Malted Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

March 28, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: These malted chocolate chunk cookie bars are the ultimate sweet treat in my book. They're like a chocolate chip cookie, brownie, and blondie rolled into one. They're soft, chewy, and fudgy with crackly tops, and have a complex, nutty-malty flavor from the combination of brown butter and malted milk powder.

If you want to up the salty-sweet factor, sprinkle a few pinches of flaky sea salt evenly over the batter before baking.

Food52 Review: To read more about why these bars are so great, see the full article.The Editors

Makes: 24 bars
Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 40 min


  • 16 tablespoons (225 grams) unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (198 grams) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (44 grams) malted milk powder, such as Ovaltine or Carnation
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, straight from the fridge
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (18 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4- to 1/2-inch chunks (or 2 cups chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup (112 grams) chopped pecans (optional)
In This Recipe


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until it turns brown and smells nutty, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom so they don't burn. Remove from heat and immediately transfer brown butter to a liquid measuring cup (scraping all of the brown bits into the cup) and stir in water. Cool to room temperature (or 75°F on an instant-read thermometer), either by refrigerating for about 30 minutes, or setting the measuring cup in an ice bath and stirring several times to speed up the cooling process. While it cools, proceed with Steps 2 and 3 and prep your ingredients.
  2. Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350°F.
  3. Line a 9x13x2-inch aluminum baking pan with two overlapping sheets of aluminum foil, pushing the foil into the corners and up the sides and letting the excess overhang the pan edges. Grease lightly. (Alternatively, line the bottom of the pan with parchment if serving the cookie bars straight from the pan.)
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine sugars, malted milk powder, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and eggs. Mix on low speed until just moistened, then increase speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy and several shades lighter in color, about 5 minutes (could be longer if using a hand mixer).
  5. Reduce speed to low, and drizzle in brown butter (making sure to scrape all of the brown bits into the bowl); mix until evenly incorporated. Add flour and cocoa; mix until just incorporated (do not overmix), then chocolate chunks and pecans. Transfer the batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with spatula.
  6. Bake until puffy, a few cracks have formed on the surface, the edges are starting to pull away from the pan, and the middle is just set, about 26 to 32 minutes, or an internal temperature of 205°F in the middle (make sure the probe isn't touching the bottom of the pan). Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

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Reviews (17) Questions (0)

17 Reviews

Jo June 17, 2018
Made these for Father’s Day dinner. Wonderful with a scoop of Tillamook Vanilla Bean ice cream. Hard not to have seconds!
Anna April 29, 2018
Hello Emily,<br />Did you use use volume or weight for the malted milk powder? My malted milk powder (Carnation) is coming in at about 56 grams per half cup rather than 44. I'm going to go with weight for now, but I'm wondering which you prefer.
Author Comment
EmilyC April 29, 2018
Yes, I’d go with weight! I used a different brand (Ovaltine) so that’s the reason for the difference! Hope they turn out well!
Anna April 29, 2018
Thanks! I guess Ovaltine is a little fluffier. They're good! The malt flavor is pretty strong, which is a plus in my book. What kind of kosher salt did you use? Diamond crystals or Morton?
Author Comment
EmilyC April 29, 2018
I use Morton kosher salt. (Glad you like them!!)
She14 April 25, 2018
Are u adding chocolate malted milk powder or carnation has a malted milk that isn’t chocolate. Which one is it?
Author Comment
EmilyC April 25, 2018
Malted milk (not chocolate). I’ve used carnation brand and ovaltine.
janey April 23, 2018
These are amazing! My boyfriend wolfed down two pieces immediately. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love the use of browned butter and malted milk powder.
Author Comment
EmilyC April 23, 2018
So glad you tried and liked them, janey! Thanks for letting me know!
Jazzy B. April 17, 2018
So very delicious! Can't stop eating them :D
Author Comment
EmilyC April 17, 2018
Oh good! : ) thanks for trying them!
Becky April 15, 2018
Excellent brownies! Came out to 205 degrees at the 30 min mark. Next time I'd put on some flaky sea salt half way through baking to really make the pop.
Author Comment
EmilyC April 15, 2018
So glad they turned out well for you!! I was so close to adding a note about topping these with flaky sea salt, so i’ll go ahead and do that! : )
BasilThyme! April 12, 2018
In the ingredient list it says baking soda, but in the directions it says baking powder, I don't know which one to use.
Author Comment
EmilyC April 12, 2018
Baking soda! I’ll edit now!
miamineymo April 10, 2018
I don't see when you add the unsweetened cocoa...I did it with the flour.
Author Comment
EmilyC April 10, 2018
Yep that’s absolutely right! Thanks for the catch. I just edited the recipe. Let me know how they turn out! : )