Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are easy to make! Unlike chocolate chip cookies, these bars require no chilling. Just prepare the dough and bake it. Seriously some of the best cookie bars you’ll ever have!
Look at that bar!
It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty because those melting chocolate chips with just a hint of flaked sea salt is just about the best thing ever. When the craving strikes for homemade chocolate chip cookies, and you have got to have them RIGHT NOW, you need to make these easy chocolate chip cookie bars.
Chocolate chip cookie bars are the answer when you need something as satisfying as a cookie but in way less time than it would take to make a batch. These bars use melted butter so that you can go straight from the freezer to the microwave. And they take less time to mix than it does to preheat the oven. They’re dangerously straightforward. All you have to do is whip it all up in a bowl and bake them off until they’re soft and chewy.
If you’ve made my homemade chocolate chip cookies, you’re going to love these bars. Because:
- They require no chilling time.
- They’re even easier to make than the cookies (and those are EASY)
- You don’t need to make dough balls, just spread it in a baking dish and BAKE.
Ingredients for homemade chocolate chip cookie bars:
- Melted butter: melted butter allows you to make the best chocolate chip cookie bars! Once the butter is melted and cooled, we’ll combine it with the sugar and whisk. Whisking and allowing the sugar to dissolve into the butter helps create chewier cookie bars. All you need is a whisk for this recipe, no need for a stand mixer at all.
- Sugar: We’re using both brown and granulated sugar for these bars. The white sugar adds a hint of crispness to the out edges of the bars while the brown sugar gives the bars a butterscotch flavor. We’re using a higher ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar so that these bars are chewy.
- An Egg + yolk: Eggs add structure to baked goods. The additional yolk will help make these cookie bars more dense and chewy. Egg whites add a lot of moisture to a recipe, cutting back on one makes these cookie bars chewy and soft!
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla just adds to the butterscotch flavor of the chocolate chip cookie bars.
- Kosher salt: I not only use salted butter in this recipe, but I also add kosher salt to help flavor these cookies. If you generally prefer sweeter desserts, use unsalted butter to help the sugar stand out a bit more. If you only have unsalted and prefer the less sweet version, add just another tiny pinch of salt along with what the recipe already calls for.
- Baking powder: is the leavening agent used to help aid the cookies to rise. When the wet ingredients mix with the dry ingredients, a chemical reaction occurs in the dough which produces carbon dioxide gas. This helps add just a bit of lift to these cookie bars.
- All-purpose flour: the flour absorbs all the melted butter and gives these cookie bars that desired chewy texture. For best results, I suggest using unbleached all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- Chocolate chips: you can use just about any kind of chips you like this for this recipe. Bittersweet chocolate chips are what I find works best for our taste – we don’t like overly sweet desserts. But you could also use semisweet, milk chocolate, or even try something like butterscotch or cinnamon chip! We love using these chocolate chips!
What is the proper way to measure the flour?
The method I use when measuring flour for my chocolate chip cookie bars is the scoop and level method. I use a smaller scoop/measuring cup and add flour to a larger one until it’s heaping full. In this case, I’d use a ¼ cup measuring cup to add flour to a 1 cup scoop. Then, use a knife and run it across the top to level it out without adding pressure on the knife. This method works best when you’re baking cookies or cakes.
How many cups of chocolate chips will I need?
A chocolate chip ratio is so subjective! Some people like LOTS of chocolate chips while others prefer just a few. I tend to fall on the side that prefers less chips in their cookies or bars. So I suggest a range for this recipe. You can use anywhere from ¾ – 1 cup. I use about ½ cup in the cookie bar dough and save the last ¼ cup to sprinkle on top right before baking!
TIP: The general rule of thumb for chocolate chip cookies or bars is that you use a 1:1 ratio of chocolate chips to flour.
How to make the best chocolate chip cookie bars:
- Prep first. Position a rack near the center of the oven and preheat the oven before you do anything else. You’ll also want to line a square baking pan with parchment paper or you can use foil and just spray it generously with cooking spray. Make sure to leave a little bit of overhang so that you can easily remove the bars from the baking pan.
- Make the cookie bar dough: In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Whisk it and then set it aside for later. Grab a medium bowl and whisk together the melted butter and both the brown sugar and white sugar. When mixed, add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until the eggs are completely combined. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the dry ingredients until it’s halfway mixed. Add the chocolate chips and mix until *just* combined. Don’t overtax or you’ll end up with dry bars!
- Bake them. Transfer the cookie dough into the prepared baking dish – try not to eat the batter raw! I may or may not have tasted it this way. You can dot the dough with additional chocolate chips if you want it to look more appealing with melty chocolate when it’s hot out of the oven. Bake them or 25 minutes or until they’re golden. Bake slightly longer if you prefer them crisp and not chewy! Sprinkle them with a generous pinch of flaked sea salt if you prefer a sweet and salty bar. Allow the bars to cool for at least 1 hour before cutting. Then cut and serve with an ice cold glass of milk!
How to keep cookie bars fresh:
Add the bars to an air-tight container along with a slice of bread. The bread will help keep these bars moist for an extra day or two!
Can you freeze leftover cookie bars?
Yes, absolutely! I like to pop the bars into a freezer safe container once they’ve cooled to room temperature and freeze immediately. The sooner you can get them into the freezer, the more they’ll retain their freshness.
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled (see notes)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ - 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or semi-sweet if you prefer sweeter desserts)
- Maldon salt, optional
- PREP: Position a rack near the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper or with foil sprayed with cooking spray. Leave an overhang on the paper/foil so you can lift the bars easily and cut on a cutting board. Set aside.
- MIX: In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Whisk till combined and set aside for later. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Then add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and whisk until completely mixed. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the dry ingredients until about halfway combined. Then, add the chocolate chips and finish folding until *just* combined. Over mixing will cause the bars to come out dry!
- BAKE: Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish and smooth out with the spatula. You can dot with additional chocolate chips if you want. for Bake the bars for 25 minutes or until golden. Bake longer for more firm bars. Sprinkle with a pinch of Maldon salt for crunchy and salty notes, if you'd like. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before removing from the pan. Then, cut on a cutting board. Wipe blade between cuts for sharp edges.
- Both salted and unsalted butter works for this recipe. If you generally prefer your desserts on the sweeter side, I suggest using unsalted butter for this recipe. If you prefer less sweet desserts, use salted butter. If you have salted and you want them to still be sweeter, cut the kosher salt in the recipe down to just ¼ teaspoon.