Jul 5, 2010

Halfway Bars

My niece still remembers that I was the one who made her cake.   So when she is at home cooking in her play kitchen – she will call Aunt ‘tine (that’s me) on her play phone to ask for a recipe.  I think it is the sweetest compliment an Aunt could ask for!   So when she was over at my house one weekend – I decided we should bake together – and at two and a half – baking with her means making a mess!  She helped me stir the flour, press it in the pan and sprinkle (and eat!) chocolate chips.   Then we watched the cookies bake in the oven.   She wanted to eat them right away – and when I wasn’t looking – she managed to stick her finger in them for a taste!  :)
Here she is enjoying her ‘cookie’!  I love her so much – she is a great helper!  This is just the first of many recipes that we will bake together.   


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, separated
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. Cut two pieces of aluminum foil and fold them to match the width of a 13 x 9 inch pan. Press one piece into the pan lengthwise and the other into the pan crosswise with the ends hanging over the sides of the pan. Spray the foil with nonstick spray.

3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Using a standing mixer cream together the butter, the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until smooth.

5. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites. Mix the yolks into the butter-sugar mixture one at a time until they are completely absorbed, then mix in the water and vanilla.

6. With the mixer at a low speed, add the flour mixture and beat gently until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough looks crumbly.

7. Press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.

8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough.

9. Using a stand or hand mixer with a clean bowl and a clean whisk attachment, start whisking the egg whites. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy and look like loose foam, start adding the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar a little at a time. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds a soft peak.

10. Scoop the meringue down the middle of the pan. It will be very sticky! Use a spatula to gently spread the meringue from the middle to the edges.

11. Lightly press a piece of parchment or wax paper on the top of the meringue (this makes an even layer and protects the meringue from scorching). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment. Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.

12. Wait until the pan is completely cook before lifting out the bars and cutting them into pieces.

Source: The Kitchn

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  1. Cute story! I love cooking with my nephew too! These look really tasty, I think I bookmarked them when I saw the on TheKitchn too!

  2. That must have been such an adorable baking experience! And you ended up with some truly delicious results :)

  3. ha that picture of her is too cute--that's what I look like after taste-testing in the kitchen ;)

    and those bars--can already tell they're gooey and delicious!