Plain and simple, these bars are crowd pleasers. What’s not to like? Delicious, chewy chocolate chip cookie bars with a gooey, fudgy middle layer. Every bite oozes with chocolate and buttery cookie dough.
I made these bars for a “Cookies and Cocktails” event I hosted with a friend a couple weeks ago. It started from a joke: the friend had asked when I’d host my next cookie party. But you know: why not? So we invited a bunch of our friends to this cool new cocktail bar in Hayes Valley, I made a ton of cookies, and we had a fabulous afternoon.
I ended up making 5 type of cookies for the party, and wanted a mix of “simple” recipes and “surprising” recipes. I’d saved this recipe on Pinterest a while ago, and it seemed like the perfect pick. These bars technically fell into the “simple” category, but they’re still a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie.
These are easy to make, but make sure you allow time to chill them when you’re done. You’ll need to let the bars set for a couple hours before cutting into them…or you’ll end up with a gooey mess, rather than gooey centers!
Our Cookies and Cocktails party was outside, and I was a little worried the centers would melt in the sun. The bars kept their texture just fine but I live in San Francisco, where hot is relative and it’s never really that sunny. I’d be careful bringing these outside on a super sunny day in other parts of the world!
Gooey Chocolate Chip Fudge Bars
Original recipe: Back for Seconds. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary.
Yield: I got 40 bars out of this, but I didn’t make them all even! Your yield depends on sizing, but you should expect around 32 bars
Suggested equipment: Mixer
Total Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes (includes 2 hours of “chill time” so the bars firm up)
Cook Time: ~25 minutes
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 4 cups chocolate chips (some for the dough, some for the filling)
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (typically one can)
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Line a 9×13 pan with foil, then spray it lightly with nonstick spray so it’s easy to remove the bars later
- Use your mixer to cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until it’s light and creamy
- Add eggs, vanilla and salt, then mix well
- Add baking soda and flour. Mix until combined
- Stir in 2 cups of the chocolate chips
- Press 2/3 of your cookie dough into the lined pan and set the pan aside
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the condensed milk and the other 2 cups of chocolate chips. Use 30 second increments, and stir the mixture in between each run in the microwave. Keep doing this until the chocolate is entirely melted and smooth. You might want to shorten the increments near the end so you don’t burn the chocolate
- Pour your fudge over the cookie dough, and smooth it with a spatula
- Use your hands to make a cookie dough top layer. Take a portion of dough, flatten it with your hands, and press it on top of the chocolate. Repeat until the fudge layer is entirely covered in dough
- Bake 22-25 minutes. When it’s done, the top will look golden and the edges will pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. Mine took 24 minutes
- Let the bars cool completely on your counter. Then, pop them in your fridge to firm up for a couple hours. Once they’ve set, cut the bars with a sharp knife
- Store the bars in a covered container. I left mine in the fridge and took them out an hour before serving, because I wanted to make sure the fudge layer stayed firm.