Saturday, March 3, 2012

Halfway Cookies

I stumbled upon this delicious cookie on this site where there is a great tutorial on how to make them.  I was looking for a recipe for a simple, but chocolaty cookie, and this one, topped with a brown sugar meringue was most intriguing.  The high winds (for, what is it now, the tenth day in a row?) kept me inside, so I puttered around the kitchen putting these together.  The pictures don’t do them justice.  They are rich, chocolaty, chewy, with a crunchy, flavorful meringue topping.  Neither one of us could wait until they fully cooled so we had our first bite when the chocolate was still partially melted and oozing invitingly from the cookie.  They are a bit more work than the average bar cookie, but then these are far from average.  I’ve included the recipe below for your convenience, but do check out the site mentioned above, and then make these cookies!
Halfway Cookies
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, separated
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut two pieces of aluminum foil and fold them to match the width of the pan. Press one piece into the pan lengthwise and the other into the pan crosswise with the ends hanging over the side. This makes it easy to lift the bars out of the pan once they're cooled. Spray the foil with nonstick coating.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and just 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until smooth and creamy, roughly 5 minutes at medium high.
Separate the eggs. Mix the yolks into the butter-sugar mixture one at a time until they are completely absorbed, then mix in the water and vanilla. With the mixer at a low speed, add the flour mixture and beat gently until all the flour has been absorbed.  Do not overmix.
Press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep them from moving when you add the meringue.
Using a stand or hand mixer with a clean bowl and a clean whisk attachment, start whisking the egg whites. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy, slowly add the remaining cup of brown sugar a little at a time. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds a soft peak.  It should look like glossy, soft-serve ice cream.
Scoop the meringue from the bowl and mound it down the middle of the pan. It will be very sticky! Use an offset spatula to gently spread the meringue from the middle to the edges.
Lightly press a piece of parchment or wax paper on the top of the meringue (this makes an even layer and protects the meringue from scorching). Bake for 20 minutes, remove the parchment, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes more, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Wait until the pan is completely cool before lifting out the bars and cutting them into squares.
This post is linked to:


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

You prepare the most wonderful concoctions, Pattie!

Janet Rudolph said...

Yummy! These look great. Hope the winds have quieted down. These are the perfect treat went you have to hunker down!

Jeanie said...

Sounds delicious.

Michelle said...

Mmmm...I think I would stay inside even if it wasn't windy, for those cookies! ;)