Old-School Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the old-school cookie bars you grew up eating. They are super chewy, have undeniable crispy edges, and a hefty dose of chocolate chips. Talk about nostalgia.

chocolate chip cookie bars cut in squares sprinkled with salt

Heirloom recipes always take me the longest to create. It is not because the recipe is hard to follow per se, but more so because the memory attached to the dish is unforgivable. “They are just not the same,” I heard muttered across the kitchen as I am covered in flour and surrounded by endless batches of chocolate chip cookie bars.

“Well, I followed the recipe,” I say as I call my tried-and-true source yet again to figure out what I did wrong. Did I scoop the flour right? Do you use a glass or aluminum pan? What kind of chocolate do you use? Are you sure you wrote down the recipe right? Failure after failure, I began questioning my sanity.

Ingredients in different size bowls for chocolate chip cookie bars

At one point, I thought the recipe might be on the back of the Nestle Toll house chocolate chip bag. I had flashbacks of a Friends episode where Monica spent days trying to recreate Phoebe’s grandmother’s famous Chocolate chip cookie recipe only to find it on the back of the bag. I scurried to my computer to confirm, in fact, this is not a Toll house cookie bar recipe.

chocolate chip cookie bars stacked on top of one another

I finally recreated these Chocolate Chip Cookie bars that taste just like the old-school originals. These bars have the crispiest edges thanks to the elimination of parchment paper (don’t use it!) and a chewy, gooey center that can only be accomplished by slightly under baking the bars. While using semi-sweet Toll house chocolate chips is the old-school version, I spring for the luxurious dark chocolate chips every chance I get.

How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  1. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl.

    brown sugar and butter in a large bowl surrounded by other ingredients

  2. Beat until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla. 

    egg added to the beaten eggs and butter in a large bowl surrounded by remaining ingredients

  3. Beat until smooth. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt mixture. Stir to combine.

    flour added to the batter in a large bowl

  4. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until combined.

    chocolate chips mixed into the batter with a wooden spatula in a large bowl

  5. Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until golden.

    cookie dough spread in the bottom of a square baking pan

  6. Let cool completely. Store for up to 2 days.

    baked bars in a square pan

FAQ’S about Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Why are my bars crumbly?

It is very easy to over bake these bars! Once a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean, they are done baking even if they don’t look like it.

Can I bake these in a cast iron pan?

Sure can! You use a 8″ or 6″ cast iron pan depending on the bar thickness you desire. For thicker bars, a longer baking time is required. Keep in mind, cast iron holds heat for a long time so make sure to error on the side of under baked bars as they will continue to bake in the cast iron pan.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes. Use a 9×13″ baking pan, double all of the ingredients, and increase the baking time to 20-25 minutes. 

How do I keep these bars moist?

After the bars cool, store them in an airtight container immediately to help keep them moist.

How long do these bars last?

Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Can I freeze the chocolate chip cookie bar dough?

This chocolate chip cookie dough freezes wonderfully. To freeze, place the dough in a freezer zip-lock bag. Spread the dough evenly in the bag so it lays flat. Seal the bag, making sure there are no air pockets in the bag. Place the bag flat in the freezer. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator and proceed with the baking step in the recipe.

More Bar and Brownie Recipes to Try


Old-School Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the old-school cookie bars you grew up eating. They are super chewy, have undeniable crispy edges, and a hefty dose of chocolate chips. Talk about nostalgia.

  • Author: Kim
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (117g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5.5 tablespoons (77g) unsalted butter, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips, more or less as desired


  1. Preheat the oven. Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8×8 inch square baking pan or 9″ cake pan (preferably light-colored to avoid over-browning). Avoid using parchment paper to get the crispiest, chewiest edges!
  2. Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. Beat the wet ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. 
  4. Make the dough. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix at low speed until combined. Using a spatula, mix in the chocolate chips. 
  5. Bake.  Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer with your fingers. The batter is very sticky so do the best you can. Bake until the middle slightly wiggles and the edges are golden brown, about 12 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean if inserted into the center of the bars. Remove the pan from the oven, and let cool completely on a baking rack.


FLOUR. If you opt to measure by volume instead of weight, whisk the flour first to aerate it, then spoon into a measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a knife. 

BUTTER. I used room temperature butter that is 65°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the butter by placing your finger on the butter and pressing down slightly. Room temperature butter will be cool to the touch and leave a slight indentation. If this sounds too fussy, cold butter will work fine if using a stand mixer (this will not work if using a hand mixer).

BAKING FOR 1 OR 2? I suggest making the whole recipe and freezing half of dough for later use. If only using half of the dough, use a 6″ round cake pan and reduce the baking time by 4-5 minutes. 



  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 128mg
  • Fat: 5.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.3g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg

Keywords: Nestle Toll house Chocolate Chip Cookie bar, Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars,

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