So apparently it used to be a saying that something ugly could be called “uglier than a mud hen.” And I guess that’s why these are called Mud Hen Bars, because somebody thought they were ugly. Which I don’t get. Can we have another look?

IMG_3902A delicious cookie-like crust, sprinkled with chocolate and marshmallows, then topped with a brown sugar meringue. I’ve never had anything like this before. They are sooo good. I brought these to share at a barbeque, and my friend asked if they were S’mores bars, which I hadn’t thought of but I suppose they are kind of similar. Chocolate, marshmallow, and if you don’t know what the brown sugar meringue is it can taste kind of graham cracker-y I guess.


Well, I’m off. Off to prepare for a 14 hour car trip tomorrow with a 2-year-old and a nursing 2-month-old. I’ll let you know if we make it without bashing our heads in. If you don’t hear from me soon, assume the worst. (We’re going to visit Eric’s parents. Again with the denial about moving out of state. We will have about 5 days to wrap up our lives here when we get back.) Wish us luck!



Mud Hen Bars (Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Meringue Bars)

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 5 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 16 Servings
A delicious cookie-like crust, sprinkled with chocolate and marshmallows, then topped with a brown sugar meringue. I've never had anything like this before.


  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 whole egg + 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed


  • Preheat your oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9x13 baking pan lightly with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl or mixer, beat together shortening, butter, granulated sugar, 1 whole egg, 2 egg yolks (save the whites!), and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add in flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Spread in prepared pan. This can be tricky. It helps to get your fingers a little wet so that the dough doesn't stick to them.
  • Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.
  • In a clean and dry mixing bowl with whisk attachment on your mixer, beat the 2 remaining egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes on high.
  • Fold in 1 cup of light brown sugar with a rubber spatula. Stir gently until combined and there are no lumps.
  • Spread on top of chocolate chips and marshmallows.This is also tricky. Don't stress, it doesn't have to be perfect.
  • Bake 25-35 minutes until top is golden brown. I baked mine for about 30.
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Good luck with this step.


I used dark brown sugar in my meringue, and it was just fine. I think my topping was a little darker than it would have been with light...obviously, haha.
Source: Cookies and Cups


Serving: 1Bar | Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 277
Keyword: bars, chocolate chip, marshmallow, meringue
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. I made Halfway Bars last night and someone told me they were like Mud Hen Bars, and so, of course, I had to know what Mud Hen bars were and Google brought me here! Yours look amazing! As do all the other recipes that I clicked on! Thank you Google!

  2. I can’t wait to say we are having mud hen bars for dessert tonight, haha.
    Great looking treat, thanks for sharing.
    Will let you know how my hens turn out in the mud, :)

  3. I have no shame in admitting we used a portable DVD player when we drove to Oregon for my brother-in-law’s wedding, and again when we moved up here to Washington, because Ryan doesn’t sleep on long car trips. I think it’s safe to say Ryan and Rebecca have now seen ALL of Duck Tales. We also split the trip into two days, though, with LOTS of stops for running and playing. Bless McDonalds for their playgrounds when it was rainy.

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