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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 sitting on parchment paper

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 collage

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 sitting on parchment paper

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 with a bite taken out of one


Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars Recipe - melty chocolate chip cookie topped with a brown sugar meringue sitting on parchment paper

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mud Hen Bars

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A gooey chocolate chip cookie bar covered in brown sugar meringue!
Yield 16 bars


  • 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
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  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.**
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

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Last Updated on September 12, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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    1. Yes, you can do them by hand. It may take a little longer though. If you have a hand mixer you can use that instead!

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

    1. Mine was pretty brown and crunchy on top, but even if it’s a little less so, it’ll be chewy and fabulous! The brownie ones I made were more that way. Enjoy!

  3. 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. 😉