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.
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!)
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. Or swap half of the chocolate chips for M&Ms like we do in these soft M&M cookie bars.
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.
- By the way, if you’re ever having spreading issues with your regular cookies, here are my top 10 tips for how to prevent cookies from spreading.
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!
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:
- Bake and cool the cookie bars.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thaw bars overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 16 bars
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
No mixer required and there’s no waiting for cookie dough to chill with these soft & chewy chocolate chip cookie bars!
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spooned & 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
- 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.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 9-inch Square Baking Pan | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Rubber Spatula | Cooling Rack
- 9×13 Pan: You can double this recipe to fit into a 9×13-inch 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
Reader Comments & Reviews
Made these with M&Ms instead of chocolate chips and they came out delicious! Pretty easy recipe, the hardest part is waiting for it to cool 😀 thanks for the recipe!
I made these and they looked great, really good texture but very little flavor and really hard to fold chips into dough.
Thank you so much for the recipe. I have tried several of your recipes and am never disappointed. I love to bake and you always have such a wonderful selection of things to try. Always fun and Always Delicious. My family always loves it.
The bars were so good. They were the perfect softness! We added walnuts in half too!
I discovered this recipe when I wanted chocolate chip cookies but didn’t feel like waiting for my butter to come to room temperature, and then also waiting for the dough to chill. It is now one of my go-to cookie recipes for those same reasons, and because these bars are so delicious!! The texture is great and I love that they stay soft and fresh for a couple of days. My son loves the addition of course sea salt sprinkled on top, too.
I only have a 7″ square pan. Can I use that to bake these?
Hi Hope! A 7″ square pan will be too small for this amount of dough. You could use the extra dough in a smaller baking dish (or muffin tin) for some single serve cookie cups/ramekins. Let us know if you give it a try!
Ok thànkyou. How much of the dough would i use in the 7″ square tin, before using the left overs?
Or how far up the tin would I fill with the dough?
You can fill the pan about half way.
I baked the normal amounts in a 1/4 sheet pan, approximately the same size as a 9×13 but with shorter sides. It was the perfect amount, just resulted in shorter cookie bars. Took about 22 minutes to bake. This is a great last minute recipe; melted butter, no chill time, and no shaping or dropping dough.
I was wondering if I could make these in my jelly roll pan and how long it would take so thanks for leaving this review, it answers my question!
I have made this recipe twice and I am really struggling with the baking time! Usually, your bake times are spot on for my oven (with a thermometer so I know it is accurate), but this specific recipe always results in over done and hard bars! I have tried less time, but then they alway seem raw when I insert a toothpick. Is it okay to have it be slightly underdone–will it set as it cools? Anyone else have this problem? Thank you!
Hi Vera, the middle will continue to bake a bit once removed from the oven. It’s completely normal for the middle to be a bit chewier and sink more than the outside edges — that’s just the nature of cookie bars. For next time, you can try taking them out of the oven a minute or two sooner to prevent them from over baking. You could also tent the edges of the pan with foil to help prevent the edges from browning while allowing the middle to bake through. Hope this helps!
This is my favourite chocolate chip cookie dough recipe by far. I at least double the chocolate and that’s my only change. But that’s just because of my personal ‘more chocolate is always better’ preference
Hello! How long are these good for when heat sealed? Thanks so much!
Hi Jenn, we haven’t tried saving the cookies that way so we’re unsure. Let us know if you try it!
These are really good.
I added 1 tsp baking powder
Used Lorann butter/vanilla emulsion 1 Tablespoon
I Used coconut oil + good pinch of salt since I have a dairy allergy
Left out choco chips
I loved this recipe so much! I didn’t make it as thick, so I put it in for about 20 minutes, and they came out delicious! It took me longer to make the cookie dough because I had these HUGE circle dark chocolate chips, so I had to chop them up, when I thought I had enough, I stopped and started actually making the cookie dough, but then I realized I needed more, so I chopped up some more, then realized I needed even MORE. Needless to say, it took me longer than normal. The cookie dough itself is super good! I took your advice and put some chocolate chips on top at the end, they look and taste great!
Hi! Can I chill this to enhance the flavor and bring to room temp before baking? Or would you not recommend this?
Can’t see why not!
Made 4 double batches today for a big party. Very easy and convenient. I baked them @350 for 37 minutes each 9×13… came out perfect!
I just made the double recipe in a 9×13. It only took 29 minutes at 350…trust your nose!!
Great recipe! My family loved it. I love cookies but they are time-consuming! Thanks for a quick-and -easy DELICIOUS cookie recipe.
Love this recipe and have made these several times now. Everyone always loves them. I don’t own a 9×9 pan and my attempt at making them in an 8×8 resulted in raw cookies (totally my own fault!) Since then, I have been doubling the recipe and using a 9×13 pan and they come out perfectly. They are so soft and – the best part – they STAY SOFT for days!! So much easier than scooping out individual cookies. This recipe has become my go-to!
Will this recipe work in a muffin tray instead?
Hi Peck we haven’t tested that but don’t see why not!
I love this recipe so much! Sally, if I wanted to try these with brown butter what would you recommend? i have frozen Trader Joe’s brown butter and am looking for recipe ideas!
Hi Patrice! You can use the same amount of brown butter in these cookie bars. Enjoy!
Hi, Sally: I love these bars, could I substitute Easter M&M’s for chocolate chips? If so, would it be the same amount? Thank you for the awesome recipe!
Hi Teresa, Yep! Same amount of M&Ms can replace the chocolate chips.
very good i love cookies
Hi there! I have only made this doubled in a 9×13 and want to make in an 8inch square dish (since I don’t have a 9inch). Is there anything I should change, or just keep an eye on it? Thanks!
Hi Felicia, the bars will be thicker and require longer to bake – enjoy!
These are delicious! I love Sally’s cookie version of this recipe, but I was really craving cookies and didn’t want to wait for cookies to chill. The taste and texture is wonderful. Honestly surprised at the less than great reviews. I did bake for 25 mins as suggested by others, but followed everything else. This just might have to be my new go-to. Sally’s recipes are ALWAYS reliable imo. You just can’t make a substitution where one isn’t allowed
This is so awesome! I made it for National Blondie day, and it was a huge hit! The dough was a bit dry though.
I’ve made this recipe twice in one week! My family LOVES them. I love that it’s super simple and quick. I added in some dark and white chocolate chips. They were delicious!
Just made these! So good and so much easier than doing sheets of cookies that take up so much time.
Thank you for this recipe!
Followed directions to the letter. Did not care for these. Very bland, family thought they were “ok.”
very good soft and chewy
Do I have to line the pan with parchment paper or foil? Can’t I just spray it with Pam? I’m serving this as a birthday cake so I will need to leave it in the pan to decorate and such. I don’t want paper or foil hanging out on the sides.
Hi Shelia, you can spray the pan instead of using foil or parchment.
So good! I made these for my hubby’s birthday to take to work. They were gone in 10 minutes! So good and easy! Thanks for the recipe!
This is my go-to recipe whenever I feel like chocolate chip cookies. They come out perfect every time, and I’ve gotten tons of compliments on them.
But seriously though, do yourself a favor and brown the butter. You already have to melt it, so take the 5 extra minutes to take these bars to the next level.