Half Batch Halfway Cookies Version 2 (More Butter)

Yesterday I wrote about an old recipe called “Halfway Cookies” and pointed out how recipes were similar, but had different amounts of butter in their crust. To see which version I liked best, I made two half batches. Yesterday I tried a recipe from Apartment Therapy’s “Kitchn”, then today I tried a recipe that was very similar in proportion but had twice the butter in the crust.

Today’s cookies had the same great contrast of textures – heavy cookie base, rich & chocolaty center & light and flaky brown sugar topping. The extra butter did make the base slightly more dense and crumbly and it added a lot of butter flavor. If I did a blind taste test on someone, I’m fairly certain they’d pick the higher butter version, but both versions are really good.

Below is how I made the cookies today and the recipe is designed for an 8 inch square pan. For a 13×9 inch version, just double everything, use a 13×9 inch metal pan and increase the cook-time to 30 minutes.

Halfway Cookies

Half Batch Halfway Cookies Version 2 (More Butter)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Halfway cookies are bar cookies topped with a brown sugar meringue. This version is baked in an 8 inch square pan. For a larger batch, double ingredients and use a 9x13 inch pan.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon of water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour ( 4.5 oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 scant teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter or margarine)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla (optional, but I left it out today)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch pan metal pan with nonstick foil.
  2. Cream butter and both sugars with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla and water; mix well.
  3. Combine the next four ingredients (flour, soda, powder and salt); gradually add to creamed mixture. Spread in pan. If you’re having problems with this, wet your fingers with cold water. Sprinkle dought with chips and pat them lightly into the dough.
  4. Prepare topping: Beat egg white in a mixing bowl just until stiff peaks begin to form. Gradually add brown sugar, beating onuntil well mixed. Beat in vanilla if using. Spread evenly over chips. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.
  5. Note: These are much easier to slice if you wait for them to cool completely.

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  1. Karen says

    I’m dying to try these – how does the meringue hold up? Why do you need to keep them in the refrigerator? I would imagine the chocolate would get too hard and the meringue might soften. I have never had these so I can’t really imagine what they are like and I am very curious because they look so good!

  2. says

    Oh such a bad idea reading your delicious blog at night…now all we want to do is whip up these cookies so we can taste that sugary, crunchy crust…saving this recipe for sometime VERY soon!

  3. Tina from PA says

    I gonna jump on the “I’ve never heard of these ” band wagon. But boy do they sound good! I’m all for the more butter recipe !Going to try to fit in making them today. Thanks for sharing !!

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