Mud Hen Bars

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These sweet Mud Hen dessert bars are perfect for potlucks and parties! Everyone loves them!

I was looking for a bar treat to make for a party and stumbled across a recipe for Mud Hen Bars. The bars have a cookie crust and are topped with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wait, there is more! The bars also have a brown sugar meringue topping. I wasn’t sure where the “Mud Hen” name came from, but I didn’t care. I was going to make the bars anyways.

First, you make a basic cookie dough crust and top it with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. You can add chopped nuts, but I left them out since Josh is allergic and I really don’t care for nuts in my cookies and bar treats.

Next, you beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and gently fold in the brown sugar.

You cover the bars with the meringue topping and bake for about 30 minutes. And then you impatiently wait for the bars to cool so you can can cut and devour them. Oh wait, these were for a party so I couldn’t devour them all, but I did sneak a taste. I loved the cookie base, but the best part of these bars is the brown sugar meringue topping. The topping is sweet, crackly, and melts in your mouth.

Everyone at the party loved these bars and wanted the recipe. When I told them they were Mud Hen Bars, they looked confused. I told them not to worry because I don’t know why they are called Mud Hen Bars either:) I still have no idea, but I don’t really care. All I know is that these bars are super duper delicious and that is all that matters to me!

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Mud Hen Bars

These sweet dessert bars are perfect for potlucks and parties! Everyone loves them!
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks (put aside the whites for later.) Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Blend until just combined. Spread mixture into 9×13″ pan. Sprinkle with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and nuts-if using.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the brown sugar. Spread mixture evenly over marshmallows and chocolate chips. Bake for about 30 minutes or until bars are a deep golden brown. Let bars cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.


Calories: 198kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 71mg, Potassium: 88mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 148IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 1mg

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. Maria, how many bars did you cut these into? I am thinking about taking them to a cookie swap, but I am not sure how tiny they can be and still be “enough” if that makes sense. Thanks for sharing the recipe and all your pictures/directions. I am looking forward to trying them!

    1. It makes a 9×13 pan. You can cut them really big for 12-16 servings or small for 24. Just depends on how big you want the pieces:)

  2. This recipe has been around for quite awhile – my grandmother(back in the 50’s) made them quite often, but without the chips and marshmallows.

  3. I live in Toledo, OH and we have a minor league baseball team named the MudHens! I am so going to make these bars on opening day!! Wait – I don’t think I can make it till April! May have to make a test batch!! They look so YUMMY!!! Thanks! Pinning the recipe right now!!!

  4. These were delicious and fun to make. I made them for a party I went to and everyone absolutely loved them. I wonder if you could make them with a brownie bottom too?

  5. Grew up eating Mud Hens in Upper Michigan. Grandma’s had nuts instead of choc and m’mallows, then coconut in the meringue. Super yummy……

  6. I made them and they turned out fine. I wasn’t overly impressed by them though. Probably would give them a 6 out of 10.

  7. The Toledo Mud Hens are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. I’m a big fan. I’ll definitely make these for opening day! 🙂

  8. My daughter served these bars to our family at lunch today. Yes, I asked her to repeat the name ‘Mud Hen Bars’ several times. We all loved them. They have just the right combo of brown sugar chocolate chewiness that makes it hard to stop eating them!

  9. Butterscotch Chips and Pecans that were chopped fine and Marshmallows and we LOVED them. We may try again with Dark Chocolate Chips and Marshmallows since we do not care much for milk chocolate. As it is, the ones I made with Chopped Pecans, Butterscotch Chips and Marshmallows did not last very long so will definitely make a double Batch next time.

    1. I have made these for years using only butterscotch chips. They are to die for.

  10. Just made these tonight…wanted to make something different for the fam. Honestly, these are pretty bad. The ingredients just dont go well together. The “crust” is super bland with a unimpressive texture…more shortbread-like would have been tastier and better mouthfeel. The rest of the concoction was wayyy to sweet…holy moly! You would think the flavors of the crust and top would balance each other but they are just kinda gross together, and kinda gross separately. My four boys and husband will hoover just about everything I bake, but these were sadly an epic fail.

  11. I believe this recipe did come from Toledo, home to the Mud Hens. Many, many years ago, the recipe was published in the Toledo Blade, and we’ve been making them ever since!

  12. I made this for a ladies gathering. I was nervous since I had never made it before but everyone loved it so much that I was only able to try the leftover crumbs. Will be making it again. Thanks for a great recipe

  13. I had these 20 years ago, and have been looking for the recipe ever since! I had thought they were some type of s’more bar, so I could never never find them. So very happy to have found this!! Thank you!!

  14. Will these keep for a few days? If so…how would you store them? I’m unsure what happens to the meringue.

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