Ooey, gooey, chewy, thick chocolate chip cookie bars made from scratch in a 9×13 pan – a true crowd favorite! They are made in one bowl, all mixed up by hand, with no machines required!
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Quick & Easy Cookie Bars!
This recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars is a mom’s best friend and will become one of your go-to favorite recipes. It takes minimal effort (no scooping cookies needed!) and it is perfect for a crowd! They’re great for a quick after-school treat or any occasion where you need to feed many people in an easy way. It’s like a thick, gooey chocolate chip cookie cake without the fancy decorating!
Tips & tricks for the best chocolate chip cookie bars:
- This cookie bar recipe uses melted butter making them super soft and smooth – this is a crucial part to these cookie bars!
- Do not bake for too long or else you will have a dry cookie bar with a crunchy chocolate exterior.
- Experiment with adding different kinds of chocolate chips. Milk or dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips are all great options! You could even add some M&M’s.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate treat!
- Store these bars in an airtight container or freeze for later. They last up to 3-4 days, but they taste best within the first 2 days.
Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Bars::
This is just an overview of ingredients & substitutions; click here to jump down to the full recipe card for ingredient amounts and instructions.
- Unsalted butter (melted): Salted is also fine here, just omit the added salt. Do not use margarine, as this will be too greasy.
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder, baking soda, salt
- All-purpose flour: For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free 1-to-1 flour but I personally like them best with half GF flour, half almond flour (like my chewy gluten-free cookie cake).
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I use Nestle or Costco brand): Feel free to make these with your favorite chocolate chips, chunks, M&M’s, or dairy-free chocolate chips!
- 9×13 pan (ideally light-colored metal)
Decorating Ideas for Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Make a double batch of my cookie cake buttercream frosting to pipe on a decorative border!
- Top with flaky sea salt for an elevated taste – so, so good!
- Drizzle melted chocolate on top of cookie bars
- Add M&M’s, sprinkles, crushed nuts, or almonds inside the dough or on top
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:
Step 1: Mix Cookie Dough
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and cover with parchment paper (optional but recommended for easy removal).
In a medium bowl, mix together melted butter (3/4 cup), light brown sugar (3/4 cup), and granulated sugar (1/2 cup) and mix until combined. Add in egg, egg yolk, vanilla (2 teaspoons), baking soda (1 teaspoon), baking powder (1/4 teaspoon), and salt (1/2 teaspoon). Mix. Add flour (2 – 2 1/4 cups, see “notes section” in recipe card below regarding flour amounts), 1/2 cup whole chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup chopped chocolate chips. Stir until combined.
Tip: Adding the chocolate chips at the same as the flour will help the chips be evenly distributed and prevent them from falling to the bottom of the bowl.
Step 2: Press Cookie Dough Into Pan
Press cookie dough into a greased, parchment-lined 9×13″ pan. Once smooth, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top and lightly press each into the dough. If you see any chocolate chips stuck together or on the edge of the pan, relocate them. This will help create clean edges when cut!
Step 3: Bake
Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until cookie bars are lightly golden brown (do not overbake, you want to underbake slightly for a gooey cookie). Allow the cookie bars to cool completely before cutting into squares/bars! Or don’t and eat a warm bar with ice cream (just note that they will look too dough & crumble a bit more when hot but will continue to bake in the hot pan!).
Step 4 (optional): Decorate Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
To decorate chocolate chip cookie bars, you can use some of the following:
- Make a double batch of my cookie cake buttercream frosting to pipe on a decorative border
- Drizzle chocolate on top of cookie bars
- Add M’m’s or sprinkle crushed nuts or almonds on top
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of chocolate chips should I use in the cookie bars?
I like these chocolate chip cookie bars best with semi-sweet chocolate chips but you can also use milk chocolate chips! Dark, milk, white chocolate chips would all taste delicious in these bars, as well. Or you can always chop up your favorite chocolate bar or leftover Halloween candy for super delicious cookie bars.
Can I freeze the cookie bars?
The cookie bars freeze well after being baked and cooled completely. To freeze, cool the bars completely before placing them into an airtight container or freezer bag for storage. They will keep in the freezer for 1-2 months.
What type of pan should I use?
I used a 9×13 metal baking pan and it turned out to be the perfect size for these thick bar cookies. If you bake these in a smaller pan, you will want to use less dough (freeze the extra and bake into cookies later!) and will just need to increase the baking time.
You can also use glass, just take note that the cookie bars may need longer to bake. In general, I always recommend using metal baking pans for cookie bars.
How many servings are in this recipe?
This cookie bar recipe yields approximately 24 servings, depending on how large you cut them. For cookie platters, I like cutting these in smaller 1-2″ bite-sized pieces.
Do you have other cookie bar recipes?
I sure do! Check out some of my other tried-and-true bar cookie recipes:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
These easy chocolate chip cookie bars are thick, soft, gooey, and chewy – a true crowd favorite! They are made in one bowl, all mixed up by hand, with no machines required!
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (not margarine) You will be melting this
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 yolk (i.e. 1 whole egg + 1 extra egg yolk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour *see notes section below, you can add an extra 1/4 cup flour if your dough is too runny
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/2 cup whole chips + 1/2 cup chopped chips in dough, then 1/2 sprinkled on top)
Before you begin! If you make this, will you do me a huge favor and leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe? This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
If you made this recipe prior to 3/28/22, I’ve since made a few tweaks as some readers were having trouble with them being too cakey. See notes section below for what I changed!
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or metal mallet to break them down into small pieces. Set aside.
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for 20-30 seconds until JUST melted. (If your butter is steaming, let it cool down for a few minutes. Butter that is too hot can result in greasy bars and/or will cause the eggs to cook.)
Add in white sugar and brown sugar and use a spatula to stir until combined (* do not use a mixer!). Add in egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Stir in baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in flour, 1/2 cup whole chocolate chips, and the 1/2 cup of chopped chocolate chips. Mix until all the flour disappears into the dough. Immediately proceed to next step.
Press dough into a greased or parchment-lined metal 9×13" pan until smooth. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top and gently press each one into the dough.
Bake at 350°F for 16-18 minutes until edges and top are lightly golden brown. Do not overbake or your chocolate chip cookie bars will not be soft. You want the cookie bars to be lightly brown on the top and look slightly underbaked (my oven was perfect at 16 minutes). Remove from oven and place entire pan on a cooling rack.
Allow the cookie bars to cool completely before removing from pan. Slice into 24 squares, then enjoy! To keep fresh, cover pan with saran wrap or place bars in airtight continer for up to 3 days (after that they start to dry out). See notes below for freezing tips.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe! This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
Recipe tweaks: As of 3/28/22, I tweaked this recipe to be a tad bit sweeter and have less flour and baking powder (to help the recipe not turn out cakey for some people). If you made & loved the original, simply keep the original ratios of 1/4 cup granulated sugar (changed to 1/2 cup), 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (changed to 1/4 teaspoon), 2 1/4 cup flour (changed to 2 cups). But I must say…I think these tweaks make them even better than before!
Chocolate chips: While I use semi-sweet chocolate chips, you can also use milk, dark, or white chocolate!
To freeze: To freeze, cool the bars completely before placing them into an airtight container or freezer bag for storage. These will keep in freezer for 1-2 months.
It’s that easy! Now go and make these ultimate chocolate chip cookie bars! They’re super-duper delicious and everyone will love them… guaranteed! If you make them, be sure to leave a comment below and tag me on Instagram @designeatrepeat. Enjoy xo!