Mud Hen Bars

These Mud Hen Bars are a Gooey Chocolate Chip Marshmallow bar topped with Brown Sugar Meringue! So good!!

Sometimes names can be deceiving.

Haven’t you ever met a person and been like, yeah..your parents SO should have named you Jan and not Heather?  Or Brody and not Chuck?



It happens.

Same thing happened with these bars.

They’re called Mud Hen bars.

Which is basically the grossest name ever.

Mud is not tasty…

Hens are all pecky and whatnot…

And apparently a “Mud Hen” is a gross marsh bird that lives in swamps and other wetland-type areas.


Well, I am not a bird-fan in general.  They scare me.  I mean, they can fly.  Think about it.

And Mud Hens are not only birds, they live in swamps.  Swamp birds.  Could there be a worse type?


But defying all laws of logic I made these Mudhen Bars.

I know, I know.


They sound gross.

But they aren’t.


I have seen recipes for these around, but until I came across an old recipe in my Grandma’s Recipe Card Box, I really didn’t give them a whole lot of thought…THEN a few days later I saw another recipe for them in my Southern Plate cookbook (which is great, btw) and I knew I had to give them a go.

So I did.


They’re really easy.

What they are is a kind-of cookie base, topped with chocolate chips and marshmallows with a yummy brown sugar meringue spread all over the top.


Just sprinkle your chips and marshmallows…


Then mix up your meringue, which is just brown sugar and egg whites…


Then spread that all over the top…


What you’ll get is a gooey cookie bar topped with a light, crunchy meringue topping.

They are really like nothing else I’ve ever had…

Such a cool combination of textures.  They might not be pretty, but they are tasty.

Mud Hen Bars.. a Gooey Chocolate Chip Marshmallow bar topped with Brown Sugar Meringue!

Just forget that they’re called Mudhens 🙂



Mud Hen Bars
makes 24 bars
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 whole egg + 2 eggs, separated
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  1. Preheat 350°
  2. Spray a 9x13 baking pan lightly with cooking spray
  3. In a large bowl cream together shortening, butter, granulated sugar, 1 whole egg plus 2 yolks and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add in flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Spread in prepared pan.
  5. Top with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.
  6. In a clean mixing bowl with whisk attachment on your mixer, beat the 2 remaining egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes on high.
  7. Fold in 1 light brown sugar and stir until combined and there are no lumps.
  8. Spread on top of chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares
adapted my Grandma's recipe and Southern Plate


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94 Comments on "Mud Hen Bars"

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

These look fabulous! Yum!

Sweet T

I’m am trying these today!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

Deborah/tasteandtell made these last year and they made her Best Of list for 2011 (how I remember this, I don’t know – I love desserts…lol) But now that I see you make them, I want to make them even more. They have all the layers and elements that I just love!


Looks good to me!


Yum! I’ve never heard of a mud hen before but these bars look delish!

Blog is the New Black

Odd name, delicious treat!


Can’t wait to make these. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


I love the top of these bars!


Whoa. That’s the tastiest dirty pecking hen I’ve ever seen. Durn.


Yum! Those look delicious 😀 I’ll just call them something else in my head so I don’t have to think about swamp birds when I make them lol

Cookbook Queen

Can you believe I have never tried these?

Probably because they are named after a filthy bird.

But if you give them the ok, I guess it’s worth a shot 😉

luv what you do

Those bars definitly look MUCH BETTER than the name implies. I’ve never heard of a mudhen bar, but I will have to give them a try!


I totally made these last year and fell in love with them. Now I need to make more!!

Kim Bee

I don’t care what you call them, just send me a few dozen and I’ll be happy as can be. Love these!

Shiloh Barkley

These look really really tasty!!!! I would make them. Then rename them.

Robyn | Add a Pinch

These things should be illegal they are so good!


I have never heard that name before but I LOVE it!! Girl, these look amazing!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet

I’ve been wanting to make mud hen bars forever but always forget, thanks for a delicious reminder!


