Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Imagine a chocolate chip cookie sitting under a rich layer of chocolate with a light, crunchy meringue topping it all off and you have Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  It’s a multi-textured (and taste) extravaganza.  It’s also a multi step prep process as you need to make a batch of cookie dough and make the meringue.  So, if you’re not ready to work hard, then don’t attempt this recipe.  But if you’re feeling a little ambitious, this may be just the weekend project you’re looking for.     Meringue Chocolate Chip Bars-kitchn1

Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

(from the kitchn)
Makes 25 Bars

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, separated
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 large egg white, optional if you’d like a thicker meringue layer

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut 2 pieces of aluminum foil, and fold them to match the width of the 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, like this. This makes it easy to lift the bars out of the pan once they’re cooled. Spray the foil with nonstick coating.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter,  granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until it looks like smooth frosting.
  5. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites.
  6. Mix the egg yolks into the butter-sugar mixture one at a time until they are completely absorbed.
  7. Stir in the water and vanilla.
  8. 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.
  9. Press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.
  10. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep them from moving when you add the meringue.
  11. Using a stand or hand mixer with a clean bowl and a clean whisk attachment, start whisking the egg whites. (Use 3 egg whites if you’d like a thicker meringue layer.)
  12. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy and look like loose foam, start adding the remaining 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. It should look like glossy, soft-serve ice cream.
  13. 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. It’s helpful to skim meringue from the top and gradually push it outward.
  14. 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 to 10 minutes, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  15. Wait until the pan is completely cool before lifting out the bars and cutting them into pieces.

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