Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Chocolate chip cookie bars are the perfect easy treat when you’re craving your favorite chocolate chip cookies but don’t want to wait for dough to chill or to scoop out cookies!
I’ve been craving my favorite chocolate chip cookies for at least a month now. The fact that I haven’t made them yet is a tragedy. I have such a soft spot for those cookies – I made a huge batch for the freezer a few weeks before Joseph was born last year. I packed a handful in my hospital bag and boy were those a welcome treat during all those days in the hospital. After he was born, the evening routine in our house consisted of me nursing Joseph, him falling asleep on the boppy pillow in my lap, and my husband and I binge watching 24… and I always ate a cookie from the freezer while we watched :)
So, I’ve wanted those cookies badly but I didn’t really want to wait for the dough chill or go through scooping and shaping cookies (pregnancy laziness?), so I did the next best thing – I made chocolate chip cookie bars!
Want to know the best part?
While I’ve found that this cookie recipe definitely benefits from chilling in the refrigerator prior to baking, these chocolate chip cookie bars were just fine without chilling the dough. Wonderfully soft, chewy and sturdy enough to grab and eat standing up.
Hello, summer camping and picnic food!
It was the perfect recipe to whip up quickly on a Friday night after Joseph went to bed and before I hit the couch for the continuation of our 24 marathon (we took quite a few months off, but we’re now on season six!).
If you need an easy sweet snack for your favorite TV watching, these chocolate chip cookie bars are IT.
Three years ago: Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Four years ago: Homemade Rum Cake
Five years ago: Best Ever Potato Salad
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 8½ ounces (240.97 g) cake flour, (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons )
- 8½ ounces (240.97 g) bread flour, (1⅔ cups)
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- 1¼ teaspoons (1.25 teaspoons) baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) kosher salt
- 10 ounces (283.5 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, (1¼ cups )
- 10 ounces (283.5 g) light brown sugar, (1¼ cups )
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) granulated sugar, (1 cup + 2 tablespoons )
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups (450 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Sift together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Turn the dough out into the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake until the edges cookies are light brown and set, but the center still look pale, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. Leftover cookie bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 3 months.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Taste is wonderful, but the baking time is not nearly long enough. They are definitely raw and runny in the center at 20 minutes. Leave them in for 35-40 and check with a wooden toothpick. If the batter is clinging to the stick like stew, leave it for longer.
Now I know why I usually stick to America’s Test Kitchen recipes. They are dependable and always turn out. I am an experienced baker, and followed this recipe with precision. I have never had a recipe fail so dramatically, nor have I seen a cookie bar recipe turn out quite like this. It looked like a nice cookie dough when it went into my Williams and Sonoma gold baking pan. After twenty minutes I had a gooey bubbly batter oozing up from underneath a thin, crispy layer on top. There is no salvaging these cookie bars, I’m afraid. It’s so frustrating when you use good ingredients and end up with a pan full of buttery goo. Save yourself the hassle and find another recipe!
These are great! Whenever I take them to a gathering, I never have leftovers.
I’m changing my review to 5 stars because, after baking them quite a bit longer, they are delicious! I refrigerated the dough beforehand and used a thick glass 9 x 13 casserole dish. Maybe this is the reason they were completely raw within an inch of the edges after 20 minutes. I put them back in the oven at 325 and let them bake for an extra 15 minutes or so, until there was a nice brittle light brown crust all over. Now they are wonderfully gooey, but not at all raw. They are also about 1/4 inch thicker than the bars pictured in the recipe, which makes me think that my glass casserole dish somehow is the wrong size. Next time, I will buy a metal 9 x 13 cake pan and use that without refrigerating the dough beforehand.
Thank you for the delicious recipe!
Mine were raw in the middle too! I’m using a glass pan. Could that be the difference? Would a metal pan bake them faster?
I just made these. At 20 minutes, they were not set around the edges. I let them continue to cook, checking every 2 minutes, until the edges were just beginning to set, at around 25 minutes. The entire bar was starting to look light brown, so I was afraid I had over cooked them, but they were perfect! Chewy and soft, but not raw. My tip would be to focus on allowing them to start to set up around the edges before taking them out. Definitely worth the wait!
