I knew when I pinned this recipe for Halfway Cookies that I would have to try it. I almost overlooked it on Friday when we were trying to figure out a dessert when we were having my family to dinner but I noticed it at the last moment and I am SO SO glad I did. It is by far one of the best desserts I’ve ever tried … a little salty in with the sweet, a delightful crunch with the meringue and very much like a chocolate chip cookie in other ways. WONDERFUL. I am sure I will be making these regularly for a long time to come.
- 2 cups 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 cup brown sugar, divided
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350°. Cut two pieces of aluminum foil and fold them to match the width of the pan. Criss cross them each direction of the pan so that the bars will be easily lifted out. Spray aluminum foil with non-stick spray. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. In a mixer, cream together the butter, the granulated sugar and just 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until it looks like smooth frosting. 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. 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.
Press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep them from moving when you add the meringue.
Using a mixer with a clean bowl and a whisk attachment, start whisking the egg whites. Gradually increase 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 speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it it comes to soft peaks. It should look like “glossy, soft-serve ice cream.”
Spread the meringue down the middle of the pan. It is really sticky and pretty hard to work with. Use a spatula to gently spread the meringue from the middle to the edges. When you get it too thin it disturbs the chocolate chips, so be careful. I think it might be worth it to add another egg white and maybe a bit more brown sugar to make just a little more meringue.
Cover pan with parchment paper to prevent scorching and 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. Cool completely, lift out and cut into bars.
Ooh, ahh, drool and ENJOY. With milk, if you please! The recipe says you can replace the chocolate chip layer with lots of other things like butterscotch chips, jam, dried fruit, maybe coconut??