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The Speckled Palate
March 27, 2019

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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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 consistency and so easy to eat. Inspired by a birthday cookie cake, these easy cookie bars are perfect for a party or any type of gathering. Makes 24 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 for her, even though I was already baking cupcakes.

“We need to have it.”

And so we did… and when our daughter bit into one of the little cookie bar squares on her first birthday, her eyes lit up. (Or so I’m told—I wasn’t around for her first bite of sugary goodness.)

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

More celebratory dessert recipes: Funfetti Ice Cream SandwichesChocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling and Raspberry Buttercream FrostingAll-Butter Tea Cake CookiesChocolate Banana “Ice Cream”

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

What you’ll need to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • Stand mixer (or a hand mixer and mixing bowl)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 9”x13” baking pan
  • Your favorite kind of chocolate chips (I’m partial to bittersweet and dark chocolate chips, but you could definitely use milk or semisweet ones, too!)

Sugar is poured into a mixing bowl to make the cookie batter

How to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Cream the butter and sugars together.

Start off by measuring in the softened butter, Dixie Crystals granulated sugar and brown sugar into the base of your stand mixer. (This can also be done in a big bowl and with a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.) Use the flat beater attachment to cream these ingredients together until light and fluffy.

This step is hugely important because creaming the sugar and butter makes for a fluffy, light cookie bar. Essentially, the creaming process adds air the batter, creating air pockets so the dough can rise even more when it gets into the oven.

It’s the same principal as whipping cream for whipped cream and the air added to that making the whipped cream light and fluffy and delightful, instead of sitting dense, or worse, oily, on your tongue.)

Vanilla is poured into the cookie bar batter

Add the egg and vanilla into the batter, too.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula before adding these beauties to the mix.

Once they’re in the bowl, beat them until combined, and scrape down the sides again to ensure all the ingredients are actually mixing into the batter.

A girl watches cookie batter mix in a stand mixer

The wet ingredients for Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are blended together before the dry ingredients are added

Measure in the dry ingredients, and mix until combined.

Gently scoop the flour, salt and soda into the mixing bowl. You could do half of this, mix it together, then add the other half, but I like to let my stand mixer do the heavy lifting for me. Also, this part is super fun for my daughter.

Be sure to turn on the stand mixer at a super low speed at first so you don’t get covered in flour. Been there, done that, won’t make that mistake again. 😉

And once the flour has been added, throw in the chocolate chips, too!

A girl watches Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar batter mix in a stand mixer

Press the cookie bar dough into a prepared baking sheet, and bake.

Unlike cookies, you won’t let the cookie bar dough chill in the fridge because we don’t have to worry if the batter spreads.

Instead, we’ll spray a 9”x13” baking pan with nonstick baking spray, then press the cookie dough into it with our hands. If you’re afraid that all the dough will stick to your hands, don’t. (If you worry about this, spray your hands with nonstick baking spray before pressing the bars into shape.)

Once the dough is spread into the pan, pop it in the oven and bake.

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

FAQs for making the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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.

Once the cookie bars bake in their pan, let them cool. Once cooled, slice into square or rectangular pieces for eating.

A pan of Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars cools on a countertop

Can you make these in advance?

Yes! We’ve made these beauts every year for our older daughter’s birthday party, and I make them 1-2 days in advance.

Follow the instructions laid out 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 with plastic wrap, and you’re good to go!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars cool on a wire cooling rack

Help! I don’t have a 9”x13” baking pan. Can I use a jelly roll pan instead?

Absolutely! A jelly roll pan would work perfectly for these. Just be sure it’s sprayed well with the nonstick baking spray before baking.

Cookie bars are stacked in front of a bag of Dixie Crystals sugar

Quick tips for making Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • Make them dairy free 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. We’ve made them this way tons of times.
  • Store the cookie bars on a plate with plastic wrap over it or in their original baking dish, covered, for a few days. (They never last that long in our house, though!)
  • If you don’t like bittersweet or dark chocolate chips, use milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips instead. Those will make these chocolate chip cookie bars sweeter, so aim to use about a cup.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars lean against a glass of milk with Pinterest text

 

Wednesday #SpringSweetsWeek Recipes

Cookie bars cool on a wire rack with Pinterest text

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Yield: 24 cookie bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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

No matter the day or the event, Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars make the perfect sweet treat for any type of gathering! Studded with dark and bittersweet chocolate chips, these light and fluffy cookie bars are a soft, perfect consistency. Inspired by the classic birthday cookie cakes of our childhood, these easy cookie bars are credited to my husband because he insisted we have them for our daughter's first birthday party.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals 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 All-American 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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 cookie bar

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 221 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 36mg Sodium: 157mg Carbohydrates: 25g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 13g Protein: 3g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

6 Comments

  1. Emily

    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!

    • Erin

      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. Lauren

    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!

    • Erin

      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. Raychel

    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.

    • Erin

      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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