Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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Hands-on time:
Baking time:
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Yield: 24 bars

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No time to make everyone's favorite, chocolate chip cookies? This dough comes together in a flash — just spread it in a pan and bake; no need to shape individual cookies.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

star rating (84) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 bars
Published: 02/25/2011


  • 2/3 cup (10 2/3 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon butterscotch flavor or vanilla-butternut flavor, optional
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 cups chocolate chips; or a combination of different flavored chips, or chips and nuts
  • *Use 1 teaspoon salt if you use unsalted butter.

Tips from our bakers

  • For old-fashioned "congo bars," use a mixture of your favorite flavored chips: chocolate, white chocolate, cinnamon, cappuccino, butterscotch, etc.; plus chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • These bars are very moist indeed just after you've removed them from the oven. You might think they're underbaked; that would be true, if you were going to eat them right away. But letting them cool completely (overnight is best) leaves them with wonderfully chewy, moist texture; if you baked them completely through initially, their final texture would be much drier.
  • To regain that delicious just-baked, melty chocolate freshness, reheat individual bars in the microwave very briefly, just until warm.


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1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

2) Melt the butter, and stir in the brown sugar. Add the salt, vanilla, and flavor, stirring until well combined.

3) Allow the mixture to cool slightly (if it's very hot to the touch), then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl midway through this process.

4) Add the baking powder, espresso powder, and flour, stirring to combine.

5) Stir in the chips or other additions of your choice.

6) Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges with a wet spatula (or your wet fingers). Smooth the top as best you can.

7) Bake the bars for 30 to 32 minutes, until they've risen, and their top is shiny and golden. Bake for the shorter amount of time in a darker pan; the longer time in a light/shiny pan. A cake tester inserted into the center won't come out clean; in fact, the center of the very middle of the pan may look quite molten when you dig into it. But so long as no wet batter is showing farther out towards the edges, the bars are done. As they cool, the center will solidify.

8) Remove the bars from the oven, and use a heatproof spatula to press down the risen edges; this will make bars with flat, rather than humped tops. Let the bars cool completely before cutting; overnight is best. Once bars are cool, wrap airtight. Store wrapped bars at room temperature for a couple of days.

Yield: 2 dozen bars.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 bar Servings Per Batch: 24 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280 Calories from Fat: 110 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 35mg Sodium: 160mg Total Carbohydrate: 42g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 30g Protein: 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/25/2015
  • messyjessy37 from KAF Community
  • This was the last thing I baked/are before going into labor with my first... No regrets!
  • star rating 02/17/2015
  • from
  • This was my second time baking these. Both times, they were devoured by family and friends, who declared them "AMAZING!" I made them exactly as in the recipe, using an even amount of bittersweet and butterscotch chips. They are moist, melt-in-your-mouth, and so easy!
  • star rating 02/13/2015
  • Mira S. H. from Kona, HI
  • 5 stars based on some minor variations based on personal preferences... I was being lazy and didn't feel like lugging out the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. This recipe came together beautifully with just a bowl and my favorite wooden spoon. I wasn't paying attention and set the microwave for 6 minutes instead of 60 seconds to melt the butter. By the time I came back after tossing some laundry into the washer, I ended up with some rather lovely, toasty brown butter...instead of a kitchen fire, which very well could've happened... What else, let's see...The batter and I split a hefty shot of Maker's Mark which paired nicely with espresso powder... I switched the flour from AP to white whole wheat. I couldn't get over a pound of brown sugar, I mean seriously a pound!?! I know cookies/bars "are a sometimes food", but sheesh! Instead I used 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) of brown sugar and added a couple of tablespoons of Lyle's Golden Syrup to preserve the "chew" factor. Because of the (ahem, accidental) brown butter, the butterscotch/caramely flavor still came through in the final result even with of the reduced sugar and my lack of butternut. I bleed chocolate, but 3 cups did seem like overkill, so I chopped up 9 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) of my favorite dark chocolate bar and then added another cup of Rolos...the already unwrapped kind. They turned out perfect after 30 minutes in the oven and an overnight rest in the counter. Also l loved that genius addition of the espresso powder...which I will be stealing and adding to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Next time I may see if I can get away with 8 ounces of brown sugar with addition of the Lyle's. Oh yes, there will definitely be a next time, probably as soon this Sunday for our neighborhood Presidents day block party! Thank you for another great addition to my recipe repertoire.
  • star rating 02/13/2015
  • Liz from Belleville , Illinois
  • These are always good. I used semi sweet choc chips, dark choc chips and caramel chips. That wwas what I had. I also ran out of brown sugar and used regular granulated sugar. I used vanilla and kahlua as my flavorings. Used a glass baking dish and baked for 30 min. They probably could have come out slightly sooner but, they were great with my morning coffee
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • pabsaz from KAF Community
  • Easy to assemble and everyone loved these bars. I did not use the optional ingredients
  • star rating 11/16/2014
  • from
  • This recipe is amazing!
  • star rating 05/24/2014
  • Favorite Aunt L from Durham, nc
  • First time making these and it was love at first bite! I needed to serve the same day I made them and was concerned they would not 'set up' in time. To speed the process along, I lined the pan with parchment. After they cooled for 30 min, I lifted them out using the parchment. Another 60 min on the counter and then into the fridge - still on the parchment paper. A few hours later, they were slightly chilled, cut easily and were solid all the way thru.
  • star rating 04/08/2014
  • Julia from Long Island, New York
  • These bars are absolutely delicious! The recipe is wonderful and I followed it almost exactly. The only thing I did differently was substitute the espresso powder and flavoring with 1 teaspoon of Kahlua coffee liquor. This imparts wonderful flavor! I think I like these better than regular brownies! I might make them with caramel and butterscotch next time...
  • star rating 03/27/2014
  • LynnJacobs1 from KAF Community
  • SO easy to prepare, just mixed it up by hand in my saucepan after melting the butter. Rich flavor reminds me of the Congo Squares my mom used to make in the '60s.
  • star rating 03/26/2014
  • Susan from Boston
  • These are absolutely my go-to recipe for times that I need something quick, reliable and delicious. There is something magical about the combination of butternut/butterscotch flavoring, vanilla extract and espresso powder with the brown sugar batter and chocolate chips (or with a combination of chocolate chips and butterscotch and/or peanut butter chips). They are a hands down favorite of my teenagers and their friends. Note that on top of all the deliciousness, this is a one-bowl recipe - melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and mix everything else in. No one ever guesses when I make these with white whole wheat flour. This recipe is a staple in my kitchen!
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