Dirty poultry desserts. Say what?
Okay, so that’s not what “mud hen” really means, but I swear I was on the right track when I first heard the term “mud hen bars” two blissful months ago and tried my hand at creating my own!
Let me break this down for you and blow your soon-to-be-enlightened mind…
Brown sugar meringue top. Yes, this is actually a thing. It is so much a thing, in fact, that these bars might just explode in the face of its ultimate thingy-ness. Crackle, meringue, yum!
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Base. Possibly my favorite kind of base, unless you count the rebel base from Star Wars, in which case this cookie base swoops in for a close second and Ala collects major geekdom points (+10 EXP, Lvl Up!).
Chocolate Chunks. I support your impulse to throw many chocolate chips in your batter until it becomes chunkier than a sedentary monkey with fifty pounds of butter cake…
Now that I’ve walked you through that drool-worthy deliciousness, I want to talk life stuff. But first, some weird performance artsy gifs…
If you’re wondering why in holy chocolations I was filming myself breaking off giant chunks of Mud Hen Bars (don’t worry, I ate them all myself afterward), I have no idea either. I think I might have been having a bad day and suddenly realized that my petty grad student income isn’t big enough to justify buying a punching bag. Outlets, outlets…
Between these and stress eating, I really need to find a better outlet for my feelz. Seriously.
But okay, that’s just me being facetious. Besides the fact that family can be sometimes high-stress in tiny little ways, life has actually been great and relaxing this past week, and I am 110% happy to report that I am rereading the Harry Potter series for the first time in 6 years.
Yes, you read that
blasphemy no it really IS blasphemy, right. But for the first time in forever I have tiiiiiiiime!
And this is the first thing I jump to do.
More geekdom points for me, I see.
My research articles are still coming along and I finally got to visit the Seuss Collection at UCSD, where I got to do cool stuff like NOT rub my face all over Dr. Seuss’s original manuscripts and instead gently, carefully, charily handle the memo paper on which he first penned lines from And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street, his first children’s picture book.
I even had enough time during my like 10-days’ vacation (still happening, btw) to work on a Top Secret project that I can’t wait to share with you all. Soon!
In the meantime, though, I’ll be whiling away my lazy days munching on a few of these incredibly crackly, chewy bars–the meringue takes just enough edge off the whole “drowning in richness” dessert experience to make you feel like you’re doing something good for yourself.
And you are.
Or you will be in about 30 minutes when these pop out of your oven, because I know that’s where you’re headed right now, right?
Have a great week, friends!
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar:
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Brown Sugar Meringue Topping:
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking pan and set aside.
- For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar: Cream together melted butter and brown sugar. Stir in egg and vanilla. Add flour, salt, and baking soda, and stir in until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
- For the Brown Sugar Meringue: Beat egg whites until foamy, then add brown sugar and continue beating until whites become stiff and glossy (about 3-4 minutes with hand mixer).
- Pour meringue topping and spread evening but gently over cookie layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out with very moist crumbs clinging to it. (The meringue will make it hard to tell if it's done, but it's better to underbake than overbake!)
- Allow to bars to cool completely in pan before cutting into delicious, crackly squares.