Dark Chocolate & Walnut Cookie Bars

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Dark chocolate cookie bars

I know what you’re thinking.  These look like brownies.  But they’re not — they’re crispy, chewy, chocolate cookie bars.  Strange when food fools you like that, you know?

…sort of like this past weekend when I was in a frozen yogurt shop in Orlando and sampled butter popcorn flavored froyo.  Seriously!  What will they think of next?  I wasn’t a fan, but I can see how the movie theater popcorn fanatic could be.

Anyway… back to these bars.  A couple weeks ago, I had what I planned to bake as chocolate chip cookie bars in the oven, when, half way through baking, I had the urge to run a knife through the half-cooked bars, marbling the melty dark chocolate chips right into the cookie dough.  Good decision Liz, good decision!

Dark chocolate cookie bars with walnuts lbbakes

In addition to swirling the melted dark chocolate chips mid-bake, these cookie bars are also uniquely crisp, crunchy, and chewy — thanks in part to browned butter, walnuts, and oats, respectively.

You certainly don’t have to brown the butter if you don’t have time, but I highly recommend trying sometime (see my instructions on how to brown butter here).  It lends a nutty taste to whatever you bake or cook that you really can’t achieve any other way.

The quick cooking oats were a last-minute addition to this recipe, but I love the way they added texture to the bars.  They give the cookie bars extra chewiness, contrasting the crisp edges of the bars perfectly.

And if I haven’t convinced you to make these yet — the best part of making cookie bars?  In my opinion, it’s being able to take the cookie dough straight from the bowl into the pan — no need to roll out individual cookies!  It doesn’t get much simpler. 🙂

Dark chocolate chip cookie bars lbbakes

[print_this]Dark Chocolate & Walnut Cookie Bars with Browned Butter

Melted dark chocolate is swirled through these crisp, chewy cookie bars as they bake, lending a rich flavor to every bite.  Walnuts are an optional addition for crunch, but you can substitute any other nut or dried fruit. 

Makes about 24 bars

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, browned*
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy.  Add the eggs; mix until blended.  Add the baking soda and salt; mix until blended.  Add the flour and oats; mix until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Spread the dough into the prepared pan.  Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and use a knife to cut through the dough, swirling it in the process (the chocolate should be melting into the dough).  Bake an additional 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out nearly clean.  Allow the bars to cool before cutting into bars.

*If using browned butter, allow it to cool slightly before making the cookie dough.  If not using browned butter, be sure your butter is softened before making the cookie dough.[/print_this]

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8 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate & Walnut Cookie Bars”

    1. I’m not sure I can agree with you on cookie bars > brownies, but I can assure you these are very tasty! Let me know if you try them.

    1. I know – after photographing these, it made me want to bake up some brownies. I guess I’ve got a to-do task for this weekend. 😉

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