I’m a very good baker but something is off in this recipe as the bars were more than underdone. I think there may be too much butter and chocolate chips……..maybe there is a typo in the recipe?? Final product very soggy and I have a very hot oven – I don’t think they would have cooked by adding any more bake time.
HI love these bars so much made them both plain and with peanut butter. Have you ever thought about adding oatmeal for oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars?
Hi Susan, Ahhh the addition of peanut butter sounds great! I haven’t added oatmeal myself, but it’s an excellent idea!
I made the chocolate chip cookie bar recipe today. I followed the directions precisely using the cup measurements given. After all the flour was added, the mixture was very crumbly. When I placed dough in hand and squeezed the dough came together. Is this the way yours came out? Should more butter have been added?
Hi Joan, I make this recipe frequently and I’ve never found the dough to be crumbly.
How can you turn this into a cookie cake? Should I double the batter for a 12″ pizza pan, or can I leave it as is for a 9″ cake pan?
Hi Sara, If you leave it as-is, you’ll have a pretty thick cake in a 9″ cake pan, but it will work.
I made these for the first time yesterday. I followed the recipe exactly (even weighing the ingredients). They are amazing! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I will definitely make this again.
This was a brilliant idea to make the NYT’s recipe into bars! I have made them several times, and I learned that if you do chill them before baking, they should be brought back to room temperature before baking. I know that’s opposite most cookie baking and certainly opposite the original drop cookie version of this recipe, but I’ve made them 3x now from the fridge, and every time, the inside is still raw or the outside is too brown if the inside is fully baked. I made them twice straight from the mixer, and they turn out perfectly each time. Hope that helps some people!
Just the best chocolate chip bar cookie that I have ever made! If you like Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies, these are for you. I had none of the problems others related in the comments, although I had my doubts when I pulled the pan out of the oven as I wasn’t certain the center was cooked. I used a metal pan and just walked away for several hours until everything was completely cooled and the cookies came out fantastic! Thanks – it’s another keeper.
I made these on Sunday.
I didn’t have cake flour, so used AP flour and bread flour.
By the time I got to the end to stir in the chocolate chips, it was very thick, and I couldn’t really even stir the chocolate chips into the batter–they just kind of moved around the bowl…so it seemed like there were globs of chocolate chips in some areas of the batter, and not so much in others….
Otherwise, I baked for 15 minutes and then another 5 minutes for 20 total and i thought they turned out great….however, they do taste a little ‘sugary’, like I can taste the sugar crystals in my mouth, which I shouldn’t be able to do…I did use my Kitchenaid stand mixer, so the batter was well mixed….n
Loved, loved, loved these bars. Have you ever tried using this flour combination with peanut butter added?
Hi Susan, So glad you loved the bars! And YES! I have done it with peanut butter – two different versions:
I was concerned about the bars in the middle being raw like other commenters experienced, so I went ahead and followed the recipe as written and baked at 350 degrees, but I divided the batter between a 9 x 13 and an 8 x 8 pan. I baked them for about 20 minutes, and they came out great. The centers were very slightly underdone, but by no means uncooked. Despite the batter being spread out thinner, the bars were still plenty thick!
That’s a good idea! Mine turned out dry from having to cook them longer, and they’re a tad too thick to be honest. Great tip!
Mine looked a little raw too when I first cut them after cooling. The next day they were perfect..soft and delicious. Thanks for another great recipe! (BTW I used Reeses Pieces instead of chocolate chips).
I agree with the other posters. I just made them & they were completely raw in the middle. I followed the recipe to the letter & measured all ingredients. Put them back in the oven for another 25 minutes & they seem now to be coming together. :(
Hi Amy, I’m sorry your bars were undercooked, I did nothing differently, and as you can see from the photos above, they were most certainly not raw in the middle. I would just recommend cooking them for a longer period of time until they are done to your preference (some prefer cookie products underbaked slightly so they are not dry, or you can bake until a toothpick comes out clean).
