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Half Ways

Half Ways

Half Ways

0 from 0 votes
Half Ways
4.4 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.4/5 (14)
Course: Bars, Grandma Evelyn’s RecipesDifficulty: Medium



A layered bar with a chewy shortbread base, chocolate center and meringue topping that is chewy in the middle but crunchy on top; a wonderful blending of flavors and textures. This is a vintage recipe from my grandmother’s hand-written recipe cards. Be sure to read the notes* at the end of the recipe!


  • 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, divided

  • 2 large eggs, separated

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix shortening, sugar, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, egg yolks (save the whites for later), baking soda, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder until it forms a stiff dough. Pat into the bottom of a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Spread chocolate chips over the dough. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add 1 cup of brown sugar and beat well. Spread over the chips. Bake 20 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.


  • * This was my grandmother’s recipe as written and it’s fantastic. However, a few tips:
    ●  Line your baking pan with parchment paper with two ends hanging over the side so you can pull up and remove the entire thing from the pan; this will make the bars easier to cut. Do this when it’s thoroughly cooled.
    ●  You can use butter instead of shortening.
    ●  Personally, I would add a third egg white to have a bit more meringue,
    ●  and if you love chocolate you could add even more chocolate chips.
    ● The meringue will be very thick and sticky, so just be aware of that as you are spreading it from edge to edge.
    ● Some people find these too sweet and reduce the amount of brown sugar in the meringue layer, and some people add nuts (pecans or walnuts) to cut the sweetness.
    ● Bake until the meringue starts to brown and pull away from the sides.
    ● Be aware that the top of the meringue layer will be crunchy and so you won’t get a clean cut.
    ● These do not taste quite as good the next day, the meringue starts to dry out and lose its chewiness, so they’re at their best eaten the same day.
  • Also known as Halfways, Half Way Bars.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

Super easy and yummy. Everyone liked it.
- M.C.

Easy and really good!
- A Baker

This was a family favorite for years, and the recipe was lost when my mother died. I was going through some old boxes during a move and found her handwritten copy that matches precisely this recipe. We always added walnuts to the top.
- Nancy in Ohio

It did not come out right at all. it tasted like crap and was hard as a rock. followed recipe 100%
- A Baker

Made this 2 days in a row for 2 different parties. The first night was for close family who were prepared to evaluate it. The pan was scarfed, but most thought it could use some saltiness so I added pecans for the 2nd day. Also, I got a more bittersweet chocolate for the 2nd batch. A nice unusual twist on chocolate chip cookies, delicious! Thanks to the commenter who said they don't keep - definitely these should be made to be eaten the same day.
- Susan in CA

The recipe was good, I received complements, but it was too sweet in my opinion. If I make it again, I will definitely cut down on the sugar. I recommend eating them the same day they are made as they don't keep as well as I had hoped.
- A Baker

Hubby gives these 5 stars and asked me never to make them again. He can't stop eating them and tries to watch his weight. The combo of the egg whites and brown sugar on the top makes a really yummy and sort of chewy topping.
- jackie in maine

I used margarine instead of shortening and whipped the eggs for about 5 minutes. These cookies will definitely be on my cookies platter this year!
- Chris in Washington

This was such a hit my very pregnant friend has asked me to make it again for her! In terms of the egg whites you have to make sure that the beaters and bowl are squeaky clean - the slightest hint of grease and the whites won't stiffen. Plus chilling them helps too. Love this website.
- Trashalou in England

delicious. great recipe. cheap, easy, taste great. experienced the same thing with the eggs not being stiff enough, though i mixed them up for a good minute or two. i d k. yummy!
- cassie in washington

This cookie was so easy to make and is so delicious and very inexpensive. I will make these every year as part of my christmas cookie menu. They melt in your mouth. My first batch I didn't whip the egg whites enough but they still came out really good. The only tip I have is to ensure those egg whites are stiff!
- KD in Cleveland, Ohio

This is a great recipe and easy to put together - even for the person who isn't too adventurous when it comes to trying new recipes. It's chewy texture and the fact that it has lots of chocolate chips makes it a winner in my book. I've shared them with friends and each one loved Half-Ways. I'm sending a copy of the recipe to my daughter who still asks for mom's recipes. Thanks for a great site. I'll be trying out more of your recipes.
- Myra Cowan in Sacramento, CA

Mine took more like 30 minutes to completely bake, and that's in a convection oven. They were much easier to cut after being cooled (I put the pan into the refrigerator for an hour or so). But very yummy, even after all that work!
- A Baker

They taste great and even greater when there still a little warm. YUMMM! They cut into bars better when totally cooled though. But if they're for just the family don't wait till cool.
- Paige Arlington VA
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