Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Studded with dark and bittersweet chocolate chips, these light and fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the perfect chewy consistency and so easy to eat. Inspired by a birthday cookie cake, these easy chocolate chip bar cookies are perfect for sharing. Makes 24 bar cookies.

Bar cookie lover? Don’t miss out on these Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars, Boozy Bacon Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars and Orange Cranberry Bars!

Cookie bars lean up against the side of a milk glass

For our older daughter’s first birthday, my husband insisted on a cookie cake, even though I was already baking strawberry cupcakes.

And so we did. When our daughter bit into one of the little cookie bar squares, her eyes lit up.

And these cookie bars right here? We’ve been making ‘em ever since.

Why I love this recipe:

Other than the sentimental value these Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies have, they’re an excellent treat.

The interior of the bars is gooey (when warm) with a slightly chewy exterior. The chocolate chips add nice pops of sweetness with a hint of bitterness from the dark chocolate.

The combination is just lovely. And these bars make for an easy homemade treat to serve for various occasions. So whether you’re hosting a birthday party, attending a backyard barbecue or visiting friends for a play date, I encourage you to bake these!

The beauty in these bars is that you don’t have to chill the dough. Also, you can mix them, bake them and get them out of the oven in less than an hour, which is a massive WIN!

More celebratory dessert recipes: Funfetti Ice Cream SandwichesChocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling and Raspberry Buttercream FrostingAll-Butter Tea Cake CookiesFunfetti Sugar Cookie Bars

Need some dessert inspiration? Head on over to my Dessert Recipe Index for more ideas.

Ingredients to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are laid out on a grey backdrop

What you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Stand mixer (or a hand mixer and mixing bowl)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 9” x 13” baking pan
  • Offset spatula

In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients, too.

Please be sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the exact amounts!

  • Unsalted butter—this needs to be at room temperature so we can easily cream it with the sugars. There is no substitute.
  • Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar, this gives our bars a lovely sweetness.
  • Brown sugar—you may use light brown or dark brown sugar here. The dark brown sugar will give more molasses flavors than the lighter one, but both work.
  • Eggs—these provide structure, as well as some leavening for our cookie bars.
  • Pure vanilla extract—we use a lot of it, but trust me on this. It adds such loveliness to the batter and final cookie bars.
  • All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour at our house, but you can use whatever you’ve got at your house. I have not tried to make this recipe with a gluten free substitute flour, so I do not recommend doing that.
  • Kosher salt—I like to use a fine grain kosher salt for this recipe. Fine grain sea salt would also be OK.
  • Baking soda—this is our leavening agent, and it helps these bars rise a little! Please do not replace it with baking powder. That will make for a fluffier end product, which is not what we are going for.
  • Chocolate chips—we are using a combination of bittersweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips here. If you don’t like these two, consider using semi sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips. Please note that if you use these, your final bars will be a little sweeter.

Prepare. Spritz a 9″ x 13″ pan with nonstick baking spray. (You can also line with a little parchment to create a sling.) Remove the butter and eggs from the fridge so they can come to room temperature. Preheat oven, too.

Cream the butter and sugars. Measure the softened butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar into the base of a stand mixer. (This can also be done in a large bowl with a hand mixer.) Use the flat beater attachment to cream these together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Did you know? Creaming the sugar and butter makes a fluffy, light cookie bar. The process adds air the batter, creating air pockets so the dough can rise more when it bakes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. Don’t forget scrape down the sides again to ensure all the ingredients actually mix in.

Measure in the dry ingredients. Gently scoop the flour, salt and soda into the mixing bowl. If you’re baking with kids, this part is a blast and also a little messy.

Pro tip: Turn on the mixer at a low speed at first so you don’t get covered in flour.

Next, add chocolate chips. Mix until combined!

A girl presses cookie bar batter into a baking dish before baking

Make the cookie bars. Dollop the batter into the prepared pan, and spread using your hands or an offset spatula.

You can spray your hands or a spatula with nonstick baking spray to ensure the batter doesn’t stick.

Once the dough is spread into the pan, pop it in the oven and bake until golden brown and delicious.

A pan of Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars cools on a countertop

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

These Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies are just the best kind of dessert for entertaining because they’re simple to put together, utterly delicious and feed a crowd.

Here’s how I suggest making it easy on yourself for entertaining:

  • Make them early. Simply follow the instructions in the recipe card below, then allow them a few hours to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap, or slice, transfer to a plate, then cover, and you’re good to go!
  • Half or double the recipe. Depending on the size of your gathering, you can cut this recipe in half easily OR make a double batch for a big crowd!
  • Involve the kids. If you’ve got kids who like to help in the kitchen, this recipe is excellent! They can help measure, mix and spread the batter before the bars bakes.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars cool on a wire cooling rack

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a bar cookie?

