Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


author holding a stack of three chocolate chip cookie barsJust like my popular Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, these Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are AMAZING. Ultra gooey, chewy, sweet and delicious with melty pockets of two types of chocolate and an amazing flavor. You’re going to want to bookmark this recipe!

Happy August!

It is yet another month where I ponder, “how the hell are we in August?” It seems like yesterday we were in January. I bought my first can of pumpkin this weekend. Bath and Body Works is tempting me with their fall candles. I am trying to resist but it’s hard.

Don’t worry – I still have a few more non-fall-ish recipes for you before I go full pumpkin throttle on ya a little bit later in the month. First up, I haaaad to share these bars. They. Are. INCREDIBLE.

So if you’ve been around these parts for awhile, you probably know about my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re my favorite go-to, absolutely perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Welllllll I decided I needed a favorite go-to, absolutely perfect chocolate chip cookie bar because let’s face it, bar cookies are 1000% easier than drop cookies and I love that for us.

a closeup photo of a stack of chocolate chip cookie barsThese bar cookies have exactly the same elements we love about my original cookies but in a convenient and simpler bar recipe. *excitement intensifies*

a gooey stack of three cookie bars on a wire rack

The Basics

Like any self-respecting chocolate chip cookie recipe, this one has the basic ingredients: butter, brown sugar (a higher ratio for extra caramelly flavor profiles), granulated white sugar, egg, egg yolk (chewy texture!), vanilla, baking soda, salt, cornstarch (hello, soft and chewy texture, I love you!), and all-purpose flour. Pretty simple, right? BUT!….

The Chocolate

But instead of a regular chocolate chip cookie where we just toss in any old whatever chocolate chip in, I use two types of high quality chocolate chips. My philosophy is this: if you’re making a simple recipe that focuses on one ingredient, you really need to emphasize that ingredient by using the best. If this was a magic bar, for instance, with a bunch of components, we could scrimp and use cheaper chocolate. But because the chocolate chips are the star, splurge on a higher quality chocolate. I love Guittard or Ghirardelli, or if you can find them, Callebaut. And we’re using both semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate, which in combination gives an amazing depth of flavor! AAAANDDD…

The Secret Ingredient

Oh yes, there’s always something! My go-to secret ingredient for both my chocolate chip cookies and these bars is instant espresso powder! This finely ground espresso powder is CLUTCH in these bars but will NOT make them taste coffee or mocha-y at ALL, I promise! Quite simply, the espresso enhances the chocolate and vanilla notes in the bars and imparts a lovely depth of flavor. Just like when you add hot coffee to chocolate cake batter to bring out the chocolate notes, this espresso powder does the same to the chocolate chips. You can omit it if you must, but I highly recommend you don’t!

chocolate chip cookie bars arranged on a wire rack with a glass of milk

trio stack of chocolate chip cookie bars on a black wire rack

Soft, chewy, irresistibly gooey and chocolaty, you’re going to swoon over these Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars!

author holding a trio stack of chocolate chip cookie bars

author holding a stack of three gooey chocolate chip cookie bars

Print Recipe

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are seriously HEAVENLY! Soft, chewy, gooey and irresistibly chocolaty, they’re made with two types of chocolate and a secret ingredient that takes them over the top!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time22 mins

Total Time32 mins

Course: Bars, Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine: American, Dessert

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips I like Guittard
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips I like Guittard

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Line a 9×13″ light metal rectangular baking pan with foil or parchment paper, extending the sides of the foil or parchment over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil or parchment with cooking spray; set aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with the paddle attachment until creamy and combined, about 30 seconds. Add in the egg and egg yolk, mixing well, followed by the vanilla. Lastly, beat in the baking soda, cornstarch, instant espresso powder, salt, and flour on low speed until a soft dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  • Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into bars, or for super neat squares, cool completely.

Notes

You can find the instant espresso powder on the coffee and tea aisle at most major grocery stores. I use the brand Megdalia d’Oro. I promise it won’t make your bars taste coffee-ish or mocha-like! It just enhances the chocolate notes and imparts a lovely flavor profile. 
When making such a simple recipe, I like to use higher quality ingredients since the focus is so narrowed down to one flavor. In this case, the chocolate! Splurge for a higher quality chocolate chip for these bars – trust me, you can taste a difference! I like using Guittard or Ghirardelli, or if you can find it, Callebaut. You can find Guittard and Ghirardelli now at most grocery stores, including Target and Walmart.

a square of cookie bar with a bite missingThese bars are truly heavenly and I know this will become a family fave!

ultimate chocolate chip cookie bars photo collage

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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