Chocolate chip cookie bars are the perfect dessert. This easy one bowl bar cookie recipe bakes up thicker and more decadent than your favorite chocolate chip cookie ~ no chilling or scooping necessary!
chocolate chip cookie bars give you more of what you love!
Everyone has their trigger dessert (the one they can’t resist, that drives them mad,) and this is mine. But it’s one of those treats you never see in bakeries or restaurants…you have to make them at home. That’s fine with me because this is the perfect chocolate chip cookie bar recipe, and it’s a cinch to make. Think of it as the best chocolate chip cookie, but double thick and double delish.
These chocolate chip cookie bars win dessert it’s that simple.
Why bake perfectly good chocolate chip cookies into bars, you ask?
I think the bar format doubles down on what’s great about a chocolate chip cookie and makes it so much better. Here’s my thought process:
Chocolate chip cookies are best when slightly crisp on the outside, meltingly soft and chewy inside. The depth of the cookie bar accentuates this. Plus, when you eat a cookie you always want another, am I right? With a bar you get that little bit extra you want (need) without the nagging guilt of a second helping.
Cookie bars are easier to make than cookies, all the dough goes into one pan, no scooping, rolling, etc.
They’re everything you love about brownies and blondies but…chocolate chip cookie. Perfect.
ingredients and substitutions
This chocolate chip bar cookie recipe is very close to a chocolate chip cookie, but better!
- butter, unsalted ~ we’ll add the salt separately. If you want to use salted butter, just leave out the extra salt.
- brown sugar + granulated sugar ~ the brown sugar gives that classic butterscotch-y flavor we all love in a chocolate chip cookie.
- egg ~ just one, we don’t want these to be too cakey.
- all purpose flour ~ you can experiment with using part whole wheat, oat, or buckwheat flour (try substituting half the amount.) A good gluten free baking mix will work, too.
- salt and baking soda
- chocolate chips ~ any kind you love. You can chop up any bar chocolate into chunks, as well, or use M&Ms instead of chips. If you’d like to add nuts, add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
what makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie bar?
We all know the basic ingredients of a chocolate chip cookie ~ butter, brown and white sugar, egg, flour, chocolate chips, a little salt, baking soda, and vanilla. We also know that slight variations in the proportions can result in some pretty different cookies. Some are soft and cakey, some thin and crispy, etc. When it comes to cookie bars, I want them to be slightly crisp outside, very moist and plush, inside. I don’t want them greasy, and I definitely don’t want them dry and crusty.
- Room temperature ingredients make a quick uniform dough.
- Line your pan with parchment paper. It not only helps lift the cookie bars out for slicing, but it helps buffer them from the heat of the pan, resulting in a softer edges.
- It’a a one bowl recipe, which makes this so convenient and easy.
- 325F is the perfect temperature for baking so the edges don’t get hard and crunchy before the center is done.
make ahead cookie bars
Make the dough up to a few days ahead, spread into your pan, and refrigerate. Bake when you want to!
storage and freezing
Once they are completely cool, you can store the cookie bars on the counter, covered in foil. I always recommend that you not slice desserts until ready to serve so they do not dry out. They will last for several days.
For longer storage, freeze them. Wrap in plastic, then again in foil and use them within 3 months.
double the recipe!
Double the ingredients and bake chocolate chip bar cookies in a 9×13 pan, allowing a little more time to bake.
more chocolate chips because we love ’em
- Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Muffins
- Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scone Recipe
- DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe ~ the secret’s out!
- Mint Chocolate Chip Sheet Cake
- Double Dark Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour Note: for best results measure your flour by first fluffling it up, then scoop, and level off the cup with the edge of a knife.
- 1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spray and line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper with long ends so that you can lift the bars out for easy slicing after baking.
- Cream the soft butter with the brown and white sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Beat in the baking soda and salt, then fold in the flour until no dry streaks remain. Don't over-mix your dough at this point. When the flour is almost completely folded in, add the chocolate chips and finish folding until everything is well combined.
- Drop the dough by spoonfuls across the bottom of your prepared pan and spread it out evenly. I like to use my hands (flour them if too sticky) and an offset spatula to get it smooth and even.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until starting to wrinkle and turn golden around the edges. The center will still look a bit soft.
- Let the bars cool before lifting them out using the parchment paper sling. Cut them into 12-16 bars.