Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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Finishing these chocolate chip cookie bars with flaky sea salt dresses them up, not that they need anything extra with all those chips. Embrace the convenience and ease of bar cookies! This recipe turns out thick and chewy with chocolate in every bite.

Chocolate chip bar cookies on a plate

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This is a 10-ingredient recipe that has all the usual cookie ingredients. I have a feeling you might already have some of these in your pantry and fridge. It’s important to have a go-to simple cookie recipe, right?

You can control the serving size. If you want to stretch a batch to feed a bigger group, then just cut them into smaller squares. This is the beauty of bar cookies. A metal ruler is one of my favorite kitchen tools for even cutting.

This is a cherished family recipe. These cookies were a specialty of my Grandma Sylvia. Over the years I have done some experimenting and made updates including that final dusting of sea salt, but I’m pretty sure 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 with a cookie bar recipe.Also, bar cookies are a great opportunity to be spontaneous and add mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, candy or pretzels.

Ingredients & Substitutions

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

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 chips are my go-to for most chocolate chip cookies. But if you have dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips or chocolate chunks in your pantry, you can use them or even a mix of chip types. That includes peanut butter chips too. And if you really want another mix-in, try chopped walnuts or pecans. Just make sure the total of these chips and additions is about 1 cup.
  • Flaky sea salt adds a touch of crunch. And more importantly it balances out the sweetness of the cookies.

How To Make These Easy Bar Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 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.

1. 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.

2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until the wet ingredients are all fully combined.

Butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a bowl. Creamed butter and sugars with an egg in the bowl.

3. Stir the dry ingredients in a small bowl, including the flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.

Flour in a bowl. Flour stirred into wet ingredients in the mixing bowl.

5. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips into the dough. I don’t dump all of them in at once, so I can save some chips to press on top. Or you won’t be able to see them. That won’t change the taste, but I like the look of chocolate chip to finish the cookies.

6. Spread the dough into the prepared baking pan.Top with the remaining chocolate chips. Scatter the chips over the dough. Then use your hands to press them in slightly. Bake the bars. After 28-30 minutes, they should be deep golden brown. Sprinkle the hot cookies with flaky sea salt right after you remove the pan from the oven. Let the cookies cool before cutting them into squares.

Chocolate chips stirred into dough. Raw dough spread into baking pan.

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.

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 your dessert a la mode, the chewy texture of the bars is great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or salted caramel.

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies


What are bar cookies?

Baking the dough in a single pan gives you 1 big cookie that can be cut into bars. Bar cookies require less work than regular cookies because you don’t have to portion out the dough before it bakes. You cut them into bars when they have cooled after you have pulled them out of the oven.

How do you know bar cookies are done?

They will puff up and turn golden brown. As they cool, they will harden and set more. If you like a really gooey, soft cookie, you can under bake them and reduce the bake time by a couple minutes.

What is the best kind of chocolate for chocolate chip cookies?

Semi-sweet chocolate is the go-to in many cookie recipes, but you can also use dark chocolate, milk chocolate or a mix. This depends on your taste. Milk chocolate will have a sweeter flavor and dark chocolate will be more rich.

Did you bake these bar cookies? Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
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.


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 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


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top and gently press them down slightly.
  • Bake for 28-30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with flaky sea salt immediately after removing the pan from the oven.
  • 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.


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.


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 109IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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