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December 16, 2021

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Baked in an 8x8 pan and finished with flaky sea salt, these 10-ingredient chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are an easy homemade dessert.

Baked in an 8×8 pan, these 10-ingredient chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are an easy homemade dessert. They’re finished with flaky sea salt for flavor and to make them look a bit fancy.  

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This recipe is legendary in my family. Credit goes to my Grandma Sylvia who actually wasn’t much of a cook. My grandfather spent more time in the kitchen, but she always baked these bar cookies.

My mom and my brother bake them just like my grandma, but over the years I’ve done some experimenting and made some updates. And yes, one of them includes a sprinkle of sea salt right when I take the pan out of the oven. I have a feeling Grandma would approve.

Bar Cookies Are The Best. Period.

Don’t get me wrong. I like baking individual cookies. However, making a single large cookie in a pan and then cutting it into squares is such a timesaver.

If you are making cookie dough that needs to be portioned out, it’s a good idea to chill the dough. No chilling is necessary when you spread all the dough in a pan.

Also, bar cookies are a great opportunity to be spontaneous and add mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, candy or pretzels.

Ingredients including butter, flour, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, egg and sugar

Ingredients & Substitutions

This is what you need for the recipe:

  • Butter: Take the unsalted butter out of the fridge, so it has time to soften at room temperature. Then it will cream well with the sugars.
  • Sugar:  Half the sugar in the recipe is granulated sugar, which when creamed with the butter is there for sweetness and to aid in rising. Or puffing up might be a better way to describe it for cookies.
  • Brown sugar: The rest of the sugar is brown sugar. My preference is light brown sugar. Instead of light, you can use dark. Because of the higher molasses content, the cookies will turn out darker and have a deeper, more caramel-like flavor if you use dark brown sugar.
  • Egg: You just need one large egg.
  • Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract is always better than any imitation version. You can really taste the buttery, vanilla flavors in these bars.
  • Flour: The recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
  • Baking powder helps the dough rise in the pan with the final result being chewy bar cookies.
  • Salt: No matter savory or sweet, salt works its magic bringing out the overall flavors. The recipe has a half-teaspoon of kosher salt.
  • Chocolate chips: Semi-sweet chocolate chips are my go-to for most chocolate chip cookies. But if you have dark or milk chocolate chips in your pantry, you can use them or even a mix of chip types.
  • Flaky sea salt adds a touch of crunch. And more importantly it balances out the sweetness of the cookies.
How to make the dough for chocolate chip cookie bars
Dough in the pan and baked bars in a pan

How To Make These Easy Bar Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper. This will make it easy to lift the whole cookie out of the pan to cut once it’s baked.
  3. Cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat them together until they are pale and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes.
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until the wet ingredients are all fully combined.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients in a small bowl, including the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
  7. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
  8. Spread the dough into the prepared baking pan.
  9. Top with the remaining chocolate chips. Scatter the chips over the dough. Then use your hands to press them in slightly.
  10. Bake the bars. After 28-30 minutes, they should be deep golden brown.
  11. Sprinkle the hot cookies with flaky sea salt right after you remove the pan from the oven.
  12. Let the cookies cool before cutting them into squares.

The Best Way To Cut Bar Cookies

Greasing the pan with butter and lining it parchment paper is the first step to making cutting easy.

Give the cookies time to cool, or things will get gooey and messy when you cut them. Remember you can always rewarm the squares in the oven for a few minutes if you want the chocolate to be kind of melted and glossy.

This is when I pull out one of my favorite kitchen tools, a metal ruler. It is a washable straight edge to guide your knife. I like to make tiny hash marks with my knife as I am measuring. While I can’t guarantee perfectly uniform squares, this will go a long way to making the task more achievable.

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

Storing & Freezing

Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days. You will find that they have tendency to dry out the less fresh they are. You can revive the bars in a 325-degree-F oven for 3-4 minutes. The warm chocolate helps.

To keep the bars up to a month, store them in the freezer. Thaw them on a plate at room temperature and warm in the oven as desired.

Serving the Cookies

There’s nothing wrong keeping things simple and devouring the bars on their own, maybe with a glass of milk.

If you like ice cream, they are great with a scoop of vanilla or salted caramel.

Chocolate chip bar cookies on a plate

More Bar Cookie Recipes

Salted Fudge Brownies
Candy Bar Blondies
Milk Chocolate Almond Brownies
Cinnamon Squares

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE STEP-BY-STEP WEB STORY INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS RECIPE!

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 38-40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 squares 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Baked in an 8×8 pan and finished with flaky sea salt, these 10-ingredient chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are an easy homemade dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (2 ounces) at room temperature plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in about 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top and gently press them down slightly.
  6. Bake for 28-30 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt immediately after removing the pan from the oven.
  8. Let the pan cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cookie. Use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan onto a cutting board. Then cut it into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days. You will find that they have tendency to dry out the less fresh they are. You can revive the bars in a 325-degree-F oven for 3-4 minutes. 

To keep the bars up to a month, store in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw them on a plate at room temperature and warm in the oven as desired.

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 38-40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 squares 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate chip cookie bars, cookie bars, chocolate chips bars

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