How to Make Cookies and Cream Bars at Home

October 31, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: A completely manageable 2-ingredient "project" to help you feel craftsy and festive on Halloween (no silly costume required).

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Each year, cookies and cream bars (nom de plume: Cookies 'n' Crème Bars; so sophistiqué) get their fifteen minutes of fame on Halloween. The holiday does wonders for a Dalmation of a candy bar that's all too often pushed aside for the Krackles and the Mr. Goodbars of the chocolate world.

But not on October 31st. By the end of the night, cookies and cream bars will have landed in the bags of millions of young children with moldable minds and unrefined palettes -- these are the people primed to be lifelong consumers. And on this night, it is consumed in snack-size treats; they're small enough to prevent most people from eating a couple of full-sized bars without coming up for air (and having to deal with the consequences). Lastly, no one can pooh-pooh anyone else for eating white chocolate on Halloween. This isn't Valentine's Day. This holiday is about quantity, not quality. 

More: Not such a fan of white chocolate? You can make your own Crunch Bars, too.

So before you forget about cookies and cream bars for another year, buy two ingredients -- white chocolate chips and chocolate sandwich cookies (or, if you want, buy another type of sandwich cookie; I imagine peanut butter- or mint-filled cookies would be good) -- and make your own. Top them with cacao nibs if you think you'll crave something bitter to cut the sweetness. 

Why make these yourself? You'll know exactly what's inside; you can manipulate the cookie-to-chocolate ratio and the fineness of the cookie crumbs; and it will give you a completely manageable "project" to help you feel craftsy and festive on Halloween (no silly costumes required). 

Cookies and Cream Bars

Makes too many for one person

 12-ounce bags white chocolate chips

16-ounce bag chocolate sandwich cookies

Cacao nibs, for sprinkling (optional)

Line a square or rectangular baking dish (8 x 8 for thicker bars, 9 x 13 for thinner ones) with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang.

Smash your chocolate sandwich cookies to smithereens. Use a food processor if you're feeling civilized and you want a fine crumb, or have at it with a rolling pin for a more haphazard approach. (For neatness, you can double bag the cookies before crushing them.)

Melt the white chocolate gently on the stovetop, or place it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in short increments, stirring after each, until it's melted and smooth. Dump the crushed cookies into the melted white chocolate and mix until the cookie pieces are all coated. 



Pour the mixture into the prepared pan (save the spoon and bowl for licking purposes). 



If you're like me and you can't leave well enough alone, sprinkle everything with cacao nibs. Place the baking dish in the freezer to set, at least 2 hours.


When you can't wait any longer, take the pan out of the freezer, remove the bars by lifting the overhanging foil or parchment, and allow them to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice with a sharp knife (dip the blade in hot water if you're having difficulty cutting). 

Store the bars in the refrigerator or the freezer. Give them to tonight's trick-or-treaters, or keep them to yourself and watch your supply slowly dwindle.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Patricia Lee
    Patricia Lee
  • CarlaCooks
  • charmbakes
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Patricia L. July 2, 2017
Hi, Sarah, I hope you will see this comment, I'm from Malaysia and I'd like to make this as a gift for my boyfriend's birthday, however, I'm worried that the bars won't last half an hour in room temp as we have summer all year long here. Is there any method/ingredient to add to this to prevent the bars form melting? Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!
Sarah J. July 4, 2017
Hi Patricia, They should be okay for a half-hour at room temperature, especially if you've stored them in the freezer or fridge beforehand. You might also consider using a few ice packs to keep them cool? Hope this helps!
CarlaCooks November 11, 2014
I have always loved cookies and cream bars! The best part about loving a candy that most don't? I get to eat even more of it :) Thanks for posting this do-it-yourself recipe!
charmbakes November 1, 2014
Are white chocolate chips the same as the white dipping wafers (sold in our Big Club store with the Ghiradelli brand name)? Can I just use the bars of white chocolate? Silly questions, I know, but a novice when working with white chocolate. Thanks.
Sarah J. November 1, 2014
Yes! You can use those -- just use about 24 ounces.
Lindsay-Jean H. October 31, 2014
"Too many for one person" is my favorite serving size, and you might have just convinced me of the value of cookies and cream bars with your addition of cacao nibs.