Crazy for Crust

May 15

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars

If you love sweet gooey chocolate chip cookies you’re in the right place today.

These are everything you want in a chocolate chip cookie…and more. Because they’re mud hen bars too!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars Recipe - melty chocolate chip cookie topped with a brown sugar meringue!

Are you thinking: what the heck is a Mud Hen Bar? Good, me too.

As far as I can tell, a Mud Hen Bar is a cookie bar that’s been topped with a brown sugar meringue. Supposedly they’re a southern treat, and they’ve been around for years. I first discovered them back in 2012. I’d never heard of them before but I was super intrigued by that brown sugar meringue.

I kind of have a secret crush on brown sugar. If I could use it exclusively, I would.

Back in 2012, I threw the mud hen together with brownies and it was probably the best dessert I’d made up to that point (and, in all honesty, it’s rarely been beaten since). The gooey factor alone drives me to a frenzy whenever I think about them!

I’ve been wanting to do another mud hen version ever since. Traditionally, the base of a mud hen is a plain cookie. Then the cookie is sprinkled with chocolate chips and marshmallows.

I decided to skip the marshmallows (read: I forgot about them) and I also decided to use my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for the bar.

I cut them while they were still a little warm. I like gooey chocolate.

So will you. These are AMAZING!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars - melty chocolate chip cookie topped with a brown sugar meringue!

Did you know that May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? When I realized that and remembered I had these bars in my archive, I knew it was time to post them. A day like chocolate chip cookie day needs to be celebrated!

These bars are super easy to make. I’m totally into super easy lately. Ain’t nobody got time for tons of steps!

Step one: Make cookie dough. Press into pan.

Step two: Whip egg whites with brown sugar. (I prefer to do this in a stand mixer – then you can walk away during mixing.)

Step three: Bake. The meringue gets brown and crunchy and the cookie stays ooey gooey.

Step four: Eat straight from the pan with a fork.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars - melty chocolate chip cookie topped with a brown sugar meringue!

If you like crunchy meringue, brown sugar, and chocolate chip cookies, then you’ll love mud hen bars.

These are hide-in-a-closet bars. As in, I’m hiding in a closet with a fork so no one sees me eat the whole pan. And they’re great for parties because (1) you get rid of them without eating them all yourself and (2) people ooooh and aaaaah because they’re something so much more than a cookie.

Meringue is one of those things that’s so easy to make, but people are wowed by it. Use that to your advantage. Bring the star dessert to the end of the year potluck!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars - melty chocolate chip cookie topped with a brown sugar meringue!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars

A gooey chocolate chip cookie bar covered in brown sugar meringue!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg + 2 egg whites, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.
  3. Cream butter, granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar until combined. Turn mixer on low. Add 1 egg, mixing completely. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips. Press into prepared pan. Chill dough until egg whites are ready.
  4. Beat 2 egg whites with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form (about 3-5 minutes on speed “6” if using a stand mixer). Sprinkle 1 cup of brown sugar over the beaten egg whites, making sure there are no clumps. Fold in the brown sugar and spread evenly over the cookie layer.
  5. Bake for 28-33 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover it with a layer of parchment paper. Let cool to at least room temperature before cutting. (Chill in the refrigerator for quicker cooling.) Peel away the foil carefully before cutting. **Be sure to spray your knife with cooking spray before cutting. After each cut wipe away excess and spray the knife again.**

Brownie Mud Hen Bars

brownie mud hen bars

Funfetti Cookie Fudge Bars

Funfetti Cookie Fudge Bars (2 of 5)w

Samoa Magic Bars

Samoa Magic Bars (6 of 7)w


Sweets from friends:
Monster Magic Cookie Bars by Something Swanky
Mother Load Layered Cookie Bars by Picky Palate
Chocolate Potato Chip Cookie Bars by A Spicy Perspective



49 comments on “Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars

  1. I’ve never heard of these! But now I’m so excited. Brown sugar can be used in meringue? Who knew? Man, can they cook in the South.
    Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! This is a great way to celebrate!

  2. Deborah/tasteandtell has a mud hen bar recipe and so does Shelly/cookiesandcups and I’ve had my eye on both for ages. I just didnt get around to them but now, yours, mmm. They sound incredible “The meringue gets brown and crunchy and the cookie stays ooey gooey.” <— that's heaven. Pinned

  3. WOW I’ve never had heard of a hens bar before but these photos have me sold! Goodness, they look goood!

  4. Chocolate chip bars sound even more yummy than chocolate chip cookies!

  5. These sound/look amazing! I LOVE that crunchy meringue top 😀

  6. oh heavens these sound amazing and brown sugar meringue? yes please!!

