I made these Mud Hen Bars today in honor of my little hen Prissy, who is currently setting a clutch of fifteen eggs under the azalea bush by the front porch. Fifteen? You have to admire that kind of ambition. She's been hiding her eggs for the last couple of weeks, and then the other evening she didn't come to roost. We hunted her down yesterday and found her in a cozy, well hidden nest. And even though she's not a Mud Hen, (the poultry kind or otherwise) the fact that the recipe had the word hen in it was close enough for me.
I found this recipe for bars last fall on Food O' del Mundo, and immediately knew that someday I would have occasion to make them. And today, in Prissy's honor, here they are. And even though I initially chose them only for their name, they have earned a permanent place in my recipe box. They have a bottom layer like a thick chewy sugar cookie, a middle layer full of chocolate, nuts and marshmallows, and a delicate crunchy meringue layer on top. I chose to use pecans in mine because that's what I had the most of, but I think that others would be equally delicious.
So by my calculations, we should have some chicks running around in about 18 days or so- check back for chick updates. :) In the mean time, you should try these bars even if you don't have a setting hen in your yard. They'd be great to take to summer picnics or potlucks, as they're extremely quick and easy to whip up on short notice. Enjoy!
Aunt Eva's Mud Hen Bars
slightly adapted from Food O' del Mundo
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs (2 of the eggs should be separated)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup brown sugar
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together butter and white sugar until completely blended.
- Beat in one whole egg and 2 egg yolks. Reserve whites for meringue topping.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix until blended.
- Spread into a foil covered 9x13 pan. (Tip: I like to cover my pan with foil, leaving plenty hanging over the ends. When the bars cool I can lift the entire pan of bars out- this makes them so much easier to cut.)
- Sprinkle the nuts, chocolate chips and nuts evenly over the batter.
- Beat reserved egg whites until stiff. Fold in brown sugar. (Tip: To prevent lumps, sift your brown sugar before adding it to the whites.)
- Spread the egg white meringue mixture evenly over nuts, chips and marshmallows.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until batter is set and meringue is lightly browned and crunchy on top.
- Cool completely. Using the foil hanging over the edges of the pan, gently lift the baked bars out of the pan. Peel the foil away and cut into bars. Enjoy!