    I’m also behind but I will willingly catch up.:)

  23. Cheryl says:

    My dad loved Mud Hens, but my recipe didn’t have choc chips or marshmallows. Will have to look it up. One of Dad’s employees brought it to work and shared the recipe.

  24. Marshmallow and chocolate chips? What’s not to love! I think limiting yourself would be a challenge. You need a large crowd to help eat them all up!

  25. Sheila says:

    These appear to be in the category of a “sinful indulgence.” So I am not sure I would want to eat them while reading the Scriptures. For conscience sake, I would go for one of your “cleaner” lean recipes. 🙂 They sound yummy and I have never heard of them either even though several church cookbooks reside in my cupboard.

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