Blondies? Chocolate chip cookie bars? What’s the difference? I do not know what the exact definition of either is. In my mind, blondies are a gooier form of a chocolate chip cookie, and chocolate chip cookie bars are a bar form of cookies. But, listen, whether you call these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars by their given name here or blondies — you’ll certainly say they are delicious! That said, if you prefer a thicker, gooier bar, check out my Brown Butter Blondies!
How to Make Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookie bars are really simple to make. They are perfect for a weeknight dessert, family gathering, or to just store in the freezer.
How to Make Brown Butter
Do not be intimidated by brown butter. Brown butter is nothing more than cooked butter. After the butter is fully melted, cook it on a medium-low heat. The butter will crackle and eventually foam. You are cooking out all of the water, which then allows the milk solids to cook in the fat of the butter, thereby browning them.
To learn how to make brown butter, check out my Brown Butter post.
Once the butter is browned, allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover it and pop it in the refrigerator for at least an hour so it hardens. You can brown the butter days in advance if you wish. When you are going to mix the batter, allow the brown butter to warm to room temperature for at least a half hour before you start mixing.
Cream the Brown Butter with Most of the Ingredients
With an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugars, milk, vanilla and vinegar. Don’t have an electric mixer? You can certainly do this all by hand.
Beat in the Eggs
In my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, I use just one egg, which renders an ideal cookie texture of me. These chocolate chip cookie bars, however, benefit from the addition of another egg, making the bars just slightly less crisp than cookies.
Fold in the Dry Ingredients
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Then mix the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over mix. Toss in the chocolate chips, stirring until combined.
Bake, Cool and Enjoy!
Spread the batter evenly into an ungreased 9-inch by 13-inch pan. My favorite pan is from USA Pan. There is no need to grease the pan here. Sprinkle with a flaky salt. Bake for 24-26 minutes. Allow to cool at least slightly before slicing.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 227 grams unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch squares (16 Tablespoons or 2 sticks)
- 240 grams all purpose flour (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 146 grams light brown sugar (⅔ cup, firmly packed)
- 133 grams granulated sugar (⅔ cup)
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoons vinegar (cider or white)
- 2 large eggs
- 340 grams semisweet and/or bittersweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
- Flaky sea salt
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once fully melted, increase the heat to low-medium to cook the butter, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The butter will start popping and crackling and then start foaming. The part of the butter that will start browning is the milk solids which will be on the bottom of the pan. This is why you need to keep stirring and lifting the spatula or spoon out of the pan to see what stage it is at. Once you have nicely browned specks on the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the butter into a heatproof bowl to stop it from cooking any further. (Be careful not to overcook the butter. It can go from brown to burnt very quickly.) Allow the butter to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until hardened, at least an hour. (Brown butter can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator.) Allow the brown butter to come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before mixing the dough.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown butter, sugar, brown sugar, milk, vanilla and vinegar. Add the eggs and beat until fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix just until fully combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Spread the batter into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. At this point, you can cover the pan and refrigerate it for up to 3 days before baking. Sprinkle sea salt on top and bake 24-26 minutes. The edges will be golden brown and start to pull from the sides of the pan.
- Cool before slicing.
- The brown butter can be made ahead of time, even by a few days. If you are new to making brown butter, use a lower flame so you have more control over the cooking process. It may take a few minutes longer, but the butter will be less likely to go from brown to burnt so quickly.
- These can be made in one day, but plan ahead so your brown butter has time to solidify in the refrigerator.
- You can freeze the fully baked cookie bars. They should come to room temperature in about 10 minutes.
- Deeper, quality chocolate is best for these cookies. (Milk chocolate is good, but not great.) Semi-sweet is fabulous, and a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet is truly wonderful. Can’t find bittersweet chips? Just chop up a quality bittersweet chocolate bar. I use these semi-sweet chips, these bittersweet chips, and these milk chocolate chips. Callebaut is one of my all time favorite chocolates to bake with. Their chocolate is slightly expensive, but it is what sets my cookies apart from everyone else’s. Use quality ingredients for a quality baked good!