Everyone needs an over-the-top cookie bar in your life, like this Mud Hens recipe. With a shortbread base, chocolate chips and marshmallow center, and a brown sugar meringue on top, they’re the definition of indulgent (and irresistible).
This recipe for Mud Hens is one I have been making for over 20 years now. I included it in one of my cookbooks and published it here some years ago but the photos are getting a long overdue update today!
This is an over-the-top cookie bar with a shortbread-like base covered with a filling of ooey-gooey chocolate chips and marshmallows (chopped nuts are also optional), melted perfectly together and all of this is topped with a brown sugar meringue that everyone needs in their life. The caramelized brown sugar flavor seriously takes the meringue to the next level and gives the Mud Hen bars the perfect light and crunchy topping.
If you’ve never had a Mud Hen bar, I dare say that your life has not been fully lived up until this point. It’s like the best parts of S’mores in one delicious cookie bar. What more could you want for dessert, right?
So go ahead, treat yourself to an old-fashioned Mud Hen bar. Even better, treat those nearest and dearest to you. I love surprising the ones I love with homemade treats! Let’s get cooking!
- Butter (at room temperature)
- Baking powder
- All-purpose flour
- Chocolate chips
- Chopped nuts (optional, but I recommend either walnut or halves)
- Brown sugar (use dark or light brown sugar, whatever cranks your tractor)
- Egg whites
Begin by separating two of your eggs, whites in one bowl and yolks in the other.
Make sure you don’t get any into your mixture because we’re about to make an amazing brown sugar meringue to go on top of your Mud Hens and if any of those yolks get in there our meringue won’t beat right.
Now put your butter, shortening, and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add in your 2 egg yolks and the additional whole egg and beat again.
At this point, you should get out a separate mixing bowl and place your flour, baking powder, and salt in it and stir together.
Add that into your previous egg mixture.
Mix that up until well combined with an electric mixer and you have your dough.
Pat into the bottom of your greased 9×13-inch dish. If you need to, you can put a little flour on your hands to help keep it from sticking, as I did.
Top with chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Now we need to make the brown sugar meringue topping for our Mud Hens. My mouth started watering just typing that.
Place your egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat the mess out of it until stiff peaks form.
Add in your brown sugar.
And stir with a spoon until it’s well combined like this.
Pour your meringue over the top of your layer and spread it around to the edges.
Like this. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.
Oh, how pretty is this Mud Hens recipe, seriously!
Allow to cool completely and then cut into bars.
As many Mud Hen bars as you feel like cutting. I tend to do a 3/4 grid so I end up with 12 generous ones. But sometimes I do a 4×5 and get 20.
Either way, you must try a Mud Hen bar cookie as soon as you possibly can because they are a new level of wonderful!
Store your in an airtight container. Best if eaten the first day or two after they are made but you sure won’t find me turning one down on day three or four!
Check out these other delectable cookie bars:
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 2 eggs yolks you'll use the whites in the topping
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped nuts optional
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips you can add more if you like
- 1 cup packed brown sugar dark or light
- 2 egg whites
- Butter or grease a 9x13 baking pan.
- In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar. Beat in the whole egg and the yolks of the other two eggs.1/4 cup shortening, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 whole egg, 2 eggs yolks
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine the flour mixture with the creamed mixture and blend thoroughly.
- Spread the batter into the baking pan, patting with your hands if need be.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips, marshmallows, and nuts over the batter.1 cup chopped nuts, 1 cup mini marshmallows, 1/2 cup Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in brown sugar until well combined.2 egg whites, 1 cup packed brown sugar
- Spread the brown sugar meringue over the top of the mini marshmallow layer, spreading to touch the edges of the pan to prevent it from shrinking during baking.
- Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Cool completely and then cut into bars.
“Opportunity is always knocking.
The problem is that most people have the self-doubt station in their head turned up way too loud to hear it.