Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These extra soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are incredibly easy to make. No dough chilling or rolling into balls required! Sprinkle with sea salt for a little something extra.

overhead image of chocolate chip cookie bars

Taste testers gave these chocolate chip cookie bars a stamp of approval– and I’m so glad because this dough makes my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies, too. We’re talking the softest, chewiest, thickest chocolate chip cookies to ever come out of my oven.

And if you can believe it, baking chocolate chip cookies as cookie bars transforms them into something even better. Plus, we don’t have to chill the cookie dough and we don’t need to roll the dough into individual cookies. So they’re homemade soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, only easier to prepare. A lazy gal’s cookie if you will.


Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • Dense and buttery
  • Extra chewy and extra soft
  • Just like chocolate chip cookies, but they don’t spread
  • 100x easier than making cookies– no individual cookie dough rolling
  • No electric mixer needed
  • A quick no chill cookie recipe
  • Can be easily doubled for a larger pan
  • Topped with sea salt for a little something extra
  • Still soft and chewy on days 2 and 3 (if they last that long!)

stack of chocolate chip cookie bars

Ingredients For Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

If you’ve tried my beloved chewy chocolate chip cookies, you’re already familiar with the ease of this recipe. We’re using the same cookie recipe, just baking them as bars. Here’s what you need:

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the base of this recipe.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda helps these bars rise as they bake.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch gives the cookie bars that ultra soft consistency we all know and love. Plus, it helps keep them wonderfully thick.
  • Salt: Salt adds flavor.
  • Butter: Use melted butter in this recipe for the chewiest cookie bars. Because we use melted butter, there’s no need to get out your mixer.
  • Sugar: I like to use a mix of brown sugar and white granulated sugar this recipe. More brown sugar than white granulated sugar promises an extra soft and chewy cookie bar because there’s more moisture in brown sugar.
  • Egg & Egg Yolk: 1 egg binds everything together and 1 extra egg yolk adds richness and chewiness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract adds flavor. If you have any homemade vanilla extract, use that!
  • Chocolate Chips: 1 cup of chocolate chips ensures tons of melty chocolate in each bite. Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, try using dark, milk, or even white chocolate chips.

chocolate chip cookie dough in a glass bowl

9 Inch Pan of Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

After you prepare the cookie dough, press it into a baking pan. There’s no risk of cookie spreading with this recipe because the edges of the pan completely contain the cookies from overspreading. I love that.

One batch of these chocolate chip cookie bars fits perfectly into a 9-inch square pan. I love using this size of pan because it yields a nice, manageable batch– about 16 super thick bars. If you want a larger batch, double the recipe and bake the bars in a 9×13 inch pan. (See recipe note.)

Baker’s Tip: I like to line my baking pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper. This way, you can lift the entire cookie bar mass out then easily cut into squares. Also makes for quick clean up!

overhead image of chocolate chip cookie bars in a baking dish

chocolate chip cookie bars

How to Freeze Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Homemade chocolate chip cookie bars freeze beautifully so they’re a great make-ahead dessert option. Follow these instructions and no one will know they aren’t freshly baked the day you serve them:

  1. Bake and cool the cookie bars.
  2. Slice the bars into squares. If you lined your baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, simply pull the slab of bars out of the pan, place onto a cutting board, and cut into squares.
  3. Layer the bars between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. The parchment paper ensures that the bars don’t stick to each other and that the tops of the cookie bars stay intact.
  4. Thaw bars overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Print
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stack of chocolate chip cookie bars

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

No mixer required and there’s no waiting for cookie dough to chill with these soft & chewy chocolate chip cookie bars!


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • optional: sprinkle of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars out of the pan when cool. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla extract. The mixture will be thick. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until combined. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. The chips may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to combine them.
  4. Transfer dough to the prepared baking pan and press/smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with sea salt if desired. Also, I like to press a few more chocolate chips on top of the dough before baking (I do this just for looks!). Bake for 32-35 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. Use a toothpick to test for doneness; if it comes out clean from the center of the pan, the bars are done.
  5. Allow the bars to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for at least an hour. Once relatively cool, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 4. Baked cookie bars freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw bars overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. 9×13 Pan: You can double this recipe to fit into a 9×13 baking pan. The bars will take longer to cook through, about 40 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Use a toothpick to test for doneness.

Keywords: chocolate chip cookie bars

151 Comments

  1. Sally, these bars were so good that I’ve baked them several times since you posted the recipe on your website, doubling the recipe each time. Chewy and not super sweet, easy to make and crowd pleasing. Thank you for a delicious recipe!

