Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halfway Bars + Riding in Elevators

I spend a lot of time riding in elevators. Not because I'm some sort of elevator enthusiast, more so because I live on the 7th floor of my dorm and I'm not dedicated enough to go up all those stairs. What's so fascinating about these somewhat claustrophobic spaces? Why are there lists and lists of weird things to do in elevators?

You meet a lot of characters in the elevator. As I rode up to my room last weekend after hanging out with friends, I was accompanied by a very happy looking girl and her male companion.
      "Can you just hit seve-oh. Okay," I stammered as the girl leaned against the wall and pushed all the buttons.
     "Really sorry," the guy apologized as he reprimanded the girl, the way a parent would to a small child. After a moment of painful silence, he spoke again.
     "Hey, do you know there are ghosts on this campus?" he said mischievously. The tipsy girl stared at him in shock and began to wail.
     "Why would you SAY that? Oh my gosh, I'm SO afraid of ghosts!" We spent the rest of the mercifully short ride in silence, the girl crouched in the corner behind the guy.

I'm so glad I was carrying a plate of cookie remains. It gave me something to busy my hands with so I wouldn't have to wring them in anguish, hoping the girl wouldn't puke or pass out. In my humble opinion, baking is a far superior alternative to partying. And these halfway bars were excellent. A shortbread crust is topped with chocolate chips and brown sugar meringue. Yay for textures and toasty marshmallow! Have a safe Halloween all you crazy college kids.

Halfway Bars

adapted slightly from Cast Sugar 

2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar, separated
2 eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. water
7oz. milk or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks/bits

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, salt, soda, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, beaten egg yolks, water, and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Spread in greased oblong pan, and sprinkle chocolate bits on top of this mixture.

Beat egg whites and mix with 1 cup brown sugar, to soft peak stage. Spread thinly on top of chocolate bits and cover completely with waxed paper, having it touch the egg-white mixture. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares when cooled

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