One of the things that I love about bar cookies is that they are so quick and easy to make. Unlike regular drop cookies, there is no need to shape the dough or to bake in small batches. All you need to do is press the dough into your pan and bake. These Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are sure to satisfy any chocolate chip cookie lover and they’re a snap to make.
These bars have a fantastic texture that helps make them so delicious. They’re both chewy and tender without being cake-like and, while they have a crisp outer edge where the bars meet the pan, their texture is slightly softer than many cookie bars (some of which are too dense and heavy, under the guise of being “chewy”). That slightly soft texture comes from the addition of buttermilk in the bars, as well as from a combination of vegetable oil and butter. The butter and buttermilk together give the dough a wonderful flavor – a flavor accented by brown sugar and vanilla, as well as butter – but adding a small amount of vegetable oil helps to keep the bars moist and fresh tasting, even a few days after baking. The bars are loaded with chocolate chips and chopped pecans, which add a nice crunch for contrast. If you’re not a pecan fan, feel free to substitute another nut or to simply replace them with additional chocolate chips.
The recipe makes a 9×13-inch batch of bars and you can cut them into as many, or as few, as you might need. I generally cut a batch of these into 24, but 36 mini bars would create a bite-sized version that is perfect for sharing with a crowd. Serve them up with a cold glass of milk or a steaming hot cup of coffee and you’ll be in cookie heaven in no time.
Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Line the base of a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and toasted pecans.
Spoon dough into the prepared pan and spread it into the corners using a spatula. Dough will be fairly thick.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cookies are set in the center and golden around the edges.
Allow cookies to cool completely in the pan, the cut into 24 individual (6×4) bars.