  2. I just wanted to comment and say thanks for a great recipe! I doubled them and put them in a 9×13 pan, and I baked them for a shade over 35 min. This left them *just* toeing the line of underdone, which is how I like my chocolate chip cookies. Just a warning for everyone, these are very substantial! I might actually try baking the single recipe in the larger pan next time because I think I’d like them a little thinner. Even cut small they felt a little too big. Haha I know I’m probably in the minority there though. 😉

    Thanks again for the recipe!

  3. These are definitely the best chocolate chip cookie bars I’ve ever had. I’ve made them 3 times now and they are always perfect in taste, texture, and thickness. The dough is very similar to my favorite cookies, but my cookie recipe doesn’t work this well as bars. I make 1.5 times the recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan to keep them the same size as yours, but there are never enough. I think next time I might triple the recipe and use a half sheet pan!

  4. I made these bars yesterday and they were a hit with the kids (even the adults). I doubled the recipe and it turned out great. Thanks for another great recipe.

  5. I made these last night in a 10″ pie pan (didn’t have a 9×9) and they’re amazing!! They needed a bit of extra time and they still came out a liiiittle gooey in the middle, but luckily that’s just the way I like them 🙂 I might try a pretzel/white chocolate chip/m&m version next time for another sweet-salty flavor combination.

  6. I want to make these for Easter – can I sub some/all of chocolate chips with M&Ms? I want to use the pretty pastel Ines 🙂 love your blog and your methodical, well-researched approach to making the best treats every time! 

    1. Yep! Same amount of M&Ms can replace the chocolate chips.

  7. Leslie Perkins says:

    Absolutely delicious! I made these on a whim today and they were such a good, and super easy, dessert. The bars are perfectly sweet, chewy, and buttery. I definitely recommend them. 

  8. Hi Sally,

    How long/what temp would you suggest for an 8×8 pan??

    Thanks!
    Kelly

    1. Same temp– a few minutes longer in the oven since they’ll be thicker.

  9. Hi Sally,
    I love making these cookie bars and they are a hit with everyone that tries them. Every time I bake them however, they collapse while cooling. Is there something that I am missing or something that i need to change up so they don’t collapse? 
    Thank you!!

    1. It happens since they are so dense and chewy in the centers. 🙂 I’m so glad they’re a hit!

  10. Made these cookie bars today after the kids got home from school and O.M.G. They are amazing!!!! Soft and chewy and utterly delicious. My new go to for quick cookies!!!! Thank!

  11. BEST chocolate chip bars I’ve ever made!! I didn’t even get the chance to take a picture because they were gone in less than a day!!

  12. I made these today, and they’re wonderful! What are your thoughts on subbing coconut oil for the butter? I imagine they’d be crumblier and the baking time might be shorter, but since both are solids at room temp, the substitution might work?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jessica! You can easily swap coconut oil for the butter. Make sure it’s melted. Bake time should be similar.

  13. Oh my. I have always been a cookie baker, but I may become a bar baker after making these. So easy, and so yummy! I went all out and used Kerrygold unsalted butter. The sea salt is a nice touch. Thank you so much, Sally!

  14. Just made them with almond flour. When cutting into them, the center is melted chocolate. The outside is more like a cookie, but if you love chocolate this is for you.
    Bring it tonight for a dinner party. Doesn’t look like yours, but it is soooo good.
    Oh! I added nuts. Thank you.

  15. Debra Naysee says:

    Love this recipe! Easy to make. Family and neighbors love it too. I use different chips depending on my mood and what’S available in the pantry!

  16. I’ve made this recipe a few times and it’s always delicious. The last time I made them, I was going to a friends house out of town and didn’t want to show up empty handed. I made these the week before my trip and froze them. Grabbed them from the freezer right before going to the airport, put them in a gift box, then in my carry on. By the time I got to my destination they were thawed and ready to eat!

  17. If I pressed this dough into a 9×13-inch pan, how long would you estimate the bake time to be? I want to create a chocolate chip cookie bar dessert for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (it’s a holiday worth celebrating, right?), and I was thinking of layering your chocolate chip cookie dough fudge over these bars and then spreading a layer of chocolate over top. Do you think this would work? I’m assuming I would have to refrigerate the bars after I add the cookie dough fudge layer so it can set, then add the chocolate layer. Do you think these will stay relatively firm at room temperature? Thanks for the advice, Sally! 🙂

    1. Now THAT sounds like a way to celebrate! Unfortunately, this just isn’t enough dough for a 9×13 pan, so I recommend doubling it OR stretching it super thin to fit the 9×13 inch pan (which might be the better option since you’re making a layered dessert). Fudge in the center, then chocolate on top would be divine! They should stay pretty firm at room temperature and hold their shape. Let me know how they turn out!

