★★★★★

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?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    Avatar photo

    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**

    Learn How To Become a Better Home Baker
    Sign up for the Shugary Sweets FREE Email Course Today—soon you’ll say, "I made it from scratch!"

    Categories: ,


    Posted on May 18, 2019

    Comments & Reviews

    1. Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today I find it finally. this post gives me lots of advise it is very useful for me.

    2. Have been a loyal follower for the long haul…. lol…. I think!!?? I remember reading your stories, talking about your moving, etc. it’s been a long time. But that’s GREAT!
      Continue on for many years with great recipes, ideas, and fun chat…love it all. 😉  

    3. I have been reading different recipes on mud hen bars and I have decided that I want to try yours… My one question is… Could you possibly freeze these ???? knowing that you can keep them in the refrigerator helps but would like to know in the event I ever needed to make them ahead of time if I could possibly freeze them I’m thinking probably not !?!?

    4. It’s great because of the knowledge you share with us, I will always follow your blog and will share your blog with my friends

    5. I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    6. Found that I could not pour my batter, rather I had to spread it. Also found there was not enough batter or merange, so ended up using a 9×9 pan to compensate. Other than that they were tasty and original. Thank you

    7. Congrats, and thank you for all you do. Love your blog and have enjoyed a lot of your recipes and hope to enjoy many more.

    8. Happy blogiversary Aimee! I found you after seeing your Rice Krispie Treats with instant pudding in the mix….mind blowing. I can’t even count how many versions of them I’ve made and they’re always a hit.

      Thanks for doing what you do-here’s to many more happy years of baking, cooking and blogging!
      Carol

    9. Happy Blogiversary!! I love your blog and have been a faithful follower for years. Love all your awesome recipes 🙂 xoxo

    10. So thankful for your blog! It’s what lead me to starting my own! I followed lots of bloggers back in the day and yours was one of them! Congratulations! I know it has been a wild ride!! 

    11. Congratulations my friend! What a whirlwind journey. I’m so glad you took note from Evan Thomas (I just read Avery’s comment about him; what a riot)! Glad we are on this journey together.

    12. CONGRATULATIONS on your 6 year blogaversary. I know it is lots of work to keep it going. Lots of cooking and washing dishes for sure. Thank you for all you do.

    13. Congrats on 6 years! Wow, it’s been awhile huh 🙂 So much has changed that if we told anyone what we did 7-10 years ago to blog vs. now…they would never believe it unless they were a blogger!

      And I know Evan Thomas- we’re FB friends! At that time he was a college kid, commented on ALL the food blogs! He was blogging out of his dorm room with a microwave and a mini fridge and seriously he put up some good content! I cannot remember what he changed his blog to and don’t believe he blogs anymore but it’s fun reading those old, old comments and seeing names that are like blasts from the past!

      1. Oh my gosh that’s so funny that you know him 🙂 Tell him I said thank you!! And you’re right….SO MUCH has changed 🙂 I’m so glad to have met your though this journey!

    14. I have been with you since I first was interested in being a home baker and thank you. You are wonderful and I enjoy checking out you new recipes and tips. Have a great 6 more years.

    15. Aww I love the story of how you started your blog! Thanks, Evan! LOL. It’s almost 10 years for me and when I first started, I was using my flip phone camera. My, how times have changed!!

      1. Haha, “thanks Evan” 🙂 Wow, 10 years and a flip phone, that’s pretty funny!!!

    16. Congratulations on your 6 year blogiversary, Aimee! That is such a fantastic milestone that you should definitely celebrate! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and stories that you’ve shared with us throughout the year. I’m looking forward to many, many more! 🙂

    17.  I’ve been a loyal reader of your blog for a long time now, and I’m SO excited that you’ve blogged for so long already – wishing you at least 6 more years of quality recipes, photos, posts, etc.  Congratulations! And no joke, I DO know Evan Thomas personally – he’s yet another awesome blogger and real-life person, so that’s awesome he commented 🙂 

      1. OMG that’s so funny that you know him 🙂 Tell him thank you from me!!! And thanks to you too for following along for so long now!! I appreciate all the comments and love 🙂

        1. I sent him the blog post 🙂  And thank YOU for always being so genuine on your blog – keep up the awesome work, I look forward to every post. Loyal Ohio reader here 😀

          1. Haha, that’s awesome! Thank you for the kind words (and loyalty 🙂 )

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.