Friday, May 22, 2015

Brown Sugar Meringue Cookie Bars

I like to bake bar cookies sometimes just because they are so convenient. Mix everything up, stick the dough in a pan, bake and you’re done. I do like to find bar cookie recipes that are a little different, and this is no exception. These you make the dough, add some toppings, and then top with a brown sugar meringue. I thought that would be very different and interesting!

I didn’t change up this recipe too much, although the original recipe said that the nuts were optional. I like nuts so I did include them, and I felt that macadamia nuts would pair nicely with the chocolate and coconut. These bars are pretty gooey in the end, and which the nuts aren’t super crunchy, it’s good that there was different texture.

I won’t kid you: spreading the meringue on top of the nuts and chocolate is really tricky. It seems like an impossible task, because if you try to spread the meringue, all the nuts and chips move around. The best tactic is to plop on bits of meringue and then gently spread it so that you cover the bars completely. When you cut the bars, the meringue crumbles, but that just gives the bars character. These are very sweet, and I like the slightly bitter chocolate and the crunchy nuts. They are very interesting and a nice variation on a traditional bar cookie.

Brown Sugar Meringue Cookie Bars
¾ cup butter, melted
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon corn starch
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup chopped nuts

3 egg whites
1 cup packed brown sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until combined. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, corn starch, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Press the cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the dough with the chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts.

In a large mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and add the brown sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating on medium high until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Carefully spread the meringue over the chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the meringue is set. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Recipe from Mom on Time Out

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