Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are baked in a pan and create a deliciously soft and buttery chocolate chip cookie that requires no extra dough rolling work. Just spread the dough and bake!
I know I’ve mentioned it here before that my husband is a BIG cookie fan — especially chocolate chip cookies! If you are unfamiliar with that fact, now you know why I have so many delicious cookie recipes on my blog. We just can’t get enough of them!
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick cookie recipe. Sometimes we want a cookie that delivers those favorite chocolate chip cookie flavors my husband and kids like (me too, obviously) but without worrying about chilling the dough and rolling them into cookie dough balls. The answer? Cookie bars!
- Chewy chocolate chip cookie bars. I love this recipe because the melted butter used (instead of softened butter in normal chocolate chip cookies) creates a chewier, more brownie-like treat and it’s AMAZING!
- Soft texture. If you are a fan of cookie insides, you’ll love these chocolate chip cookie bars! Other than the edges of the pan (grab those if you are a crisp cookie edge person), these cookie bars are basically like the soft, chewy insides of cookies!
- Butter: Melted and slightly cooled. Using melted butter helps make these a lot chewier and more brownie/bar-like than cookie-like.
- Baking Soda: This is the leavening agent that will give a little bit of rise to the bars.
- Brown Sugar: I usually use light brown sugar, but you can use dark, too. Adding brown sugar to the cookie dough helps create a denser texture due to the liquid (molasses) in the sugar.
- Granulated Sugar: Ever wonder why we use brown sugar and granulated sugar in cookies? I did too! So, I did some research and found this great picture on BuzzFeed of what cookies look like with different ratios of sugar.
- Egg + Egg Yolk: Eggs are a binding and rising agent in baking. Adding the extra yolk is what will give these bars a thicker and softer texture.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
- Whisk the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. After a few stirs, (there should be lots of flour still visible), add the chocolate chips. Fold the chocolate chips until combined. Don’t over mix!
- Place in pan & bake. Press the batter into a 9×13-inch pan lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 325°F for 24-26 minutes or until the bars are lightly golden brown on the edges, slightly firm to the touch, and the edges are slightly pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Cool then cut. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Remove the bars using the overhanging foil. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares.
To personalize these cookie bars to your liking, you can use chocolate chunks, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips or even add 1 cup of nuts or raisins to the dough.
To ensure a moist, soft, and tender cookie bar, be sure not to over bake. The cookie bars will look slightly pale in color with just the slightest hint of golden brown on the edges.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
You can make these cookie bars ahead of time if you’d like! If you do, chill the dough in the pan in the fridge and remove from the fridge when ready to bake. Following the baking instructions and bake chilled.
Store the cookie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the fridge for 5-6 days.
To freeze the chocolate chip cookie bars, either freeze in the pan, not cut into squares, or freeze the squares individually. If freezing the baked cookie bars in the pan, double wrap the pan in plastic wrap and freeze. If freezing for longer than 1 week, add an extra layer of aluminum foil. The chocolate chip cookie bars should last in the freezer for 1-2 months.
To freeze individual cookie bar squares, wrap each square in plastic wrap twice and store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the freezer for 1-2 months.
Freeze the cookie dough in an airtight container (I would recommend just freezing the cookie dough in the prepared pan that way you can just take it out of the freezer and baked from frozen or let thaw and bake). The cookie bars cookie dough will last in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the fridge for 5-6 days.
Sure! You can either freeze the dough and then bake when you are ready, or you can freeze the cookie bars. Wrap the cookie bar squares individually in plastic wrap and then foil for best results. As a note, cookies are much better fresh, so if you’re interested in freezing, I’d recommend freezing the dough and then baking the dough into bars on the day you want them. Let the dough or bars thaw at room temperature before baking or eating.
The ingredients are the same, it’s the ratios that are different. There is a bit more butter in the bars — plus the butter in this recipe is melted, making a chewier, brownie-like texture. There is also a different ratio of sugars. There is more brown sugar and less granulated sugar in bars than in the cookies. And there is an extra egg yolk in the bars. These differences will create a more brownie-like version of chocolate chip cookies.
More Brownies and Bars Recipes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Adjust oven rack to middle lower position. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, letting some excess hang over the sides to make the bars easier to remove. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Using a rubber spatula, mix the dry ingredients in. After a few stirs, (there should be lots of flour still visible), add the chocolate chips. Fold the chocolate chips until combined. Don’t overmix!
- Press the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 23-26 minutes or until the bars are lightly golden brown on the edges, slightly firm to the touch, and the edges are slightly pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Remove the bars using the overhanging foil. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares.
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated.
This recipe was originally published on Dec. 23, 2020. It was republished on Dec. 22, 2021, to include additional information and photos.