Walnut Meringue Bars

This recipe is just plain yummy. Dan and I have torn through it and it’s all gone just a few days after baking. Something that rarely happens. When there’s just the two of us, sometimes my baked goods languish a bit. It’s hard when you love to bake with a very small family.

I’m trying hard to cook from my vintage cookbook stash. We had two snow days in a row, and I worked from home, so I whipped these up. Sadly, the little spiral bound cookbook this comes from with the very catchy title, Harried Housewives Appetite Aids is undated. It’s one of those community fundraising cookbooks that are found lost in the stacks of antique stores. I must have bought this one close to our home in New Hampshire. We worked in Wolfeboro and our doctors were all at Huggins Hospital so the fact that this was a fundraiser for our hospital is fun.

The book is according to the inside cover “A compilation of excellent and easy recipes from the members of Huggins Hospital Aid Association, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire to benefit the Hospital.”  I don’t recognize the women’s names, but a little bit of googling showed that one died in 1972. My guess is that this is very late 1960s or very early 1970s era.

The Walnut Meringue Bars I made were from Hildur Johnson Knowlton who died in Wolfeboro in 1994. From a quick ancestry search I find that Hildur moved to Wolfeboro with her husband Frank probably like so many to retire.  They married in 1928 in Portland, Maine and had at least one child, Natalie.

Here’s her recipe:

Base:

  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick softened)
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs (separated)
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy

Add salt and vanilla and mix

Beat in two egg yolks

Sift together the flour and baking powder

Stir this into the creamed mixture

Spread this evenly in an 8″ x 12″ buttered shallow pan (this may be a typo as there was no way this amount of dough could be spread in this size pan. I then opted for a square 8 x 8 pan. As a result I had to cook this longer than she suggested)

Ummmm-I don't think so

Meringue topping:

Beat the two egg whites until stiff

Beat in 1 c. of light brown sugar

Fold in 1 c. chopped walnuts and 1 tsp. vanilla

Spread this over the base mixture

Bake in a 300 degree oven for 35 minutes (mine was in for about 55 minutes trying to get the base to cook through)

Cool before cutting into squares.

The flavors and textures of this bar are wonderful. The base is a gooey cookie dough while the meringue topping gives it a delightful crunch. It’s an excellent recipe. Thank you Hildur!

One Response to “Walnut Meringue Bars”

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  1. Beverly Duell-Moore says:

    These sound yummy! The ingredients and the way you add them sound like something I’ve had before. But, it’s been many years ago.

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