Soft and chewy, these cookie bars are based on brown butter, which makes their flavor really rich, and incredibly delicious. Every bite has gooey, melted chocolate chips studded through the buttery cookie dough.
If you love chocolate chip cookies, you’re going to love these bars. The flavor of the brown butter takes them to a whole other level. Letting the butter get golden and brown when you melt it, transforms the flavor into something unforgettable – it has the most amazing toffee flavor.
Not only are these bars so delicious, they are so easy to make. You don’t even need to use a mixer – you can mix it all in a bowl by hand. Then just pour in the batter into a baking dish and it’s ready to go in the oven. I love chocolate chip cookies, but these bars are so much more convenient, since you don’t have to chill the dough or roll it into balls either.
One of the most important things to remember if you want these bars to be soft and chewy is not to overbake them. If you keep them in the oven too long, they’ll still taste good, but the texture will be drier. You need to get them out of the oven before they look like they’re ready. They will continue baking even when you get them out of the oven, so don’t worry about that. The main thing is that they will be the softest, most tender chocolate chip cookies that will just melt in your mouth.
- I use unsalted butter, then melt it and make it into brown butter. If you’ve never made brown butter, you’re in for a treat.
- brown sugar
- You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar for this recipe. However, do not use granulated sugar or raw cane sugar instead of the brown sugar. The texture and flavor will be completely different.
- eggs, (large eggs) room temperature
- vanilla extract
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- semi sweet chocolate chips
- Of course, you can also use chocolate chunks or cut up a chocolate bar instead too. You can also add any of your favorite nuts in addition to the chocolate chips.
How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease the sides all around of a 9 x 13 inch metal baking pan, then line it with parchment paper on the long sides, so it overhangs. (This will make it easier to take out the cookie bars later)
- Melt the butter in a skillet until it’s golden brown and becomes “brown butter”.
- Melt the butter, then reduce the heat to medium low, and stirring frequently with a spatula, scrape the bottom of the skillet until the butter becomes golden brown with flecks of brown throughout. Stay close by because you don’t want the butter to burn. Cool the butter softly.
- Mix together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.
- Pour the butter into a large bowl, then add the brown sugar and whisk it together until smooth.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix it all together until it becomes a satiny consistency, at least 1 minute.
- Next, combine the dry ingredients separately.
- Mixing the baking powder, baking soda and salt in the flour first will make sure that you don’t get a pocket of baking soda somewhere in your cookies later.
- Add the dry ingredients to the batter. Don’t overmix, just mix until all the flour is incorporated.
- Lastly, add the chocolate chips to the batter.
- Spread the batter in the prepared baking dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the top is shiny, cracked and slightly brown, 18-25 minutes. Do not overbake. The center should look slightly underdone. Start checking the oven at least 5 minutes before they will be done. If you overcook them, they will be dry and hard.
Serving and Storing the Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Cool the bars in the baking pan for about 5-10 minutes before taking them out. If you’re not going to serve them right away, store them in the baking pan until then so they stay fresh and soft longer.
Remove them from the baking pan by lifting them using the overhanging parchment paper. Cut them into bars.
Store the chocolate chip cookie bars at room temperature, in the same baking dish, covered, or in an airtight container or large ziplock bag.
Helpful Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
When you melt the butter and let it get brown, the flavor becomes nutty, toasty and more complex. It makes the cookie bars taste like toffee. That is caused by the Maillard reaction, the chemical process of browning, which we all love so much. That’s why steak with a good sear and golden, crispy roast chicken and potatoes have so much more flavor than a gray steak or pale chicken.
You can, but you will have completely different results. Brown sugar has molasses added to it, which gives the sugar more flavor, but also makes the cookies much more tender and moist. Brown sugar will attract and absorb the liquid in the dough, so that is why the cookies will be significantly more tender than if you use granulated sugar. Molasses is acidic, so it will react with the baking soda, which is important too.
Raw cane sugar is not the same thing as brown sugar. It doesn’t have any molasses added to it. Also, raw cane sugar dissolves a lot harder than granulated sugar, so in addition to the cookie bars being more dry and hard, the sugar may not melt completely when you make the batter. As the bars bake, the granules of sugar will melt and you’ll have tiny dots all throughout your cookies.
The best way to keep them fresh is to store them in the same baking pan until you are ready to serve them. Otherwise, store them in an airtight container or a large ziplock bag.
Yes, these cookie bars freeze really well. Store them in the freezer, in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
This makes a big difference too. Metal conducts heat much better than glass or other baking pan materials. It will take longer for a glass baking dish to heat up, which means you’ll have to bake the cookie bars longer and they’ll most likely be overcooked. They will have overly baked edges and puff up more overall. If you want chewy, tender bars, the metal baking dish is what you need.
While we need the baking powder to give lift to the cookies and make them soft, If you use only baking powder, the cookies will be more puffy and less brown. The baking soda will help to keep them more chewy and will make the cookie bars more browning. The baking soda is what will react with the molasses in the brown sugar.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 15 bars 1x
6 oz (12 Tablespoons butter), melted, browned and slightly cooled
3/4 – 1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the sides of a 9 x 13 inch metal baking dish. Line the longer sides of the baking pan with parchment paper, overhanging it on both sides, so it’ll be easier to take them out later.
- Brown the butter in a skillet. Melt the butter, then cook on medium low heat, scraping the bottom of the skillet to release the brown butter bits. Be careful not to burn the butter. Cool slightly.
- Pour the butter into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for at least a minute, until it becomes smooth and satiny.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the batter. Mix to combine, until the flour is incorporated.
- Lastly, add the chocolate chips and also mix to combine.
- Transfer the cookie batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. The batter is thick and sticky, so it’s a bit challenging to spread out, just take your time.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18-25 minutes. The top should be shiny, cracked and slightly golden brown. Do not overbake. The center should look slightly underdone. The cookie bars will continue baking for a few more minutes even after taking them out of the oven.
- Let the cookie bars stay in the baking dish for another 5-10 minutes before taking them out. Pull them out using the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan. Cut them into bars.
If you’re not serving the cookie bars right away, store them in the baking pan until you are ready to cut and serve them so they stay fresh longer.
They are best eaten the same day, but you can store leftovers in the same baking dish, covered or in an airtight container, or a large ziplock bag.
You can also freeze the chocolate chip cookie bars for up to 3 months.
Keywords: chocolate chip cookie bars, brown butter chocolate chip cookie bars, chocolate chip blondies