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Chocolate Halfway Bars

Chocolate Halfway Bars - A decadant bar with a  blondie base with chocolate chips and a meringue topping I have a chocolate chip habit. Starting at Noon (never before, I have self-restraint!) I will eat a few semi-sweet chocolate chips here and a few there. Punctuating my day with a few morsels of chocolate bliss! My fiancé thinks that I should just buy a chocolate bar and be done with it, but where is the fun in that? Plus, as a baker, I always need to have chocolate chips on hand so I can whip something up at a moments notice! I shudder to think what would have happened if I had found this recipe for Chocolate Halfway Bars and hadn’t had any chocolate chips on hand!Chocolate Halfway Bars

Several weeks ago I was thumbing through my favorite Good Housekeeping Cookbook 1955 edition for a dessert that I had never seen before, and I happened upon Chocolate Halfway Bars. These strange confections have a blondie-like base with gooey chocolate chips and a meringue cooked to perfection over top. They were so deliciously different it had me wondering, “What is halfway about them? Certainly not taste!”

Chocolate Halfway BarsThere are some drawbacks to this sinfully sweet dessert: they do not travel well and they do not taste as good the next day. They are best when cooled and served the same day they are baked. The meringue is the perfect balance of chewy and crispy and the blondie base is delicious all by itself!
Chocolate Halfway BarsIt’s strange that these Chocolate Halfway Bars are not as widely popular as they were half a century ago. The sweet treat certainly deserves a place at the modern American table!

 Chocolate Halfway Bars

Chocolate Halfway Bars

Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1955 Edition

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup soft shortening

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg, separated

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoons water

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips [I used 1 cup because a ½ seemed so scant!]

½ cup brown sugar, packed

 

Preheat oven to 375° and grease a 12”x8”x2” baking dish. I used an 8” square because I like thicker bars, and I lined my baking dish with parchment because meringue can be a challenge to clean. It’s your call.

Sift flour, salt, soda, and baking powder and set aside.

Mix shortening with sugars until very light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, water, vanilla; mix well. Thoroughly mix in flour mixture.Chocolate Halfway Bars

Pat into baking dish and top with chocolate chips.

Beat egg white until stiff; gradually beat in ½ cup brown sugar. Spread over chocolate. Bake in prepared dish for 25 minutes or until done. The top will be golden. Cut into bars while warm. Cool completely.

Chocolate Halfway Bars

Chocolate Halfway Bars

Chocolate Halfway BarsChocolate Halfway Bars

24 Comments

  • Phillip
    August 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I am a certified chocoholic and these look yummy.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Phillip! So you will certainly agree that I “had to” double the amount of chocolate in the recipe!

      Reply
  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    August 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Oooh these look like mud hen bars minus the marshmallows…and with a blondie base instead of sugar cookie.

    Which means these are DEF. better! Although marshmallows couldn’t hurt 😉

    I wish I had enough self control to get by with only a few chocolate chips, ugh I like craaaave mooore chocolate!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      I’ll definitely need to add mud hen bars on the list! What is with these strange names? Who names these bars?

      Some days its more like a handful of chocolate chips (uh or two)! 🙂

      Reply
  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    August 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    These go by the name ‘Mud Hen Bars’ these days. I have always wanted to make them and recognize that meringue top anywhere! They look wonderful!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      The omniscient Google has just informed me that my “Halfway Bars” are just a few marshmallows short of “Mud Hen Bars”. Who knew? Other than you of course 😉 I’ll have to try them with some marshmallows – they can only make them better right?

      Reply
  • Miss Kim @ behgopa
    August 20, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I love how you refer to old cookbooks from the past. It brings us back to cooking during simpler times. These look soooo delish! Yep I agree that marshmallows can only make ’em better. What happened to the nagging wedding fairy you were going to listen to? lol

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 20, 2013 at 10:08 am

      I love using old cookbooks (most of the time)! Sometimes there is reason that no one has made something the past 100 years! Oh I am listening to the pesky Wedding Fairy. These were made several months ago when I still turned a deaf ear to her. Guilt free post today!

      Reply
  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen
    August 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I love looking through old cookbooks for forgotten recipes. Looks like these chocolate halfway bars are a real winner!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Yup, I’m that weirdo who breaks out old cookbooks to read on the plane! These bars are a delicious blast from the past!

      Reply
  • Liz
    August 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Oh, I love these!!! A bar cookie that I have not heard of…so haven’t made nor tasted! I will add these to my baking list. They look scrumptious!!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      August 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      They are delightful! I’m excited that I found something that a seasoned baker hasn’t tried! Let me know how you like them.

      Reply
  • Liz
    March 3, 2014 at 6:00 am

    I featured these bars on my blog today 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      March 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Thank you! I’m so excited!! I’ll just pop on over and see!

      Reply
  • Kathleen Murray
    December 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I had lost my recipe for Halfway Cookies and found this. My original recipe called for granulated sugar for the base and brown sugar for the meringue, but my mother converted to brown sugar all the way.
    Also, 12 oz pkg of semi sweet bits – originally regular size, then we switched to mini sized. Our recipe had us folding the bits into the meringue…I think I’d like to try putting them in a a layer below the meringue.
    Finally, the name – when my mother acquired the recipe, she was told it was because they were halfway a cookie and halfway a candy.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 26, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Kathleen! YOu’re mother’s logic for the name makes complete sense, especially with the meringue. I think mini chips would be way better, because they they are more evenly dispersed. And I will never argue with brown sugar in any application! I love that flavor so much!

      Reply
  • Penelope Cottrell
    January 23, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    My mother made these when we were kids, and my sisters made them for our children. So delicious. They are wonderful the next day if you microwave for just a few seconds.

    Reply
    • Penelope Cottrell
      January 23, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      I forgot to mention that we always called them “Barf Bars” (affectionately) because we would eat so many we would feel sick. They are so delicious, and everyone loves them.

      Reply
      • Lindsey
        January 24, 2018 at 10:49 am

        Lol! It really wouldn’t take that many. The meringue and chocolate make them super (delightfully) sweet!

        Reply
    • Lindsey
      January 24, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Great tip, Penelope!

      Reply
  • Dennis
    December 5, 2018 at 10:26 am

    My mother has made chocolate have -way bars since 1958 for my brothers and me and for holidays. I have served them to friends throughout the US and Germany during my USAF career. I consider this desert the best. Mom still makes them today at 86 years old.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 5, 2018 at 10:34 am

      That is wonderful, Dennis! Such happy memories – shared around the world!

      Reply
  • Rifat
    February 13, 2020 at 4:20 am

    I like your blog, thanks for sharing. I love this information you shared with us. I am waiting for your next post. Keep it up.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 17, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks!

      Reply

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