Bar cookies give you more bang for your buck. You can bake a bunch at a time—no juggling hot baking pans and constantly beeping timers—and there’s something pleasing about their grid-like nature. It certainly makes them easier to pack and store than round cookies!
So many beloved cookies can take the bar treatment, and we have all the best ones. You’ll find oaty, chocolate-studded, fruity, and nutty ones below. Take a look and soon you’ll be itching to bake a pan for yourself. Thank goodness they’re so dang shareable.
So ooey-gooey, these finger-lickin’ good bars are packed with chocolate chips, oats, and coconut. There’s actually no caramel making involved; this is a simple stir-together affair.
Classic Lemon Bars
Are lemon bars technically bar cookies? Who cares. No one can resist their sunny yellow sweet-tart curd and crumbly, rich shortbread base.
The brownies-versus-blondies debate comes to a screeching halt here. You make one batter, split it in the half, and fold chocolate into one half. Then perform said marbling. The photographer of the image above shared his marble blondies with friends, and they told him they were the most delicious dessert they’ve ever eaten. Proof enough for me!
Monster Cookie Bars
Monster cookies are loaded with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and M&Ms. I rarely make these because they add up to major cookie frenzies in my house. Blink and they’ll vanish.
Apple Pie Bars With Crumble Topping
Apple pie fit for a crowd with no plates or forks. No pastry skills necessary; just make the pat-in-the-pan crust, which happens to double as a crumble topping.
S’mores Cereal Bars
Classic campfire s’mores never pan out the way you’d like. They crumble, collapse, and defy to deliver the perfect mouthful. Not so these uber-chewy bars, which sub the graham crackers with Golden Grahams cereal.
Raspberry Chess Pie Bars
Chess pie is a Southern classic. Adapting the custardy pie to bar form makes the dessert handheld and more achievable, and the raspberries flat-out make them prettier.
Pecan Pie Bars
Reconfiguring pecan pie to a horizontal orientation means more pecans per bite. The crust doesn’t get as soggy. Are you sold yet?
Peanut Butter Pretzel Magic Bars
Seven-layer magic bars collide with kitchen sink cookies, and the fallout is incredible.
Homemade Granola Bars
Let’s face it: granola bars are bar cookies that we pretend are healthy. And maybe they are. You choose the dried fruits and nuts. These are guaranteed to best anything you can get at the store.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Chocolate chip cookies are great and everything, but they enter blondie territory when you bake them as bars. They’re also sliiightly like a cookie cake. I make these when I want a cookie and can’t rally to make drop cookies.
Clearly these not pancakes. The deal with the name: These are a British treat made with oats and golden syrup. They’re chewy and full of burly bits like dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds (or whatever you feel like swapping them for). Need to fill a care package? Flapjacks are the perfect choice.
Gingerbread Cookie Bars
A general rule of thumb is a top layer of cream cheese frosting doubles a treat’s curb appeal. These are solidly in cookie territory, though, not cake. We lovers of gingerbread know that its allure should never be limited to December, so bake these with abandon whenever you have an inkling for warm molasses notes and enticing aromatic spices.
Old-Fashioned Date Nut Chews
Some folks know these retro delights as Chinese chews, though we here at Simply Recipes can’t figure out the origins of that name; absolutely nothing points to any association with China. They are super chewy and nutty and fruity and completely worth baking and sharing.
Chewy Almond Squares
Add a lot of almond extract to a pan of blondies and here’s what you get. Take a moment to enjoy them with coffee and bask in the chewy edges, soft middles, and wallop of almond essence.