There’s got to be an error with either the time or the pan that this recipe calls for. Maybe a sheet pan would allow these to bake correctly in 20 minutes? I’ve had mine in for 35 minutes at this point and they’re still completely raw in the middle using the pan this recipe calls for…
I had the same thought, but was hoping to hear back from BEB before making another batch. I had the same experience as you, as did another baker, so hopefully we’ll get some response.
I’ve made these three times, determined that I must be doing something wrong. I’ve followed the instructions to the T, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone.
Hi Kirstin, I’m sorry your bars were undercooked, I did nothing differently, and as you can see from the photos above, they were most certainly not raw in the middle. I would just recommend cooking them for a longer period of time until they are done to your preference (some prefer cookie products underbaked slightly so they are not dry, or you can bake until a toothpick comes out clean).
Thanks for the reply Michelle! The cookies are delicious, but they certainly don’t look like yours. I’m going to try again and take pictures if I have the same results as the initial time. I ended up baking them for 45 minutes having turned the oven down to 325 by which time the middle turned out nice and chewy. When I said they were raw at the end of 20 minutes I mean totally uncooked and jiggly everywhere. Nevertheles I’m going to give it another try!
These look delicious. Thank you for including the weight measurements! Always use the weight measurements in baking if you can for a more consistent product. I noticed on the original NY Times recipe, the weights listed for the volumes are off from the King Arthur Weight Chart. For example the white sugar listed would be closer to 1 1/4 cup and brown sugar closer to 1 1/3 cup. I only bring this up because the difference in weights and volumes produce different outcomes in the final product. If in doubt, go with weight. Can’t wait to make them!
Just made a batch, and I question the cooking time. 20 minutes at 350 degrees and they were still raw in the middle. And yes, I use a thermometer in my oven. Anyone else have this concern?
Yes, I agree with Linda. I use an oven thermometer and my bar cookies were raw in the middle. They looked done on top per the recipe description so I didn’t test them. Much to my dismay, they are very raw in the center. I was so disappointed after purchasing the special flours and chocolate chips. Any suggestions for revisions? It just seemed like they were not baked long enough. Will probably try the recipe again but would like some recommendations for better success.
Nancy O, glad you had similar results. I weighed my ingredients, used the proper size pan, and went to bed last night wondering if I’d done something wrong! I agree, I think they need to bake longer but not sure how long and hope we get some other input.
Linda and Nancy – I’m sorry your bars didn’t turn out as you had hoped. I always err on the side of slightly underbaking a cookie product because to me there’s nothing worse than a dry, crumbly cookie (or blondie, or brownie). My bars were soft and chewy, but as you can see from the photos, they were certainly not raw. I would just recommend cooking them for a longer period of time and testing them in the middle until a toothpick comes out clean if you prefer them well done.
Thanks Michelle for your response. I’ll give them another try and cook them longer.
Made these and they were really good! Thanks for posting. I will be making these again!
At least 3 of us had poor results. We all used a 9 x 13 pan and baked at 350 for recommended time and they were raw in the middle. 2 of us baked for 30 minutes. Did you use a different size pan? Higher oven temp? Longer bake time?
I gotta try these. I might like bars better than regular cookies, thanks a lot
From what I have read, I think you can sub AP flour for the bread flour evenly.
Or if you want, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt to AP flour to make Bread flour. That being said, do you add the other BP and salt the recipe calls for?
Cake flour can be made with regular AP flour. For every 1 cup of AP, take out 2 tbsp of the flour and replace it with 2tbsp of cornstarch.
Going to try it with the substitutions.
Cookie bars are kind of my weakness. But also my savior. And now I need a batch (or two) of these in my life ASAP. They look amazing!
I live in Sydney Australia..
What is cake flour and bread flour?
Hi Barb, Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which creates a denser, sturdier cookie/bar. The cake flour is lighter than all-purpose flour, which keeps the cookies/bars tender. It’s a great combination that I swear by in my chocolate chip cookies, but I know readers have substituted all-purpose flour for both bread and cake flours without much of an issue, if you can’t find those where you live.
