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Cookie Brittle

Cookie brittle: an imperfect name—we’re just not sure what else to call them!—for this perfect shortbread-ish chocolate chip cookie bar recipe.


cookie brittle triangles on a cookie rack

Cookie Brittle? Brittle Cookies? Cookie Bars?

Dessert by any other name tastes as sweet. These gloriously buttery, shortbread-like cookie bars defy definition, yet their simplicity makes them inherently comforting and familiar. With fewer ingredients than their better-known chocolate chip cookie cousin, they’re a breeze to whip up. Last minute dinner party contribution? On-the-fly after school treat? Whatever you need, they’ll be here for you.

cookie brittle in a white baking sheet with triangles cut out of it

Cookie Brittle

OK we’re just going to admit it—we kind of just want to call this recipe “chocolate chip shortbread”, but since the recipe was given to us with the name “cookie brittle”, we’re going to honor that title. However, we *will* say that if you’ve made shortbread before, this ingredient list will be familiar. In fact, these cookies are so simple you likely already have all of this stuff at home now:

  • Unsalted butter
  • White sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • White flour
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
ingredients for cookie brittle in a mixing bowl
chocolate chip cookie brittle dough in a mixing bowl
chocolate chip cookie brittle dough pressed into a baking dish
cookie brittle baked in a white baking dish

3 Quick Tips for Perfect Shortbread Bars.

Bar cookies are naturally pretty easy, but there are a few little tricks to keep in mind when making this recipe to guarantee success. Here’s what to know:

  1. Start with room temperature butter! The only advanced-planning this recipe requires—pull that butter out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you want to start baking.
  2. Don’t over-mix! Like any butter-based pastry, it’s important not to over-mix the batter. For these cookie brittle triangles, you want that classic, shortbread-like sandy-flakey texture, and achieving that requires having a light hand with the dough.
  3. A few notes on cutting the chocolate chip cookie bars: wait exactly ten minutes after pulling the bars out of the oven before you cut them. If you wait too long, they’ll become really difficult to cut and you’ll risk ending up with a crumbly mess. But, if you don’t wait long enough, the bars will smoosh when you try to cut them. Ten minutes—no more, no less.
chocolate chip cookie brittle cut into triangles

Tools You’ll Need:

Cookies Galore!

As ubiquitous as they are, it’s easy to overlook the power of a truly great cookie. May we suggest serving a cookie plate at your next dinner party? A warm cookie is all anyone really wants, after all:

How Does the Cookie (Brittle) Crumble?

You tell us! If you whip up a batch of these chocolate chip shortbread bar cookies, let us know how you like them. Share a photo on Instagram using the tags @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see it! Happy eating!

cookie brittle cut into triangles on a cooling rack
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Cookie Brittle

  • Serves: 24
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 183


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups bleached white flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350°
  2. Using a hand held or stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the flour in by hand. When it's fully incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour cookie dough into a 9 X13 metal baking pan. Press dough very, very, very firmly until the top is silky smooth.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden on edges. Cool for 10 minutes then cut into triangles with a sharp knife. If you wait too long they are too difficult to cut, any shorter they will smoosh.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories183
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates22 g
  • Total Fat10 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol20 mg
  • sodium47 mg
  • Total Sugars14 g

Cookie Brittle

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Lori

    Does it have to be bleached flour?

    The texture will turn out quite different between bleached/unbleached. We prefer bleached in this recipe.

  • Ann

    Can you bake cookie brittle in Pyrex baking dish or ceramic pan?

    Yes but spray or use parchment paper in the pan. Hope you enjoy!

  • Emma

    Currently making this now with gf flour. So thankful no soy or eggs. It says 20-25 minutes but it's been about 40 and no browning on edges. So confused.

    We haven't tested this with gf flour but gf flour can take longer to bake. Hope it all turned out ok Emma!

  • Jennifer

    Good afternoon. I am new to your food blog and excited to try some of your recipes - the first one being Cookie Brittle. You indicate butter, but was curious whether you used unsalted or salted (given the additional 1 tsp of salt later in the recipe). A second question - does it have to be cooked in a metal pan - could I use a glass baking dish (same size)? Thanks so much - looking forward to sending you my update post-baking!

    Hi Jennifer! Good questions. I use salted butter in everything. I guess since people are putting flake salt on everything these days, including baked goods, I don't think it's too much. You can use a baking dish, but your edges will be rounded. But it will work! Enjoy.

  • Diane

    These are the bomb! So easy! So buttery. I’ll be making these often!

    Thanks Diane! We are so glad you loved them!

  • Emily

    I first tried this recipe several years ago when I was looking for a new addition to my christmas cookie boxes. I wanted something crowd-pleasing like a chocolate chip cookie, but with a twist. This recipe is perfect! Cookie brittle instantly became a go-to and continues to be a favorite that my friends and family ask about year after year. It comes together quickly - I find it's much easier to make when you soften the butter on the counter overnight (put it in bowl if you live in a warm area). I also like to cut them into bars or sticks and serve them with vanilla ice cream.

    Thank you Emily, we are so happy you love this recipe!

  • Jennifer

    Made your Cookie Brittle this afternoon - in a 9 x 13 glass dish. I made sure to steal the outside pieces (extra crispy). The entire family loved it! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    The best part for sure!