Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite easy dessert tutorials: buttercream frosted chocolate chip cookie bars! These thick and chewy cookie bars are studded with creamy chocolate chips and then decorated to perfection with light buttercream! They taste just like the big cookie cakes you could purchase at the mall back in the day. Yum!
Plus, I’ve created an easy method that I’ll share with you to achieve a beautifully smooth top of buttercream – a perfect canvas for buttercream piping, flowers, or sweet sentiments. They look just as good as intricate royal icing cookies, but I think they taste much better.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a pretty sugar cookie as much as the next girl. They just aren’t my fave sweet treat. On the other hand, these chocolate chip cookie bars are beautiful and seriously crave-able! The best combination!
For another idea, try my Espresso & Dark Chocolate Chip Buttercream Cookie Bars.
Updated 8/2022 for improved quality and taste.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Tutorial
First, I’ll share a quick list of all the ingredients, materials, and recipes you’ll need for the project. Then, I’ll walk you through the simple decorating process. Feel free to get as creative as you’d like, and don’t forget to have fun!
Ingredients & Materials List
I’ve linked (affiliate) some items for your easy shopping and reference.
- Brown sugar
- White sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Instant espresso powder
- Chocolate chips
- 9″ x 13″ baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowls of varying sizes
- Stand mixer
- Oven mitts
- Wire cooling rack
- Square or circle cookie cutters
- Food coloring gels
- Offset spatula
- Piping bags, piping tips, and couplers (it’s helpful to purchase a starter kit like this one if you don’t have any of these items yet)
Cookies Bars and Buttercream Recipes
This baking project requires two components: cookie bars and crusting American buttercream. Both are stable at room temperature for a few days. Before decorating your cookies with the buttercream, however, be sure they are fully cooled.
Buttercream Decorated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 cup room temperature butter
- 1¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup room temperature salted butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-4 tbsp room temperature heavy cream
- ¼ tsp fine salt
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, line your 9×13" baking pan with parchment paper.
- Beat together the sugars and butter on medium for a minute, or until fluffy. Then, add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla and espresso powder, mixing well to fully incorporate after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips.
- Finally, combine the dry ingredients with the wet batter using a spatula or spoon.
- Dump the dough into the prepared baking pan and press it down until it is evenly spread.
- Bake the cookie bars in the prepared oven for 23-27 minutes, or until the top is golden and fully set. Let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Then, use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the entire set of bars out and onto the wire rack to fully cool.
- Beat the sticks of butter together with the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl down in between each addition.
- Add the vanilla for flavor and the heavy cream to thin out the buttercream until it's smooth. Beat again and cover with plastic wrap or store in a covered container until the cookie bars are fully cooled.
How To Assemble Buttercream Frosted Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Step One: Once the cookie bars are fully cooled, use the cookie cutter to carefully stamp out the cookies. Save the rough edges for snacking. 🙂
Step Two: Place the cookie cutter back over one of the already cut-out cookies, but don’t press it all the way down. Leave a few millimeters of the cookie cutter as a border around the top of the cookie.
Step Three: With the back of an offset spatula, smooth some colored buttercream onto the top of the cookie-cutter-ringed cookie. Add more than necessary, so that there is an “overflow” or “mound” above the ring of the cookie cutter.
Step Four: Then, wipe off the excess buttercream from the spatula, and use the clean, flat edge of it to smooth the excess buttercream from the cookie. Run the spatula smoothly along the edges of the cookie cutter in one sweeping motion to achieve a perfectly even top coat of buttercream.
Step Five: Lightly hold the edges of the cookie cutter while gently pressing upwards on the bottom of the cookie. It will take some time and wiggling to remove it perfectly, but it results in an ultra-smooth buttercream base for beautiful designs, flourishes, flowers, and words.
Chill your buttercream-covered cookie bars to set the first layer, then feel free to add your designs. You can pipe directly onto the cookies, or create buttercream flowers (check out here, here, and here) and attach them afterward. Let your creativity run wild, and have fun with the process.
Don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch, and be sure to tag me in any photos you post of your buttercream-covered chocolate chip cookie bars! I love to see your works of culinary art.
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Don’t forget to check out these Espresso & Dark Chocolate Chip Buttercream Cookie Bars.
Take care guys! Until next time…
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