  7. Oh my goshh stopp!!! These look too good to be true! The ooey-gooey chocolate plus a crunchy brown sugar top?? Amazing!! Happy Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!!! Pinned 😀

  8. Oh my goodness I can’t believe how perfect these bars look. These are the perfect snack for my sweet tooth!

  9. Wow, I am drooling over your pictures, Dorothy! You always come up with the most creative desserts. I am very impressed by this one, it looks amazing. And I have a secret crush on brown sugar too…I love it and try to sneak it into recipes whenever I can!

  10. Oh man! Look at that gooey center. I want one! I couldn’t leave these laying around. I’d have 2 for breakfast! Yum!

  11. I’ve never heard of mud hen bars, but they sound incredible! I love desserts that are easy but pack a big “wow” factor.

  12. It’s 7AM here and I am proud to say I would devour a plateful of these now if I could. Love them!

  13. I have a weakness for anything chocolate chip. I need these in my life stat!

  14. Ooh wow, these look irresistible!! That melty chocolate is mesmerizing. I’d never heard of mud hen bars before, but what a fantastic idea!

  15. Oooh, that meringue crackly top looks absolutely heavenly! Happy CCC day 😀

  16. Never heard of mud hen bars before. So unique and looks delicious!

  17. What – chocolate chip cookie day???? How did I not know that – I would have eaten at least 5 cookies by now!! I guess I still have a few more hours until bed time. These bars look amazing!

  18. Thank you for introducing me to this phenomenon. Meringue and gooey chocolate chip cookies- > oh myyy word. I’m definitely going to be using this to my advantage! Pinned!

  19. I didn’t know it was chocolate chip cookie day today, but I happened to make chocolate chip cookies to send to a family friend who just had an appendectomy! Chocolate chip cookies should ease the pain! Your recipe looks great – I would have used that!

  20. I have never even heard of mud hen bars – am I so behind or what? But chocolate meringue on top of a cookie bar? Totally loving that!! Pinned!

  21. Wow, these do look great. I can almost taste them by looking at your pix!

  22. Um brown sugar meringue? Sorry but why has nobody told me about these before?! So I need these in my life right now. They look delicious!

  23. I have never tried of a Mud Hen bar. But I am going to have to change that because these look delish!!!! :)

  24. I.NEED.TO.MAKE.THESE!!!! Mud hen bars in their classic form aren’t my fave BUT CCC MUD HEN BARS are a thing that NEEDS to happen. like…tomorrow. Pinningggg

  25. I haven’t heard of these before but now that I have I really want one! Love!

  26. These look amazing! I’m fascinated by the meringue top, I’ve never heard of any desert like this one. Pinned!

  27. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing – I have grown to like bars much more than the traditional cookie.

  28. Talk about textural perfection! Melty, gooey, crunchy and soft – you pretty much nailed it.

  29. I didn’t know what a mud hen was until right this minute, but now I’m way into them. These look crazy good, Dorothy!

  30. I’d never heard of this mud hen situation, but it’s been showing up in my blog feed a lot lately. These look amazing. I must have one extremely soon.

  31. I’m pretty much drooling right now after reading this. These sound AMAZING! :)

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  33. Mmkay, I had never heard of mud hen bars until now… And reading your post was probably the most dangerous thing ever. Brown sugar, melty chocolate chips & gooey cookies? Pure heaven!! Please tell me you still have a few in your freezer because I will drive 2 hours in traffic to eat one. 😉

  34. I just made these and took them out of the oven. The only question I have is just how crisp/brown the topping is supposed to be. Yours look really crisp, and mine not so much….they’re golden, but still kind of fluffy. I guess I’ll see how they taste later on tonight. Thanx for the recipe!

  35. Mmmmm, wish I had one (or 10!!) right now!

  36. I just made these, and they were amazing!! So chewy and fudgy!

  37. Will it still work if I use salted butter?

  38. Will it still work if I use salted butter?

    • Yes but reduce the salt or omit it all together! When I used to bake with salted butter, I’d often not add any. The general rule of thumb is 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1 stick unsalted butter = 1 stick salted.

  39. Pingback: Gluten-Free Mud Hen Bars - Crazy for Crust

  40. Oh my. Hand to heart, I thought you were being a bit hyperbolic about how fab these are … and then I made them. I brought them to work and I don’t think they made it to lunch.

    Will make again and again.

  41. Just made these! FANTASTIC!!!!! 10/10, will make again and again! 

  42. Pingback: Pickled Capers – Horchatitas

  43. If i don’t have a mixer – would  by hand work just as well?

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