Friday, June 24, 2011

Mud Hens

Now, I've had a lot of cookies in my life, but until recently I had never even heard of a mud hen.  I was missing out.  
A mud hen is an interesting and unique bar cookie.  The base layer is kind of like a chocolate chip cookie.  The middle has marshmallows and nuts, and the top is a brown sugar meringue that gets all toasty and crisp in the oven.  The combination is a winner.  And perhaps the best part? They're super-simple to make!
I found the recipe, credited to Southern Plate, at Taste and Tell. I ended up omitting the nuts (my husband and kids are allergic) and reducing the cooking time just a tiny bit (perhaps as a result). I adjusted the process just slightly, but in general, prepared as directed. They came together in a snap and turned out great.
I think everyone ought to give these muddy little hens a try - they've got the yum factor!

Mud Hens
Adapted from Southern Plate

Ingredients :
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, softened
¼ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, divided
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup light brown sugar (whisked to remove clumps)


   Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line a 9”X13” baking pan with parchment paper.

2.   In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

3.   In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, shortening, and sugar.  Beat on medium speed until fluffy.

4.   Add 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks to the bowl (reserve the two egg whites for later use).  Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined.

5.   Add the premixed dry ingredients to the bowl.  Mix on low until just blended.

6.   Press the dough evenly into the pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate, then nuts, then marshmallows evenly over the dough.

7.   In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Gently fold the brown sugar into the eggs.  Spread the mixture evenly over the other ingredients (place it in small daubs, then spread gently with an offset spatula).

8.   Bake for 25-40 minutes or until lightly browned on top (begin checking after 25 minutes).  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

9.   Cut into bars and serve!

I can only imagine that using peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts instead of the chocolate and nuts would be great, too.  Just a thought...
Happy baking!

1 comment:

  1. this sounds "southern-enough" to please my whole family. I'll try it very soon.


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