I don’t care what they’re called – they look incredible!

I’m totally scared of birds too. I had a roommate with a large parrot and basically lived in fear for 1 entire year.

Brian @ A Thought For Food

How gooey these look! Ok, is it too early for these? No? Ok…. give me the plate please!


Oh Shelly, those are enough to make me run around the block 20 times, just so my blood sugars don’t get out of control…because if those were anywhere in my vicinity, I would eat one. Diabetes be damned! 🙂


I love mud hens! And I love Christy’s cookbook 🙂

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

Love these Shelly! I always look forward to your posts!

Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

I’ve never heard of these before! But I need them in my life. Anything with meringue, I am there.


Shelly—Have you seen the Pumkin Spice cream cheese they have out now? Aldi has it but Philly Brand has it out in the regular grocery stores I see. It taste like pumkin cheesecake straight from the container! I had a hard time not just sitting down with a spoon and polishing it all off!! But I keep thinking it would be great in a fall dessert…but what?? Have you seen it/tried it? Any ideas??


Sheely, you are too funny! The name doesn’t bother me at all, and I simply can’t get over that crispy top!!


…sorry I misspelled your name. ;(

Brenda @ a farmgirl

I’ve heard of these before, but have not made them. Your photos and description definitely make me want to change that, though! That meringue on top looks like a great texture contrast. Yum!


I love Mud Hen Bars!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe! These look fantastic!! 🙂

Erin @ Making Memories

I’ve wondered about that name. But they sure look tasty!

Ali @ Gimme Some Oven

Whoa – these look stunning!

Rachel Cooks

I don’t care WHAT they are called! Wow! I could eat the whole pan!


You are so right…weird name, but they look delicious!


They look fabulous!!! Swamp birds. Yikes.

Mary Jane

With a name so memorable like that, how could you ever rename it? 🙂 Omgosh, thanks for the tip on the pumpkin cream cheese! Philadelphia cream cheese has milk chocolate and dark chocolate Indulgence brand of soft chocolate cream cheese that is incredible. The dark chocolate is my favorite! They sell it in little gold tubs. I can’t wait to see some recipes with this fabulous, creamy deliciousness!

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

I have never heard of these before! But this post cracked me up! They look delicious.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Brown sugar meringue?! Oh my this sounds incredible! I have never heard of these before, but now I want them!

nicole p

I’m really glad I’m not the only one who is afraid of birds. they’re seriously one of the worst animals in the world. i think we should just come up with another name for htese bars all together

Carlas Confections

The name doesnt sound fantastic but they sure do look great 🙂


These actually look amazing, despite the name. I think the coolest thing is just digging through old recipe boxes, particularly family recipe boxes! My mom is set to inherit my grandfather’s old recipe box, which is filled with tons of recipes passed down from his family, as well. I think on my next visit to see him, I’ll have to dig through and see what treasures I find!


I am totally he same way about birds! They terrify me.

Those look soooo yummy though. Will definitely be trying them!

Wendy aka Roo

These look yummers!!! My son would love them, but he’s away at school, do these have to be refrigerated? Would love to send him some!
Thanks for the recipe..btw new to your blog & I love it!

Cookie Sleuth

These look fantastic!


Mudhens is the name of the minor league baseball team in Toledo, Ohio. I know a lot of my friends and family would love to eat these!


My kids were off school today so I made these bars for them. Very good and they were a hit with all of us. Thank you for the yummy, new recipe!! Loved the topping.

Natalie @ Free Range Human

Wow! Do you ever stop coming up with great ideas? Yum!

Caroline @ chocolate & carrots

That’s so funny! Such an awful name for such a delicious dessert. They look fantastic!


These look seriously addicting.

Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings

i think i would eat the whole tray!


Here in Toledo we know exactly what a Mud Hen is! Our minor league baseball team is the Mud Hens 🙂

Annie @ Annie

I will gladly make these under the condition that we all agree to not call them Mud Hens. It’s just plain odd but that meringue may be worth it.