Chocolate Chip Bars

1-1/4 cup creamy butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking soda
One 12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate morsels
4 eggs, separated
2 tbs tap water
2 cups chopped pecans
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed (for meringue)

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter with 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup dark brown sugar until thoroughly mixed. Add egg yolks and water, mixing well. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together, except for brown sugar for meringue. Stir into creamed mixture. Press mixture into a large, 11x15 inch greased baking pan with high sides. Sprinkle top with chocolate morsels and chopped pecans.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir in 2 cups of brown sugar for meringue, gradually. Spread this meringue lightly over chocolate chips and pecans, sealing it to the sides of the baking pan. This must be done with a wet spoon or, more easily, with clean, wet hands. Go slowly!

Bake at 350F for about 1 hour or until the meringue is lightly browned. Cool completely and cut into 2 inch bars. Refrigerate in an airtight container to retain freshness.

Yields: Approximately 2 dozen large bars.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana