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One chocolate chip cookie bars on a square white plate

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars made with pantry ingredients are an effortless way for a chocolate chip cookie fix. Simple enough for a beginning baker!

No scooping, one bowl, one pan all make these Cookie Bars the perfect solution when time is short or kids are underfoot! Add your favorite chips, nuts, dried fruit (though my kids would revolt!) or even toffee chips to shake things up.

One chocolate chip cookie bar on a square white plate

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This pan cookie recipe came from pure laziness. My family (husband being the band leader) adores chocolate chip cookies. But when the 3 children were young, I didn’t always have time to make cookies. Scooping, baking, cooling, repeating. A bit of a pain with little ones underfoot. So spreading the cookie dough into a cake pan was the perfect solution for an easy dessert recipe.

Blondies Vs. Brownies

These bars are obviously not brownies, the dark, rich dessert bar. Blondies substitute vanilla flavoring in lieu of cocoa or chocolate and got their name as they are much paler or “blonder” than brownies.

According to Saveur, “Blondies are packed with all the brown sugar and butterscotchy goodness of chocolate chip cookies, but softer and more substantial.” They also have a similar shape and texture to a brownies. So these chocolate chip bars are essentially chocolate chip blondies!

Overhead view of a stack of Homemade Chocolate Chip Bars

How to Make Chocolate Chip Pan Cookies

I have made this dessert more than any other. From bowl to plate it takes only about an hour. Much quicker than cookies, and so well-loved.  My family is willing to eat these chocolate chip cookie bars fresh from the oven while they’re warm and gooey. Wouldn’t you? I hope these cookie bars will become a favorite of your family, too. I’m sharing a couple of tips for making bar cookies the best they can be.

  • PRO-Tip: An hour or so before baking, set the eggs and butter on the counter to come to room temperature. Both will incorporate more easily if not ice cold.
  • If you’re making these for guests or to give away, consider lining your pan with non-stick foil. Besides preventing the bars from sticking, the foil can be used as a sling to remove the cooled bar cookies from the pan onto a cutting board. This will help you slice them into nice even bars.
  • Add whatever kind of chocolate chips you enjoy. Semisweet is a classic choice, but try my combination of milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and white chocolate or even butterscotch or peanut butter chips. You can also shake things up by using half M&Ms and half chocolate chips.
  • I typically use light brown sugar, but for chewier blondies, try dark brown sugar. 
  • PRO-Tip: Did you know you can make your own dark brown sugar if you don’t have any in your pantry? Simply mix 1 tablespoon of molasses into 1 cup of light brown sugar for each cup needed.
  • Slightly underbaking makes these bars moist and chewy. But you don’t want them to be raw in the middle. The timing of anything you bake depends on your oven. I suggest baking them for the time listed in the recipe first, then adjusting the next time if you want them chewier. Because I know you’ll want to make them again.
  • To bake like a pro, reserve some chocolate chips to carefully press into the warm bars after they come out of the oven. It will make a prettier presentation. Of course, my family just cares about the taste, but it’s something you might like to do for company.
Overhead view of baked cookie bars in a white ceramic baking pan

 

How Do I Prep My Baking Pan?

  • First, prepare your pan. PRO-Tip: You can grease with a cooking spray like Pam, but I prefer to line my 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, specifically non-stick foil. The foil doubles as a sling to help remove the bars to a cutting board after they are cool. Regular foil works for a sling, but the non-stick peels off the bars easily. Superslick, especially if you’re making these for company as it’s much easier to neatly cut these into bars if they’re out of the pan.
  • Check out my post on How to Cut Perfect Cookie Bars if you’d like some more tips.

How Long to Cook Chocolate Chip Bars?

  • Usually, cookie bars can be baked at the same temperature as cookies, but they need a longer baking time. Baking time is typically 10 minutes for simple chocolate chip cookies and about 25 minutes for these bar cookies.
  • All ovens work differently and if your pan is a bit smaller, your bars will be thicker and take a few minutes longer. Typically, I make these in a 9 x 13-inch pan, but the thicker bars in this post were baked in an 8 1/2 x 12-inch pan and took an extra 10 minutes in the oven. 
Two chocolate chip bars stacked on a decorative white dessert plate with an adjacent fork

How Can I Tell if My Blondies Are Done?

  • You can use a toothpick to see if the center is cooked, but that works better with cakey bars. These chocolate chip cookie bars are dense and not cakey. The first batch is often a test batch, though they should be lightly browned across the top. Note that  your kitchen will fill with a delicious aroma just before they are fully cooked.
  • Make sure to mark your recipe with the time it took for your oven to bake the bars properly. All ovens cook a little differently, so it’s terrific to have this information for your next batch.

More Bar Cookie Recipes You’ll Love:

This recipe was first shared in July 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar on a small white ceramic plate

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

An easy way to get the flavors of chocolate chip cookies without all the work!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Yield 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips plus 3/4 cup white chocolate chips and 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Cream butter and sugars. Mix in eggs. Add vanilla, then dry ingredients. Mix well. Add chocolate chips.
  3. Spread in greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake about 24 minutes. Use an 8 1/2 x 12 pan for thicker blondies.

Notes

Mix with a wooden spoon to prevent over-mixing and encouraging gluten formation.
Use a variety of chocolate chips or even M&Ms instead of all semisweet chips. Recipe adapted from Nestles.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 3g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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18 comments on “Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars”

  1. Liz……I’ve never baked these before but I will now, sure is easier then baking cookies. ……thanks for sharing this recipe, looks like I can whip it up fast.

  2. ::sigh:: is it wrong that I’d like to have one for breakfast?

  3. Thanks, Erica…this is my go to recipe when I’m short on time 🙂

    Carole, Bill is a firm believer in “breakfast cookies” (his great aunt used that logic when he visited her as a child…and his mom was not thrilled!)

  4. Liz, I made these for a few of my DD’s friends and they LOVED them!! One is a culinary student and asked for the recipe. A hit for sure!

  5. Thanks for letting me know, Eileen!!! That’s a huge compliment 🙂

  6. These look great! It’s raining and gross out here right now, and you have inspired me to whip up a batch of them.

  7. I’m so glad, Denine…my family would like me to follow suit!!!

  8. These delicious bars couldn’t be any easier to make! One bowl and few minutes and you’re all set!

  9. I really like how easy these bars are to make! Perfect for make ahead treats for the week!

  10. Lots of goodies and nice and thick! I’d call these breakfast cookies:@)

  11. I want to eat the whole thing right now I love it but haven’t made it in years. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll have to make this soon

  12. This looks fantastic and I love thick cookie bars like this…absolutely irresistible!

  13. These are always one of my faves! Now my mouth is watering. Hope you are doing well, Liz!

  14. Your tips are always spot-on! And these cookie bars look absolutely awesome. I was going to bake the skillet cookie but this may last a little longer.

  15. I can always count on finding great comforting recipes here. Thanks, Liz!

  16. I LOVE cookie bars!! I actually think I make them more than regular cookies, they’re so much easier to whip up for the kids!

  17. Absolutely comforting ones for the circumstances we’re in. I hope you and your family are all right ! 🙂

  18. Dear Liz, another wonderful recipe. Adding different kinds of chocolate to cookies or cookie bars always makes for great tasting sweet treats. Cookie bars are wonderful for sharing and keeping a few maybe for breakfast?!
    Sending a big hug your way!
    Andrea

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