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Maw-Maw’s Toffee Cookie Bars

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This recipe for toffee cookie bars comes straight from my grandma’s recipe box. They are a simple brown sugar cookie bar topped with chocolate and optionally pecans for a easy and tasty dessert.

Stack of cookie bars with golden toffee base and chocolate spread over the top.

If you like the deep flavor of brown sugar and simple desserts, these toffee bars are for you. They come together in just a few minutes with a handful of ingredients you likely already have.

I was digging through some old family recipes recently when I stumbled upon this gem. My Maw-Maw had emailed it to my mom with a note that she used to make these toffee bars whenever she had to take something special somewhere.

The ingredient list was short and the method was beyond simple, so I decided to whip some up. I am certainly glad I did.

Making Toffee Bars

Desserts really don’t get a whole lot easier than this. Just beat some softened butter with brown sugar, an egg, vanilla, and salt.

Add flour and mix until combined. Gently pat it out in a 10×15″ sheet pan, and it’s ready to go.

When the hot cookie bars come out of the oven, sprinkle some chocolate chips over the top. Let them sit for about a minute and then spread it smooth.

Maw-Maw sprinkled chopped pecans over hers which sounds amazing. Due to the taste preferences of those I was sharing with, I left them off.

Once the bars are cooled and the chocolate is set, cut the bars into squares and serve. They are fabulous.

Easy adaptations

I used light brown sugar in these bars and it resulted in a light blonde bar. For a deeper flavor and color, feel free to switch to dark brown sugar.

Use your favorite kind of chocolate chips. We use milk chocolate chips because they are Little Dude’s favorite.

Dark chocolate or semisweet chips would be fabulous as well and would be a great foil to the brown sugar in the bars.

If you choose to top your bars with pecans, take a few minutes to toast them first. You could even add a pinch of salt when you do for the maximum toasty sweet and salty combination.

Chopped walnuts or even macadamia nuts would be wonderful as well. You could even top them with chopped pistachios and some dried cranberries for a Christmas feel.

How can I get more toffee flavor in these cookie bars?

Instead of topping the bars with chopped pecans, sprinkle bit o’brickle toffee bits on top of the melted chocolate. It will add to the brown sugar flavor in the cookie bars and really up the toffee flavor.

Soft sugar cookie bars topped with a fluffy layer buttercream are a fun and easy treat. They are so much quicker to make than individual cookies and taste great!

Brown sugar chocolate chip bars are quick and easy to make and sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. They are almost part blondie, part cookie, part cake and that combination is tasty.

Stack of toffee cookie bars on plate.

Oatmeal cream pie bars bars will remind you of the oatmeal creme pies you used to get in your lunchbox.  They are super easy to make and will give you a taste of childhood!

Check out my full collection of dessert bar recipes for more tasty ideas. Just be warned, it is going to be hard to pick a favorite!

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card.

Two toffee cookie bars topped with chocolate stacked on top of each other, ready to eat.

Maw-Maw’s Toffee Bars

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
This recipe for toffee cookie bars come straight from my grandma's recipe box. They are a simple brown sugar cookie bar topped with chocolate and optionally pecans for a easy and tasty dessert.
4.67 from 62 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • cups chocolate chips
  • optional: chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth.
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Cream in brown sugar until light and fluffy.
    1 cup light brown sugar
  • Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 large egg
  • Stir in salt and flour until just incorporated.
    ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pat into a 10×15-inch pan.
    2 cups all purpose flour
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Right after removing the bars from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 1 minute and then spread until smooth. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the melted chocolate if desired.
    1¼ cups chocolate chips
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.
  • Store at room temperature for up to a week.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 51mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Peggy Lynn

Saturday 9th of December 2023

Quite similar to my grandma’s, which I can’t find and so went looking for something similar. The other ingredient she also included was a couple drops of maple flavoring, which amps up the toffee flavor. She also used a 9x13 pan, so it was a bit thicker. Yum!


Saturday 9th of December 2023

I love the idea of adding maple flavoring and a 9x13-inch pan would be perfect. I'm going to have to try both next time I make a batch.


Friday 16th of December 2022

I make a version of these that’s quite similar and sometimes after cooking, the chocolate topping will break off and separate from the cookie base. Has anyone had the problem and know of a solution?


Friday 16th of December 2022

Hmmm, like the whole layer comes off? I wonder if the top of the cookie bar is a little greasy and it's not adhering? I'm not sure how to remedy that though unless you switch to letting the bars cool and do a simple chocolate icing instead.


Saturday 3rd of July 2021

I can't wait to make these. Husband will love them!


Sunday 4th of July 2021

I hope he does! Have a nice 4th!


Saturday 26th of June 2021

Made these bars today and there is not enough batter to go in a 10x15 jelly roll pan. They are so skimpy something is wrong in the instructions.


Sunday 27th of June 2021

I made it in my 10x15" pan and they turned out just as pictured. I was actually tempted to size the recipe up to fit a 13x18" half sheet pan, because I think it's a more popular size pan to have. However I thought I should keep the recipe just they way my Maw-Maw has been making it for decades.


Saturday 26th of June 2021

Can these Toffee Cookie Bars be frozen?


Saturday 26th of June 2021

Yes, the chocolate may bloom, but they will still taste delicious.