14 April 2008

Halfway Cookies

Another urge to bake satisfied by one of my older cookbooks, this one put out by the Junior League of Charleston, West Virginia. This cookbook was courtesy of my sister Anne. She got the old cookbook gene from my parents as well, and likes to share with me :)

This is (from what I can gather researching) an old recipe, many that people attribute to their family: aunts, grandmothers, parents. There's no explanation of the name, but I am guessing they are called Halfway Cookies because they are half-way like a chocolate-chip cookie. It's a basic bar recipe dressed up a bit – a nice sweet cookie-like base, with a speckled chocolate layer and a baked meringue topping.

My topping baked into the bars, but I think I did not beat them long enough, so recommend that for any future users (the original recipe just said "beat together whites and brown sugar and spread over chocolate; gotta love those older recipes). These bars are sweet sweet sweet, I will warn you! I used half bittersweet chocolate for my chocolate layer, and wish I would have used all bittersweet.

Halfway Cookies
(adapted from Mountain Measures, 1974, by the Junior League of Charleston, West Virginia)

2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar, separated
2 eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. milk or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks/bits

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, salt, soda, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, beaten egg yolks, water, and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Spread in greased oblong pan, and sprinkle chocolate bits on top of this mixture.

Beat egg whites and mix with 1 cup brown sugar, to soft peak stage. Spread thinly on top of chocolate bits and cover completely with waxed paper, having it touch the egg-white mixture. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares when cool.


Anonymous said...

Was fun to see your post for Halfway Cookies today. Last week I posted a recipe for Mud Hen Bars on my blog - very similiar recipe except that my recipe calls for a layer of marshmallows along with the chocolate chips - same meringue topping. They are so good! The marshmallows make them nice and gooey

Ginny said...

Delicious! Looks great! :)

Mansi said...

that looks divine!:)

Anonymous said...

I love old community cookbooks! This recipe looks great. And the photo with the tea towel is very well-composed. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

For a cookie crazy like me, these are a must, Nemmie - they look so delicious!

Anonymous said...

What a genius idea! That's like 8 delicious desserts in one. It looks sooo yummy, like a gooey pile of sweetness.

Deborah said...

What fun cookies! I love old cookbooks, although I don't have very many. They are always fun to look through, though!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

What an interesting cookie name. I like your theory. No matter what the origin, they should look gobble-worthy. :)

Anonymous said...

spotted this recipe on tastespotting and made it them over the weekend. wow! they are fantastic! the best dessert i've ever baked. =) they break the boundaries of dessert genres, but are the ultimate combination of them all! thanks! =)

CC11 said...

Just made these - really yummy.

JUD said...

Similar to my mother's Halfway cookies- and she said the name was cause the cost of the ingredients sent you half way to the poor house!



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