★★★★★

Mud Hen Bars

Buttery cookie dough meets gooey marshmallow, melty chocolate chips, and brown sugar meringue – need I say more? These Mud Hen Bars taste like a dream and are extra impressive to boot. They’ll quickly become your new favorite dessert.

Unique desserts are right up our alley. From our butter pecan skillet cake to a delicious, moist Kentucky butter cake, we love it all.

Stack of two mud hen bars on a white plate.

Why these Bars are Best

Everyone by now knows my love of gooey Rice Krispie Treats. There’s something about that pull of marshmallow.

Today’s mud hen bars have that same gooey marshmallow, paired with cookie dough and chocolate!

These bars are a unique treat that’ll surprise and impress everyone who tries a bite.

  • You won’t find these bars at the grocery store, so you’ll savor every unique bite.
  • This recipe comes together in under an hour but tastes like you spent all day whipping it up.
  • Mud Hen Bars are a surprising dessert to bring to potlucks, gatherings, and events. It’s sure to garner compliments!
  • It’s the perfect make-ahead recipe. You can serve it right from the fridge.
Mud hen bar being broken in half, revealing a gooey marshmallow bar.

Ingredient Notes

  • Shortening – I use Crisco butter-flavored shortening, but any kind will work.
  • Butter – Use unsalted, softened butter for this recipe.
  • Eggs – Altogether, you’ll need 1 whole egg and 2 separated eggs. You can combine the 2 extra yolks with the whole egg and keep the whites separate.
  • Baking Powder – This is essential for the perfect cookie consistency. Baking soda won’t work for this recipe, so stick to the powder.
  • Salt – Use Kosher salt instead of the over-salty iodized table salt for better flavor.
  • Marshmallows – I like to use mini marshmallows because they melt quicker than the large ones, but use whatever kind you have on hand.
  • Chocolate Chips – I like the mini version of these too. Whether you use milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark, these bars will be delicious, so pick whatever you prefer.
  • Light Brown Sugar – To get an accurate measurement of brown sugar, make sure to pack or press it into the measuring cup.

Easy Instructions

Make the Cookie Dough – Beat together shortening, butter, and sugar until light in color and creamy. Then, beat in the whole egg and 2 egg yolks. Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined.

Press Into Baking Dish – Press and spread the cookie dough into an ungreased, parchment-lined 13”x9” baking dish.

Top With Marshmallows & Chocolate – Cover the cookie dough with the mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Whip Up the Meringue – In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then, fold in the brown sugar. Pour the meringue mixture over the top of the marshmallows and chocolate chips. You might need to gently spread the mixture to ensure it reaches all sides of the pan.

PRO-TIP: When the meringue touches the edges of the pan, it’ll rise higher since it can use the edges to climb. If the meringue doesn’t touch the edges, it’ll grow then shrink as it cools.

Bake Then Cool – Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned on the top. Then remove it from the oven and allow the Mud Hen Bars to cool completely. 

Cut & Enjoy – Once the bars have cooled (you could even pop them in the fridge if you’re in a hurry), cut them into 24 servings. Take a bite, and enjoy!

Mud hen bars cut into squares on a green glass plate.

Tips and Tricks

  • The cookie dough is thick, so instead of pouring it into the baking pan, you’ll need to spread it, and your hands are the best tool for the job.
  • If you’re using a smaller baking dish, you might need to bake the bars for more than 40 minutes. 
  • Make sure the raw meringue touches all edges of the dish for the best rise.
  • Store any leftover Mud Hen Bars in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use regular shortening instead of butter flavored?

Regular shortening will work just as well for this recipe. I opt for the butter-flavored kind to add even more richness to the dough. You’ll hardly notice the difference with all the other sweet toppings if you use regular shortening.

Can I use a different size baking pan?

You can use a 9” square baking dish if you want thicker bars. You might need to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time, so double-check the doneness of the bars before pulling them from the oven.

Can I make these Mud Hen Bars ahead of time?

This is a great make-ahead recipe since you can serve them straight from the fridge. Once finished, store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and serve them within 3-5 days.

Can I freeze the mud hen bars?

Yes! The cookie dough, marshmallow, and meringue layers all freeze and defrost well. You can store them in an airtight container in the freezer for a few months, then thaw and serve as needed.

More Easy Desserts

Yield: 24 servings

Mud Hen Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Buttery cookie dough meets gooey marshmallow, melty chocolate chips, and brown sugar meringue - need I say more? These Mud Hen Bars taste like a dream and are extra impressive to boot. They’ll quickly become your new favorite dessert.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter flavored shortening
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, whole
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups mini marshmallows
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the shortening, butter, and sugar until creamy. Beat in the whole egg, and the two egg YOLKS.
  3. Slowly add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine until fully blended.
  4. Press batter into prepared baking dish. Top with marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  5. In a separate clean and dry mixing bowl, beat the two egg whites until stiff. Fold in the brown sugar and pour over the stop of the bars. Spread gently, making sure it touches the sides of the pan (this will help it rise during baking, and not shrink).
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the meringue on top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  7. Cut into bars and enjoy. We prefer to keep these chilled in the refrigerator, they taste great cold!

Notes

  • The cookie dough is thick, so instead of pouring it into the baking pan, you’ll need to spread it, and your hands are the best tool for the job.
  • If you’re using a smaller baking dish, you might need to bake the bars for more than 40 minutes. 
  • Make sure the raw meringue touches all edges of the dish for the best rise.
  • Store any leftover Mud Hen Bars in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    24

    Serving Size:

    1 bar

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 63mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on May 18, 2019

    Comments & Reviews

    1. Hi there
      I’m making this right now and the brown sugar meringue didn’t yeild enough to spread in a 13×9 pan, and it’s not really rising at all. Also the base was very difficult to spread as well. Any tips?

      1. Hi there
        I’m making this right now and the brown sugar meringue didn’t yeild enough to spread in a 13×9 pan, and it’s not really rising at all. Also the base was very difficult to spread as well. Any tips?

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