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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with PB Frosting turn your favorite chocolate chip cookies into bars topped with an incredibly fluffy peanut butter frosting! Easily made gluten-free, these bars are sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Delicious Details at a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Baking
Dietary Info: Gluten-free
Skill Level: Easy
Think chocolate chip cookies meets sugar cookies, but in bar shape! I love taking chocolate chip cookie bars to school events or parties because this recipe makes 6-7 dozen bars (yes, you read that right!), which means that everyone can have seconds. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:
- Easily made gluten-free. If you wish, you can easily make this recipe using a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend. All of the other ingredients you need are already gluten-free.
- Make them with or without frosting. I love topping these chocolate chip cookie bars with peanut butter frosting! However, if you’re short on time or just want to keep things simple, you can omit the frosting. The cookie bars will still taste amazing.
- Adaptable. You can make this recipe as written if you like the taste of traditional chocolate chip cookies, or you can try some of my variation suggestions below.
- Sturdy and packable. Cookie bars are perfect for packing into lunchboxes or taking to the park for an outdoor sweet treat.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a rundown of the ingredients in these chocolate chip cookie bars. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.
For the Cookies
- All-Purpose or Gluten Free Flour: You can make these gluten-free or not, depending on your needs. I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour when I bake these cookies.
- Baking Soda
- Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter in my baking recipes.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter Frosting: Or you can make your own choice of frosting. I include the instructions here, but you can check out my peanut butter frosting recipe for all the details.
- Topping: Sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or chopped peanut butter cups, for decorating.
For the Frosting
- Peanut Butter: For the smoothest frosting I use creamy peanut butter.
- Powdered Sugar
Here is an overview of how to make these irresistible chocolate chip cookie bars. For detailed instructions, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven and have a baking sheet ready.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. Sift or whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugars. Combine the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs.
- Add the flour and chocolate chips. On low, beat in the flour mixture to the wet mixture, then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the dough. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan.
- Bake. Bake the bars until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool. Cool bars completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting. Beat together the butter and peanut butter, then add the powdered sugar and as much milk as you need until it’s light and fluffy.
- Frost and enjoy. Frost the cookie bars and enjoy!
Tips For the Best Chocolate Chip Bars
I love this recipe exactly as it’s written, but it’s also fun to change it up a bit.
- Try different chocolate. You can make chocolate chip cookie bars with milk chocolate or white chocolate, or a combination with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Top with other frosting. I love peanut butter frosting on these cookie bars, but homemade chocolate frosting would also be lovely! Or go simple and use vanilla frosting.
- Skip the frosting and add salt! If you want a sweet-salty combination, skip the peanut butter frosting and top the cookie bars with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt (like Maldon sea salt).
- Add other candy. If you wish, add in mini M&Ms or Reeses pieces along with the chocolate chips!
- Stir in toasted nuts. Toasted, chopped walnuts would add a wonderful bit of crunch to these chocolate chip cookie bars.
- Brown the butter. If you like, you can brown the butter to add a deeper, more nutty flavor undertone. Place the butter in a pan set over medium heat and cook it until it crackles and starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Cool the butter, then place it in the bowl with the sugar and proceed with the recipe. Note that the butter and sugar won’t become “light and fluffy” because the butter will be liquid when you beat it.
Here’s what to do with any leftover chocolate chip cookie bars:
- Fridge – Store these cookie bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezer – Place the cookie bars in an airtight, freezer-safe container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 months. You can freeze the bars with or without the frosting. Thaw the bars completely in the fridge before eating.
For the Cookies
- 5 cups all-purpose or gluten free 1:1 flour , (660 grams) I recommend Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Peanut Butter Frosting, see below, or your choice of frosting
- Optional sprinkles, mini chocolate chips or copped peanut butter cups, for decorating
For the Frosting
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
For the Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and grease or line a 13×18 inch baking pan with parchment paper to make them easier to remove.
- Sift or whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine the butter and sugars in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer and cream with stand mixer or hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan, using a small offset spatula or a rubbed spatula sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake for 12-18 minutes, or until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean (it won't look done, so use the toothpick test).
- Cool completely, then frost and decorate as desired. Cut into small squares.
For the Frosting
- Beat together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar.
- Increase mixer speed, and add milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired consistency. Beat until light and fluffy.