These brown butter chocolate chip cookie bars are thick and chewy. Full of chocolate chunks and toasty brown butter flavor. They are so easy and fast to make. It's a no-chill cookie with a brown butter base. This gives it so much flavor, and they have deliciously chewy centers with slightly crisp edges.
About these cookie bars
Cookie bars are like brown butter chocolate chip cookies but without the hassle of rolling individual cookie dough balls. The cookie dough is baked in an 8x8-inch (20x20cm) baking pan. The dough is made using melted butter, so there is no need for a hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Fast - Except for letting the brown butter cool down, this cookie dough needs no chilling prior to baking.
- Flavorful - Thanks to the addition of brown butter, which imparts a caramelly, nutty flavor, these bars are extra flavorful.
- Full of chocolate - The caramel notes of brown butter pair really well with rich dark chocolate. There's plenty of chocolate in the actual bar, and extra chocolate chips on top.
Brown butter bars
Brown butter cookies really trump those made with regular butter when it comes to flavor. It is also known as beurre noisette. It's a simple process, made from butter that has melted and then cooked a step further so that the milk solids in the butter caramelize. This gives a caramel flavor to the butter.
The depth of flavor in the melted butter depends on how much it is left to caramelize. Too little and the flavor will be too mild. However in the same regard, if you caramelize it too much, you run the risk of burning the milk solids and cooking off too much liquid which can affect the dough.
How to brown butter
In a saucepan over medium heat, let the butter melt completely. Avoid using a dark pan as you will struggle to see the caramelization of the butter and run the risk of burning it.
Once melted, let it cook further for around 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until the milk solids in the butter have caramelized into a deep amber color and the butter has a nutty aroma.
Pour the browned butter into a mixing bowl, including all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan (they're the best bits!). Allow it to cool down for 10 minutes before continuing with the recipe.
These bar cookies are made with basic ingredients. The exact amounts are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a run-down. For these cookie bars, you will need -
- Butter - Unsalted butter or salted butter can be used. The melted butter makes a chewy cookie bar.
- Light brown sugar - this helps keep the cookie bar moist.
- Granulated white sugar - adds a little crispiness to the edges.
- Vanilla extract or paste
- Egg- brings structure to the dough and texture.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate.
Begin by browning the butter as that needs a little time to cool.
Let the butter melt in a medium saucepan. Once melted, let it cook further for around 3-4 minutes until the milk solids have caramelized and the butter smells nutty. Pour the melted brown butter into a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool down for around 8-10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C.) Line an 8x8inch (20x20cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
Once the butter has cooled, add in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix it together well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Tip the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir them with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until mainly all combined, but with a few streaks of flour remaining. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until combined.
Tip the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan. Press it into an even layer and smooth it out. Top it with some extra chocolate chips.
Bake the cookie bars for around 25 minutes until the edges are browned and the top is set and light golden brown, but still a bit soft in the middle.
A little sea salt (optional) - Once baked, you can sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt if you like.
Let the cookie bar cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing the cookie slab from the pan and letting it cool completely on a wire rack. Use the parchment paper to lift the cookies out. The cookies will be quite soft while still warm but they will firm up as they cool to room temperature.
To serve, slice the cookies into individual cookies with a sharp knife. Slice 4 rows horizontally and 4 rows vertically to create 16 pieces.
Store leftover cookie bars in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The dough can also be frozen for future cookies.
Press it into the lined pan and freeze until stiff. Remove it from the pan and wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, place the frozen cookie slab into the pan, lined with parchment paper. It can be baked from frozen but may need an extra minute or two of baking time.
More cookie bar recipes
- Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars
- Small-batch cookie bars
- Snickerdoodle cookie bars
- M&M cookie bars
- Easter cookie bars
- 170g (¾ cup) unsalted butter
- 150g (¾ cup, packed) soft brown sugar
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- 218g (1 ¾ cups*) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 170g (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- Let the butter melt in a small metal saucepan. Once melted, let it cook further for around 3-4 minutes until the milk solids have caramelized and the butter smells nutty. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and allow it to cool down for around 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C.) Line an 8x8inch (20x20cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
- Once the butter has cooled, add in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix it together well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir them with a rubber spatula until mainly all combined, but with a few streaks of flour remaining. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
- Tip the cookie dough into the prepared baking dish.
- Press dough down into the dish and smooth it out.
- Bake the cookie bars for around 25 minutes or until the edges are browned and the top is set and golden brown, but still slightly soft in the middle. This may take less or more time depending on your oven.
- Let the cookie bar cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing the cookie slab from the pan and letting it cool completely on a wire rack. The cookies will be quite soft while still warm but they will firm up as they cool to room temperature.
- To serve, slice the cookies into individual cookies with a sharp knife. Slice 4 rows horizontally and 4 rows vertically to create 16 pieces.
*The cup sizes provided are US-sized cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cups. For best results, use grams.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g
This is an informational estimate only. I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist