Divine Halfway Bars

Honestly, I’d never even heard of Halfway Bars in my livin’ life…that is, until about a month ago. I bumped into the recipe online somewhere and since all the sources acted like it was an ancient, beloved recipe–I decided to do some snooping.  At first, I would have been content to find out where the name csme from. I mean, really–halfway to where? Never did get the story on that though.

Turns out, however, that there are a busload of recipes in the universe, each with their own little twist that are still called “Halfway Bars.” They all looked good, but after messing with it for a while, we came up with this version–with a chewy brown sugar meringue–that’s simply…

divine.

Oh, and friends…I don’t use the word divine very darn often.

Almost never to be accurate, but I couldn’t stop myself.

Taste them…and see if you don’t start talking all snooty-like too.

Real Live Halfway Bars

Ingredients

2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9×13 baking pan with two pieces of foil–one piece lengthwise and the other piece crosswise with the ends hanging over the sides.

Stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. Using a mixer, cream together the butter, the granulated sugar and just 1/2 cup of the brown sugar together until it’s smooth.

Separate the eggs, and set the whites aside. Beat the yolks into the butter mixture one at a time until well blended. Add water and vanilla–mix well. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour slowly and beat until dough looks crumbly.

Press the cookie dough gently into the pan evenly.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and press them in just enough that they stay put a bit.

Using a mixer and whisk attachment, being beating the egg whites on medium. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high. When the egg whites turn white, start adding the remaining cup of brown sugar a spoonful at a time. It’s really important that you add the brown sugar slowly or your egg whites may break and stay liquid. Trust me, I know.

Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds a soft, sticky peak. It should be a glossy cream color.

Scoop the meringue down the middle of the pan with a spatula…

and gently spread it to the edges.

Cover the pan loosely with foil–shiny side up and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil.

Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the top looks toasted and pulls slightly away from the sides.

Allow this yummy thing to cool for about 20 minutes and then cut into squares.

If you’re alone–savor the moment. If not–grab the plate and book it to the car. If they can’t find you–because you’re halfway to Fargo–well then…

you don’t have to share.

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Divine Halfway Bars
 
:
Ingredients
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ c butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9×13 baking pan with two pieces of foil–one piece lengthwise and the other piece crosswise with the ends hanging over the sides.
  2. Stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, cream together the butter, the granulated sugar and just ½ cup of the brown sugar together until it’s smooth.
  4. Separate the eggs, and set the whites aside.
  5. Beat the yolks into the butter mixture one at a time until well blended.
  6. Add water and vanilla–mix well.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour slowly and beat until dough looks crumbly.
  8. Press the cookie dough gently into the pan evenly.
  9. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and press them in just enough that they stay put a bit.
  10. Using a mixer and whisk attachment, being beating the egg whites on medium. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high.
  11. When the egg whites turn white, start adding the remaining cup of brown sugar a spoonful at a time.
  12. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting.
  13. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds a soft, sticky peak.
  14. Scoop the meringue down the middle of the pan with a spatula and gently spread it to the edges.
  15. Cover the pan loosely with foil–shiny side up and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil.
  16. Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the top looks toasted and pulls slightly away from the sides.
  17. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes and then cut into squares.

 

6 Replies to “Divine Halfway Bars”

  1. Ok, I want some now. I guess I better force my exhaustion to the side and get baking. 😉

  2. This looks amazing!!! I really think we are going to half to try them tonight. If I am lucky, the girls will hate them and I won’t have to drive to fargo!!!

  3. Found this in trying to search where the name came from. Does this help?

    “Halfway bars is something between a bar and a cookie, which is how they got their name. They taste a bit like a cookie, and a bit like a brownie.”

  4. We love half-way bars and they have been a family favorite of our for decades. My mom originally found the recipe in a cookbook that Home Ec teachers had put together in the early 60s. I thought my family was the only people who knew about them until I saw a similar recipe (but a different name) in a cooking magazine last year.

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