A bar cookie is a cookie that’s baked into bar form instead of individual morsels. It’s denser than a cake and a similar consistency to a cookie.

Help! I don’t have a 9” x 13” pan. What can I use instead?

A jelly roll pan would work perfectly because it has a rim and is roughly the same size.

Do I have to chill the batter?

No. We don’t have to worry if the batter spreads because it’s baking in a pan, so it doesn’t need to chill.

Cookie bars are stacked in front of a bag of Dixie Crystals sugar
  • Make them dairy free. Substitute equal parts coconut oil and applesauce for the butter. This will make for a softer cookie bar, but they’re still delicious. We’ve made them this way tons of times.
  • How to store: Store on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap or covered in the original baking dish for 3-5 days. (They never last that long in our house, though!)
  • How to freeze: Transfer the baked cookie bars to a wax or parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer, and freeze for 4-5 hours, or until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and keep for 3 months in the freezer. Reheat in the toaster oven, or let come to room temperature on the countertop before enjoying.
  • Switch out the chocolate. If you don’t like darker chocolate, use milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips instead. Those will make these cookie bars sweeter, so aim to use about a cup.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars lean against a glass of milk with Pinterest text
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars cool on a wire cooling rack
Yield: 24 cookie bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Studded with dark and bittersweet chocolate chips, these light and fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the perfect chewy consistency and so easy to eat. Inspired by a birthday cookie cake, these easy chocolate chip bar cookies are perfect for sharing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9”x13” baking pan with nonstick baking spray, and set aside.
  2. In a the bowl of a stand mixer using the flat beater attachment, whip the softened butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until the butter is light yellow and the sugars are well incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined. Scrape down the sides using the rubber spatula, ensuring all ingredients are getting mixed.
  4. Measure the flour, salt and soda into the mixing bowl before turning on the mixer at a low speed. Continue mixing until the batter has come together and is nice and sticky.
  5. Measure in the bittersweet chocolate chips, and gently fold them into the batter using the flat beater attachment.
  6. Scoop the cookie dough out of the bowl and into the prepared baking pan. Use your hands to press the batter out evenly throughout the pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  8. Let cool completely on a wire cooling rack before cutting into 24 cookie squares.
  9. Enjoy with a glass of your favorite kind of milk!

Notes

Recipe adapted from my Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Thanks, Ms. Chris!)

Can they be made dairy free? YES! Make dairy free chocolate chip cookie bars by substituting equal parts coconut oil and applesauce for the butter. This will make for a softer cookie bar, but they’re still delicious.

Substitutions: If you don’t like bittersweet or dark chocolate chips, feel free to use milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips instead. Keep in mind that those will make these bars a little sweeter, so maybe aim for using 1 cup instead of 1 ¼ cups of chocolate chips.  

Storage: Store the cookie bars on a plate with plastic wrap over it or in their original baking dish, covered, for a few days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 cookie bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 3g

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6 Comments

  1. Chocolate chip cookie bars are my all time favorite, although I just do the Tollhouse recipe, which is pretty similar. I’ll have to try this one!

    1. This makes me so happy to hear, Emily! They’re one of our favorites, too, and these ones are out of this world. I hope you like ’em as much as we do!

  2. My husband loves cookie cake, so I’m thrilled there’s a little more grown up version here! The ones you can get at the store are so sickly sweet, but using dark chocolate chunks in these was exactly the right choice. I was surprised at how much vanilla was used, but that was spot on as well! Great recipe, Erin!

    1. Lauren, this makes me SO HAPPY to hear! My husband (obviously) is into cookie cake, too, and I felt the same way about the sickly sweet ones from the store. I’m so glad that you liked the use of dark chocolate chunks to make them less sweet. Isn’t the vanilla thing funny? It felt excessive to me as I was working on this recipe, too, but it works out nicely. 🙂 Y’all enjoy that homemade cookie cake–I hope your husband loves it, too! And thank you so much for leaving this sweet comment. You brightened my day!

  3. I made these last night- they’re the first thing I baked in my new apartment! Super easy recipe and sooooo delicious! I used the bittersweet and dark chocolate too and they were perfect.

    1. Can I tell you how happy this makes me, Raychel? I’m thrilled that these were your first baked good of the new apartment and that they turned out well!

      I’m a huge fan of the bittersweet and dark chocolate combo, so I’m glad you dug it, too. Here’s to lots of delicious baked goods in the new place!

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