Easy way to save some time and fulfill that craving! These look perfect :)
What a fun alternative to a traditional chocolate chip cookie!
I have been intending to make cookies for a couple of weeks now (white chocolate chip and coconut macaroons). I like the idea of bars!
These cookie bars are right up my alley. So smart to make bars from your favorite cookie recipe, I will have to make a batch for my family!
WOW & DOUBLE WOW!!! My favorite cookie made into delicious looking bars! I’ll be in 7th Heaven!!! Thanks for sharing, Michelle.
OMG! I need these in my belly now! Thanks for the Monday motivation to get my sweet on!
I also have a question about the bread flour – do you mean “all purpose flour” (bleached?) such as Pillsbury or Gold Medal?
Always look forward to your posts. Congratulations on your second bundle of joy ?
I know that Gold Medal makes a bread flour. Have not made bread in years but know it is for sale in Texas.
Bread flour has more protein than regular, all-purpose flour, so it’s not the same.
I also question the need for special flours. Is this really necessary? I would think a recipe for a simple, quickly-made snack like this wouldn’t require 2 special flours that many of us don’t keep in our pantries. Can we substitute all-purpose flour for one or both of the other flours?
Hi JB, Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which creates a denser, sturdier cookie/bar. The cake flour is lighter than all-purpose flour, which keeps the cookies/bars tender. It’s a great combination that I swear by in my chocolate chip cookies, but I know readers have substituted all-purpose flour for both bread and cake flours without much of an issue.
Hi Patty, Bread flour is different than all-purpose flour (it has a higher protein content) – it can be found in the regular baking aisle with the other flours.
Love bar cookies, they are so easy! I’m sure you have answered this before, but what is the significance of the cake & bread flour? Is it really worth it to use it instead of regular flour? Thank you?
That was my question as well – bread + cake flour. I’ve experimented a bit with various flours over the past several weeks, and have had frustrating results, leading to believe completely in AP flour being the best choice. So, I’m trying to educate myself on the effects on baking of the various flours commonly available in grocery stores. Maybe that would be an idea for a future post? An explanation of the various flours, how to use them and when, and the results each produces. Would love that! :)
Since cake flour is low in protein and bread flour is high in protein, why would we not be able to use all-purpose for all the flour? Is there any special reason to need to use special flours for this?? If there is, that’s fine, but if not…I’d like to know if it makes a difference.
Hi Carole, Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which creates a denser, sturdier cookie/bar. The cake flour is lighter than all-purpose flour, which keeps the cookies/bars tender. It’s a great combination that I swear by in my chocolate chip cookies, but I know readers have substituted all-purpose flour for both bread and cake flours without much of an issue.
Hi Michelle! I made these both ways and would have to say that YOUR WAY IS BETTER! It’s not a huge, huge difference – just better. Thank you for your kind reply and encouragement! This has become a favorite for my whole family.
oh yeah, and i LOVE having the weights of the ingredients there – I am a real convert to weighing things, especially flour, and it makes everything so much easier. I have an OXO scale and I use it almost every day!
I also often get confused with all varieties of white wheat flours. I’ve just analyzed nutritional values: bread flour have the lower carbohydrates content and higher percentage of protein than cake flour. All-purpose flour is somewhere in between them. I think the higher amount of protein in bread flour can make sense – it is probably all about gluten (which is protein). The more gluten flour contain, the better result in growth and texture of bread you get.
Hi Linda, Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which creates a denser, sturdier cookie/bar. The cake flour is lighter than all-purpose flour, which keeps the cookies/bars tender. It’s a great combination that I swear by in my chocolate chip cookies, but I know readers have substituted all-purpose flour for both bread and cake flours without much of an issue.
First of all, I can totally imagine how you felt with those bars in your bag. I spent some time in the hospital and the food there was so depressing! I for sure needed one of those cookie bars.
That being said, I really love recipes like this. Simple but oh so good! And the fact that you say we can store them in the freezer makes it even better.
This think so elegant and delicious