At one point I thought I had too many chocolate chip bar recipes and trimmed down the collection. This recipe was a casualty. No one noticed, or so I thought. Last week I received an email from someone who stopped by Cookie Madness to grab what she said was “the best chocolate chip bars” recipe. She said none of the other recipes compared and loved that this one calls for a 9×13 inch pan. So being the kind and responsive blogger I am, I found the recipe for her. I also made a quick batch because when someone says a Cookie Madness recipe is their favorite, I listen.Jump to Recipe
An Old One From Hershey’s
I think the reason I moved it was because the recipe for what our reader considered the best chocolate chip cookie bars was actually an old one from Hershey’s called Butterscotch Blondies. She’d taken that recipe and substituted chocolate chips for the butterscotch. So it’s for chocolate chip cookie bars, but it’s really an old butterscotch bar recipe in disguise. At any rate, this was a good excuse to bake a batch of cookie bars and see if they really are “the best”.
So Are They The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars?
Hmm, wait? Are they? Of course! Are they the best for you? You’ll have to try them and decide. I will say that compared to Katie’s Favorite Blondies, which is my go-to Blondie recipe, these are are cakier and less candy-like. They’re also not dense and smooth like Katy’s. Compared to Pat’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, they are firmer and less cakey. Pat’s are real soft. All are good choices. One nice thing about this recipe is it works perfectly in a standard size 9×13 inch pan. To halve it, just use an 8 inch pan.
Bake Time and Cooling Time
Bake time on the original recipe was 30 to 35 minutes, which sounds a little long, but you never know with ovens. I baked a half batch a few days ago and they were done in 24 minutes. I baked another batch in my toaster oven and they appeared done at 22. Definitely check your blondies at 24 minutes to be safe, especially if you are halving the recipe. Also, be sure to give the bars plenty of time to cool.
Hershey Bars on Top
Since this was originally a Hershey’s Butterscotch Blondies recipe, as an homage to Hershey’s (and because I had a few), I broke up some Hershey Bars and put them on the top during the last minute and a half of baking.
The Best Chocolate Chip Bars Recipe
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened (170 grams)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (!50 grams)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour (260 grams)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups butterscotch or chocolate chips or a mix of chips
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, untoasted or pecans, better toasted) Macadamia would work too. Also, optional two bars of Hershey’s milk chocolate.
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanlila (if using); beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in butterscotch chips and nuts, if desired. Spread into prepared pan. Original recipe said to bake 30 to 35 minute, but check at 23. Top should be golden brown and center should appear set. Also, for the Hersheys’ variation, scatter Hershey’s on top about two minutes before bars are ready. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. About 24 bars or however many you like.
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (salted or unsalted) (170 grams)
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (150 grams)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional, use only if using chocolate chips)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, weigh or measure with a light hand (260 grams) or use 260 grams of a gluten-free blend
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1 scant teaspoon if using unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups or more semisweet chips or a big mix of chips (I rarely measure the chips)
- 1 cup chopped nuts, toasted pecans or untoasted walnuts optional
- 2 regular Hershey Bars, broken into squares
- Heat oven to 350°F. and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat well.
- Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chips and nuts, if desired. Spread into prepared pan. .
- Bake for about 25 minutes (may take longer, may be done sooner) or until top is golden brown and center is set.
- Remove from oven and scatter Hershey Bar pieces over top. Return to oven for about 1 1/2 minutes or until the bars are softened.
- Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.
I made these and took them to a Memorial Day gathering. They were a big hit! I used half chocolate chips and half butterscotch chips. I will definitely make them again.
This recipe is a great inventory buster! I had a bunch of stuff I needed to use up, so I made the base dough and mixed in a cup of chocolate (a combination of semisweet chips, bittersweet chips, and semisweet chunks), two cups of M&Ms, and a little over a cup of walnuts. I was afraid those ratios would be weird, but it produced a great cookie bar! I found the dough itself pretty flavorful on its own (bright but not too sweet), and I think it could hold down the fort with just about any mix-ins added. I have so much more counter space now!
Katrina & Sue,
Thanks for the comments! These are really good. I am loving the gluten-free chocolate chip version and might try the butterscotch version at some point in the future.
I haven’t made chocolate chip bars in a very very long time. I love a good blondie so I make those instead. I hope I remember to try these the next time I need something like that.
My son is a butterscotch lover so I can see making them with butterscotch chips too.
Love a good bar sometimes instead of slaving away making cookies. Adding recipe to make for family functions and such.