Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are a breeze to whip up, and taste like a million bucks! These chewy cookie bars with pantry staple ingredients, brown butter for a huge boost flavor with minimal effort, and plenty of chocolate chips. Bake to gooey cookie perfection and watch these bars absolutely fly off the plate anywhere you share them!
Published: January 2022. Updated: August 2023.
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while, but today we can rejoice for I’m finally sharing it! That may sound dramatic, but trust me – it’ll be love at first bite once you make these bars. Especially if you dive in while they’re warm & gooey, fresh from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top. SWOON! And, they couldn’t be easier to make! Let’s dive in.
Why you’ll love these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:
- Easy Dessert Recipe – Any skill level from beginner to expert can easily master these bars on the first try – they’re that easy to make!
- Gooey Cookie Bars – These bars bake to gooey perfection. They’re chewy chocolate chip cookie bars with a bit of crispness around the edges. Be sure to follow the bake time tips below to avoid over baking.
- Brown Butter – Brown butter adds an INCREDIBLE boost of flavor to these cookie bars, and only adds about 5 minutes of prep work.
- Lazy Baking Recipe – This is a wonderful recipe for times you’re feeling a bit lazy – no need to portion out individual cookies!
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post, in the recipe card.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer.
- All-purpose flour – Spoon your flour into the measuring cup, then level it with a flat utensil for best results, or use a scale. Scooping the measuring cup directly into your flour will lead to too much flour, and a potentially dry bake.
- Vanilla extract – Use real vanilla extract for the best flavor!
- Brown & Granulated Sugars – Using a mix of brown and white sugar keeps these cookies super soft and flavorful.
- Eggs – Use large eggs.
- Chocolate chips – Use semi-sweet chocolate chips, or a mix of semi-sweet and milk or semi-sweet and dark, depending on your taste preferences. Chocolate chunks work great too!
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite dairy-free butter and dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Vegan Cookie Bars – Use 2 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water as an egg substitute to make this cookie bar recipe vegan.
- Gluten-free – I have not tested a gluten-free version of this recipe. Let me know if you do try anything!
How to Make this Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Brown the Butter. This is a simple process that just adds a few extra minutes of work, and tons of extra flavor. Melt butter in a saucepan. Once melted, cook it over medium low heat, stirring lazily, until it turns a golden brown shade and develops a nutty aroma. Transfer this to your mixing bowl (or other medium bowl) to cool in the fridge, scraping the pan really well to get all those nice brown bits out.
Here’s what the butter will look like once it’s been chilled until it comes back to the consistency of room temperature softened butter.
Step 2: Make the Cookie Dough. Start with the wet ingredients. Once your butter has come back to that softened consistency, cream it in a large bowl with an electric mixer, making sure to get all those brown bits up off the bottom and mixed in.
Step 3: Finish the Cookie Dough. Beat the sugars into the butter until well combined and creamy. Then, mix in the eggs and vanilla until just combined. Mix in the flour mixture (dry ingredients) until a dough forms. Then, mix in the chocolate chips.
Step 4: Add dough to Pan. Press the dough into a parchment paper-lined pan, and add a handful or two of extra chocolate chips on top. Don’t skip this step! It makes the bars not only look super fancy, but helps fill in any bare spots where the chocolate chips didn’t distribute super evenly.
Step 5: Bake the Bars. Bake the bars for 16 minutes – they’ll look a tad underdone, but this is the perfect bake time. They’ll set up as they cool, and if you over bake them, they’ll be dry the next day and we don’t want that. This is the secret to most cookie recipes – they’re done when they look like they might need a minute or two more.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Let the chocolate chip bars cool at least 30 minutes before digging in. I know, I know – it’s so hard to do that! If you want nice neat squares, let cool completely before slicing and serving. These are absolutely incredible with a little bit of flaky sea salt sprinkled on top!
Expert Success Tips:
- Oven Thermometer – An oven thermometer will tell you if your oven is actually running at the temperature you set it to. Your oven may not be accurate. Accurate oven temperature is crucial for most bakes, so I leave an oven thermometer in at all times to keep an eye on my oven’s calibration.
- Kitchen Scale – A food scale is the best way to make sure your flour is at the proper weight, since amounts will vary SO widely based on how you measure it, as well as the measuring cup you use, as they are not standardized.
- Bakery-Worthy Bar Cookies – Be sure to add those extra chocolate chips on top before baking. It not only adds extra chocolate, but also makes the bars look super professional!
- Baking Time – Be sure to follow the doneness cues and baking time given in the recipe card below – you don’t want over baked bars!
Yes, you absolutely can. Bake in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan for about the same amount of time, starting with just a bit less to be safe.
I would recommend just making two batches, as that would be a ton of dough for one mixing bowl to handle!
Use a 9×13 pan or a 10-inch oven safe skillet to make a chocolate chip skillet cookie.
- Quicker Bars – You can make these bars with the melted butter if you don’t want to wait for it to come back to room temp to beat with the sugars. Follow the recipe the same as written.
- M&ms – Add 1 cup of m&ms to the recipe if you want m&m cookie bars!
- Chocolate Chips – If you love milk chocolate, try half milk chocolate chips and half semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Other Mix-Ins – You could also add 1 cup of chopped pecans, walnuts, pretzels, or potato chips to make different variations on these cookie bars.
- Extra Chewy Bars – Try using 1 egg and 1 egg yolk for extra chewy bars.
- Individual Cookies – Try my one-bowl chocolate chip cookies if you want to make regular cookies! The base recipe is virtually the same.
- 9×13 Pan – You’ll need a 9×13 pan to bake these bars in.
More Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes to Love:
- No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites
- Chocolate Cookie Dough Cups
- Ultimate Cookie Dough Cake
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Jumbo Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups (Nutella filled!)
More Dessert Bar Recipes:
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp salted butter 254 grams
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 163 grams
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 155 grams
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 347 grams
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus a generous handful for topping
- flaky sea salt, for topping
- Make the Brown Butter: Add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter, stirring occasionally. Once it's melted, turn the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking the butter, stirring frequently. The butter will get foamy and bubbly, and then turn a deep golden shade with a nutty, caramely aroma. (This will take about 4-6 minutes once the butter has melted.) Once the butter reaches this stage, remove it from the heat. Pour the butter into the mixing bowl you plan to use, and let it chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes to bring it back to the consistency of room temperature softened butter, or use it in it's melted state – just let it cool a bit so it's not piping hot.
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350° F and spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
- Make the cookie dough: Cream softened butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, making sure to get all the brown bits from the bottom of the bowl mixed in. Add the sugars and mix on high until well creamed with the butter, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until just combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until a dough forms – it may be a bit crumbly at first, but just keep mixing until it comes together. Add the chocolate chips and mix to distribute them throughout the dough. Note: If using the melted brown butter, just be sure it's not steaming hot – whisk in the sugars, then the rest of the ingredients in the same way as directed above.
- Bake: Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan, and add the extra handful of chocolate chips on top, in spots where it needs a bit more chocolate. Bake for 14-16 minutes. The bars will look a tad underdone, and you may be tempted to leave them in longer, but 16 minutes is the perfect amount of time. The edges will appear a bit more set than the center, and a toothpick inserted into the center should have some moist crumbs, but not wet batter.
- Serve + Store: Let rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. The longer you let them sit, the neater slices you'll get, but these really are best while they're still nice and warm from the oven, with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Store leftovers (ha!) in an airtight container at room temp for 4-6 days, or longer in the fridge. I highly recommend gently warming leftover bars in the microwave for that ooey gooey factor.