  18. So, I did make those chocolate chip cookie dough layered bars I asked you about. They turned out SO well, and I was immensely pleased. I pressed the dough into a 9×13″ pan and baked for 20 minutes, which turned out to be the perfect amount of time to achieve a slightly under-baked appearance. I let the bars cool completely before topping with the fudge (which tastes just like cookie dough!). After letting all that set in the fridge, I topped the bars with ganache and returned to the refrigerator. Everyone at our connect group loved them! And, they were tons of fun to make 😀

  19. Maureen Goldfedder says:

    Sally Sally Sally, now you’ve gone and done it.
    Chocolate chip cookies have always been our favorite but I’m usually disappointed by the batter oozing into thin cookies. THEN BAM!!! ALONG COMES SALLY AND THIS AMAZING RECIPE!!! It is the BEST and also the EASIEST recipe EVER! Thank you for this! My hubby thinks you walk on water! I’ve made your recipe three times for us already and today I made a batch for my boss who’s headed out on a road trip for the holiday weekend. I’d say my job is secure
    Happy baking!

  20. Sally, I am a huge fan of your recipes. These bars are delicious but every time I make them they fall in the middle. My oven is calibrated, the toothpick is clean so I’m at a loss. Is this normal?

    1. Hi Linda! Unfortunately, it’s par for the course with cookie bars. Because of the high fat content and dense structure, they’ll always sink in the middle.

  21. Aarti Sundar says:

    Lovely recipe sally.. i have always tried these soft and chewy recipes but it comes out soft but undercooked all time even with the desired temperature.

  22. Made this recipe (doubled, per instructions in the notes) and it was a huge hit at the family bbq. My kids are requesting them almost daily now! Thanks, Sally!

  23. Hi Sally. I am a little late to seeing this but I am going to try this weekend!! Could I use a 7×11 instead of 9×9? Or would there not be enough batter?

    Thank you!! LOVE your recipes!!

    1. Hi Lauren! You can use a 7×11 inch baking pan. The bake time will be about the same.

  24. Christine Hanson says:

    ohhh my yummy goodness! Sally, these are fantastic! I followed the recipe and directions exact. Thank you for sharing!

  25. They’re delicious Sally !
    2 thumbs up from everyone in my family

  26. patricia wettemann says:

    I love you Sally LOL , I make these with m&m chocolate chips and I do add the salt on top.
    Awesome recipe!! Thank you so much

  27. So easy and so delicious! Made recipe as written and it was a huge hit!

  28. Sally! This recipe is a SAVIOUR. I knew I wanted to make cookie bars today, I just needed to find the right recipe. Stumbled across your blog and never looking back.

    I made these for our church bakesale to raise funds for my Christmas band to afford new equipment. All of them, gone within seconds. Our most successful bakesale yet, and thanks to your recipe, we have a new drum kit – AND we have a new staple christmas dessert! I’m gonna be making these forever!!!!!

  29. This recipe is a go-to for my family! My twin was JUST talking about this recipe and how she needed to bring a snack last-min for a church function so she decided to make these…. Now I’m craving them. They’re 5 ⭐️ any day!

  30. Hi I am new to your site. I stumbled onto this recipe and am glad to have found it. I prefer thicker cookie bars when it comes to choc chip. The Nestle recipe is just too buttery and therefore too thin for what I would prefer.

    I used 1/2 cup of butter to work with—that did change the texture a bit, but so far (from reading a few reviews), I am the only one who will say that the baking time was very high for me. I set the timer for 28 minutes, checked them at 22, and they were more than done already. When I tried them again with the full amount of butter, the baking time was still far under the 32 minute mark.

    I would like to stick to the 1/2 cup butter ratio but add another egg (and use 2 eggs, not 1 egg and 1 yolk). and try to bake for 20 minutes.

    The flavor was great. I usually store cookie bars in our fridge to preserve them, but that made them a bit stiff. I don’t mind a “firm” cookie bar so that it doesn’t crumble away when you try to eat one.

    I DID like the fact that you did this recipe for a 9X9 pan—which does help with the thickness and getting a more cookie like texture—rather than well, butter and chocolate only.

    Hope my comments, as a first timer, came off respectful yet honest. I appreciate anyone who generously shares recipes and gives so many hints to help as well.

    1. Thank you for your honest feedback, Anu!

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