Chocolate chip cookie bars are soft, chewy, and easier than making traditional cookies. Skip the process of chilling the dough and forming it into balls – and bake your cookie dough in a 9×13 inch pan instead.
If you like cookies that are chewy, soft, extra thick, and packed with a ton of chocolate chips – then chocolate chip cookie bars are for you. They’re also for you if you feel like eating cookies, but don’t feel like getting sticky fingers from forming the dough into balls. Or waiting 2 hours for the dough to chill.
You might be wondering what makes cookie bars different than blondies. After all, they’re both bar recipes without cocoa, filled with chocolate chips, and made in a 9 x 13 (or 8×8 ) inch pan. Well – there are a few key differences:
- In blondies, the ratio of butter to flour is much higher – giving a richer flavor
- Blondies have much more sugar which gives them a caramel-like undertone
- Blondies have no baking soda or baking powder, meaning they’re denser than cookie bars
At the end of the day, chocolate chip cookie bars have a delicious cookie flavor and texture. They’re soft and chewy, but not quite as dense. Whereas blondies have a texture more similar to brownies – they’re chewy, dense, a little gooey and almost fudgy.
Tips for Making Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
You’ll notice that I didn’t just take my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and bake it in a 9×13 inch pan. That’s because we need to change up a few things since we don’t need to worry about the cookies spreading and the thickness of the cookies is different than regular CCCs. Here are the key differences & important things to look out for when baking.
- We’re using melted butter. (Measure it first, then melt it). The melted butter coats every grain of sugar, creating a chewier texture.
- More brown sugar than white sugar leads to more flavor.
- 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks for tenderness. The extra egg yolks are key to chewy, tender bars. You can either discard the 2 extra egg whites or save them for something else. If you make an egg white omelette – you can justify a second cookie bar 😉
- Because we don’t want the cookie bars to rise too much, we’re only using 1 teaspoon of baking powder. More baking powder (or baking soda for that matter) will cause the bars to rise and have a cakier texture.
- Lots and lots of chocolate chips. When baking cookies, too many chocolate chips can cause the cookies to spread too thin. But in cookie bars, this definitely isn’t a problem.
- Be careful of bake time. They’ll take 32-37 minutes. The longer they bake, the less gooey they will be. In my oven 34 minutes was perfect, but this is also a little bit of personal preference.
- Cool the bars fully for clean cutting. They’re also super delicious warm, but will definitely be messy to cut. Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into them.
- Want to make cookie bars in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan? Simply half all of the ingredients, and make the recipe as directed. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes for an 8×8 inch pan or 27-32 minutes for a 9×9 inch pan.
*Note: Because this recipe was designed for baking in a 9×13 inch pan, I do not recommend it for forming into balls and baking as cookies. Instead, I recommend this chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter , melted & cooled
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks , in addition to the other 2 eggs (discard the whites)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang around the sides. Or line with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter and sugars (or use an electric mixer).
- Whisk/beat in the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Stir (or beat) in the flour mixture about 1/2 at a time.
- Fold in the chocolate chips using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Spoon the batter into the lined pan and spread the top smooth.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 32-37 minutes, or until the top looks set.* Baking for longer will lead to less gooey/chewy bars.
- Cool fully before cutting for clean slices, or cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.