Looking for a chewy, gooey cookie bar recipe? This is IT! The combination of brown butter, creamy milk chocolate and crunchy toasted walnuts can’t be beat. These lasted less than a day in our house!
Truth here: I didn’t know what the heck brown butter was or why it’s so fantastic until about 2 years ago. My friend Stefanie posted a cookie recipe and I was like “ooh, those look FAB!”. I figured brown butter was something complicated and fancy-schmancy until I saw this recipe.
So what the heck IS brown butter?
It is just that: butter that has been melted over medium heat and starts to brown. Those brown bits that happen are like GOLD when it comes to adding flavor to your recipe.
As long as you keep your heat low and slow, you can’t mess this up, I promise! Remember, I’m not an amazing baker. I can just fake it well 😉
This recipe is adapted from that first brown butter cookie recipe I tried. My flavor goal was Mrs. Field’s cookies. Remember those? I would BEG BEG BEG for one of those when shopping at the mall with my mom. The milk chocolate was my favorite. Ricky said I nailed it after trying these. Does Mrs. Field’s even exist anymore?
After browning the butter, you let it cool for about 10 minutes. The dough will be glossy and on the thicker side. You know how hard it was for me to actually put this dough IN THE OVEN?
Here’s what you need for these cookie bars:
- Baking essentials: flour, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda
- Milk chocolate chips – I swear by the Aldi ones!
- Chopped walnuts – trust me!
- Molasses – found in either the baking aisle or by sugar
Equipment you’ll need:
What if we can’t have walnuts?
If there’s no allergy involved, I urge you to just TRY these with the walnuts. They add a nice crunch. BUT if they’re still a no-go, simply add 1/2-3/4 cup more milk chocolate chips.
Looking for the best cookie bar recipe around? This recipe is for you! The combo of creamy milk chocolate chips and crunchy toasted walnuts can't be beat! Don't forget the essential part: brown butter. YUM!
- 2 sticks unsalted batter (1 cup)
- 1 cup Walnuts chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon molasses (spray the spoon before scooping for easy measuring)
- 2 large eggs
- 2.25 cups flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375º. Line a rectangular cake pan (or 9x13) with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large pan, add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter. Heat over medium low, stirring frequently. The butter will start to brown and you'll smell it cooking.
Add chopped walnuts to the butter and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, add remaining butter and white sugar. Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes, or until creamy. Add vanilla, molasses and brown sugar. Mix for 1 minute.
Using a spatula, scrape the brown butter mixture into the bowl. Get all of the delicious brown bits, too! Add one egg at a time, mixing well in-between.
In a small bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix with a fork.
Slowly add the flour bowl into the large mixing bowl. Now add chocolate chips.
Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Press with the spatula to spread evenly.
Bake for 22-24 minutes. It will be golden brown. DO NOT OVERBAKE.
Adapted from this recipe on Sarcastic Cooking.
I like to cut into smaller pieces so it seems like I can eat more. These will turn out chewy and gooey, with the edges a little crunchy. TO DIE FOR.
Why use parchment paper with the cake pan?
It makes it SO much easier to remove the cookie bar from the pan. I like to let the bars (this works for brownies, too!) cool for about 5 minutes, then pull them out and place on a cooling rack.
What do I do with extra molasses?
Trust me, you’ll be making these cookie bars quite often. Also, It’s fab for holiday baking, so just save it! Try this Gingerbread Biscotti recipe.