Chocolate chip cookie bars are easy to make from scratch in your own home. This recipe requires no chilling time and no mixer - they're ready in less than an hour! These bars turn out chewy and soft, and are filled with melty chocolate chips.
When you don't want to spend all day in the kitchen but need a crowd pleasing dessert, chocolate chip cookie bars are the perfect solution. These chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are ready in less than an hour and made with simple ingredients.
For this recipe, I've made a few adjustments to my standard chocolate chip cookie dough. The main differences? We're using melted butter (no need to cream ingredients together with a mixer), there's no chilling time, and we're using slightly less flour (to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients).
Chocolate chip cookie bars make the perfect dessert for just about any occasion. Summer picnics and potlucks, birthday parties, holidays - the opportunities are endless.
Ingredients and substitutions
Because baking is an exact science, I don't recommend many substitutions in my cookie recipes. Each ingredient is necessary to ensure your cookie bars turn out perfectly.
- Unsalted butter - Can be substituted with salted butter. Reduce the amount of salt listed by ½ teaspoon.
- Brown sugar - Adds a slightly molasses flavor to your cookies, as well as extra moisture and chewiness. Brown sugar is also slightly acidic, which reacts with the baking soda and helps your bars rise.
- Granulated sugar - Gives your cookies a crispy edge and attracts moisture, making your cookies moist. I do not recommend using sugar-free substitutes. Instead, search for a recipe made specifically for the sugar-free substitute you have on hand.
- Eggs - Bring eggs to room temperature quickly by placing in a bowl of warm water. They'll be ready in minutes. Adding cold eggs to room temperature batter causes the butter to solidify, creating chunks of cold butter throughout your batter. Room temperature eggs incorporate evenly into the batter.
- Vanilla extract - Adds vanilla flavor to your batter. Can be omitted without affecting the texture of your bars.
- All-purpose flour - I have not tested this recipe with other types of flour. Other flours (like almond flour or coconut flour) cannot simply be substituted at 1:1 ratio. If you would like to bake using other flours, I highly suggest searching for a recipe that has been written specifically for those ingredients.
- Baking soda - Do not substitute with baking powder - these two ingredients are different and cannot be substituted for one another.
- Salt - Salt enhances the flavor of your other ingredients and cuts the sweetness of your cookie bars. Not enough salt is added to make your cookies "salty". If using salted butter, reduce the amount of salt listed by ½ teaspoon.
- Chocolate chips - I recommend semi-sweet chocolate chips because they don't add too much sweetness to your cookie bars. These can be substituted with any flavor baking chips (like white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips).
For this recipe, you'll need a 9x13 inch baking pan. I recommend lining your pan with parchment paper. Your bars can easily be lifted from the pan using the parchment paper once they're done baking.
This recipe can also be made in a square 8x8 or 9x9 pan for extra thick cookie bars. Baking time will increase slightly.
Can I make cookies instead?
In short - no. This recipe will not bake into individual cookies. This recipe has more of a batter consistency (like thick brownie batter) rather than cookie dough, which is too thin to form individual cookies.
I created these bars by adjusting several parts of my chewy chocolate chip cookies recipe:
- Melted butter instead of softened butter - Stirred in with a spoon (rather than a mixer), making this recipe easy and quick. Melted butter makes your dough spread more, which doesn't matter since we're baking in a 9x13 pan.
- Reduced flour - Adding less flour enhances the flavors of the other ingredients (like sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, and chocolate). More flour adds stability, which is not as important when baking in a 9x13 pan.
- No chilling time - Chilling cookie dough before baking helps thicken the dough, making it spread less in the oven. We don't need to worry about cookies spreading in a 9x13 pan.
Tips and tricks
- Sift or whisk your dry ingredients together. This removes clumps and helps make a smooth, even batter.
- Properly measure your flour. Too much flour can cause your bars to turn out thick and dry. Either use a kitchen scale to weigh your flour (this is what I do and recommend), or spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level off with a knife. Scooping with the measuring cup directly from a bin of flour compacts it into the cup, adding up to 25% extra flour to the recipe.
- Do not substitute ingredients. The fats and sugars (butter, sugars, and eggs) all help keep your bars moist and chewy. Substituting these ingredients can change the texture and moisture of your cookie bars.
- Line your pan with parchment paper. This makes your bars much easier to remove from the pan after baking, and makes cleanup a breeze.
- Test for doneness using a toothpick in the center of your bars. The toothpick should come out clean or with a few crumbs. Under-baking will give your bars a gooey texture in the middle (if you're into that), and sink slightly in the center once cooled.
- Allow your bars to cool before serving - slicing while hot releases steam from your bars and makes them dry.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Stir to combine. Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into 9x13 pan and use a spoon to spread evenly to the edges.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until evenly browned across the top and set in the center. Use a toothpick in the center to check for doneness. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving.
- Cookie bars will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container. To help keep bars fresh, place a slice of bread in the container with the bars. Replace the bread slice as needed.
- Cookie bars freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag.
- Optionally, add a cup of chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans, to the dough with your chocolate chips.
- This batter is too thin to make into individual cookies, and is written only to make bars. To make cookies instead, try my recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies