Recipe: Chocolate Meringue Bars (and a special way to find new recipes)

I know, I know. It's been a really long time since we've let any of you in on the new food we've made. The dry spell ends tonight! Last night, we were tasked with bringing a dessert for dinner at a friend's house. Given that we didn't get this assignment until after we'd done the grocery shopping, we knew we'd have to make something from scratch. Shauna being Shauna, a new recipe was in order.

Chocolate Meringue Bars

Cookie Crust Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk

Bar Topping Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (about 6 oz)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional, but only for pinko Commie bedwetters and those with nut allergies)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Beat butter, sugars, egg yolks and 1 tsp vanilla until soft and creamy. (This is where your KitchenAid stand mixer will shine.) Mix dry ingredients together and add into the butter-sugar bowl along with the milk. Once combined, press into a 9"x13" pan. Sprinkle with a layer of chocolate chips.
  3. Beat egg whites to soft peaks, then beat in brown sugar and vanilla. (Again, the stand mixer rocks for this.) Fold in the nuts (which you had better be using) and spread over the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

If I didn't already make it clear, a stand mixer makes this job about a hundred times easier. You'll save your arms from using a normal hand mixer to get the mythical "soft peaks" and end up with a much more consistent product. It also made clean-up a snap.

While the original says you can use white sugar in the bar topping, both of us really like the flavor of the molasses. I also say that you should include the nuts for additional texture and a bit of crunch with the chewy. Speaking of which, these bars actually are better the next day and take on a great texture.

And now the special way to find new recipes. Let me tell you about a little web site called SuperCook. If it were just a recipe search engine, it wouldn't be anything more than a specialized Google. But no, you actually build a list of ingredients on the site which refines the results to what you can actually make. It'll also ask if you have some other common ingredients to help you quickly build your list. You can also highlight specific ingredients if you want a recipe for something you have to use as soon as possible. It's probably the best way I've seen to figure out what to do with leftover asparagus or that piece of steak that's almost too "aged" to cook.

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2 Responses to Recipe: Chocolate Meringue Bars (and a special way to find new recipes)

  1. Vanessa says:

    I’m not sure if it would work for this recipe, but a super quick way to make a meringue is in a double boiler – typically used if you’re making “seven minute” (white sugar version) or “seafoam” (brown sugar version) frosting. I’ve used this recipe before with great success:

    http://www.cookiemadness.net/?p=847

    this does give it a texture very much like a marshmallow creme though, the only reason I’m not certain it would be an appropriate shortcut for this particular recipe.

  2. Notaturkeybone says:

    After owning a stand mixer my whole life, I just last week discovered the how handy it is for making meringue. “Handy” really isn’t even the right word. Freakin’ awesome is more like it. Two minutes. Done.

    I’ll be making meringues every week from now until I die.

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