Soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie bars are the perfect way to satisfy that cookie craving without needing to bother with making individual cookies. Top with flaky sea salt for the perfect salty/sweet blend!
What you'll love about these bars
There's so much to love about these bars. There's a reason they are gone in minutes after I bake them!
- Wonderfully buttery
- Soft, yet chewy
- Sweet and salty
- So much easier than making individual cookies
- They store and travel well, which means they're great for gifting!
There are only a few key ingredients - all of which you should be familiar with, as it is the same for my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
- All-purpose flour - All my cookie recipes start with all-purpose flour. To be honest though, you can use cake flour or bread flour and it will still work. The best part about this recipe is you can be a little more flexible than if you were making individual cookies.
- Baking soda - This gives the cookie bars rise.
- Cornstarch - This gives the cookies some tenderness and helps with the chew. If you use cake flour, you don't need to use it.
- Salt - This balances the sweetness and enhances flavors. I use two types of salt in this recipe. Sea salt for the cookie dough, and then flaky salt on top of the baked cookies. My personal favorite salt to top my cookie squares is a vanilla-infused fleur de sell.
- Butter - Unsalted butter is recommended here. You should use softened butter, but you can use melted butter, too. The butter I used in the video is near melting. Brown butter also works amazing in this recipe!
- Sugar - I like to use a mix of granulated and brown sugar in my cookie bars. You can make these bars without brown sugar, however. You can use all granulated sugar. If you have molasses available, you can mix about ½ tablespoon of molasses with some of the sugar to make your own brown sugar.
- Egg - I use a whole egg, plus a yolk, I love the extra richness you get with the yolk, You can use the whole egg, if you really want.
- Vanilla - Steer clear of imitation vanilla extract. I recommend using only pure vanilla extract, or even vanilla bean paste.
- Chocolate - You can use chocolate chips, chocolate chunk, or chopped chocolate (my personal favorite!). I recommend using a mix of chocolate like dark, semisweet, and milk chocolate.
There are so many ways you can change up your cookie squares. These are some of my favorites.
- Use brown butter
- Add walnuts
- Try using spices
- Add a tablespoon or to of instant espresso
- Swirl in peanut butter
- Add in caramel candies
How long to bake chocolate chip cookie bars
There are a lot of questions as to how long you should bake your cookie bars. I recommend starting to baking your bars for at least 20 - 25 minutes, and then checking your bars from there. The tops should be puffy, and golden brown. The edges should also have pulled slightly from the sides of the pan.
Some recommend using a toothpick to test for doneness, but I recommend using visual cues because the center of your bars should be slightly underbaked when you remove the bars from the oven. This ensures they stay soft and chewy. The bars will continue to cook for a few minutes before they cool completely.
- Don't over mix your cookie dough. This will make your bars go from chewy to tough. Mix just until everything is combined, and fold the chocolate in with a spatula.
- Wait until your cookie bars are fully cooled down before you cut the bars. It is so tempting to cut the bars while they are hot, but you will end up with a goopy mess if you don't allow the ingredients to set and maintain its structure.
- While we want the cookies slightly underbaked, we don't want the bars to be too underbaked. Otherwise, the bars will never set right and you don't be able to cut the bars into nice slices. Be sure to look for a nice golden brown top, the edges should not look burnt.
- Use parchment paper in your pan for easy release.
- The recipe works well doubled so you can bake it in a 9 x 12 baking pan.
Storing these chocolate chip cookie squares is the best because they work in pretty much all conditions.
- Room temperature - You can keep these cookie bars in an airtight container for up to a week, and they'll be great.
- Refrigerator - When stored in an airtight container, your cookie bars will last for up to 2 weeks.
- Freezer - My favorite way to store these bars is in the freezer. You can store chocolate chip cookie bars for up to 6 weeks. Just thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours.
If you like your bars warm - and who doesn't love that? - you can microwave your bars for 10 - 15 seconds and they'll be perfect!
Recipes you may like
If you are as into cookies as I am, you'll want to try out some of these other cookie recipes. These s'mores stuffed cookies are hugely popular, so are these brownie stuffed chocolate chip cookies, coconut chocolate chip cookies, and Nutella-stuffed red velvet cookies. If you're into cookie dough, you'll need to try these edible chocolate chip cookie dough, edible brownie batter, and edible sugar cookie dough. These 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies, milano cookies, and giant double chocolate cookies are also worth trying!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups chopped chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch together in a medium bowl, set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugars together until well-combined in a mixing bowl.
- Add in the egg and yolk and then the vanilla.
- Pour the flour mixture in, and stir until just combined.
- Fold in your chopped chocolate.
- Add the cookie dough into the baking pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the top is puffy and golden brown.
- Remove and add your flaky sea salt, if desired.
- Allow to cool fully and cut into squares.