Chewy Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These ultra chewy malted chocolate chip cookie bars are crazy delicious and so easy to make (a one-bowl recipe!). That amazing malt flavor makes all the difference!

Two malted chocolate chip blondies stacked with half of a blondie on top.

All I really want to know is this: is there ever a wrong time for a new, incredible, easy bar cookie recipe? I mean, really. Is there?

Cookie bars in general may be my undoing. They are fast. Simple. Soft and chewy. And if you lack self-control like a certain food blogger who shall remain nameless, they are ridiculously divine all warm and ooey gooey chocolatey. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. Ahem. 

These malted chocolate chip cookie bars are crazy good. The texture is chewier than any cookie bar I’ve ever met, and that hint of delicious malt in every bite is so fantastic, these quickly became a new, quick favorite. 

Top down view of pan of cut malted chocolate chip blondie squares.

Let’s Talk about Malt Flavor

The malt flavor in these cookie bars is subtle. So even if it’s not a flavor profile you usually prefer, I actually think you might be surprised how much you like these. The malted milk powder adds a delightful creaminess to the bars as well as an amped up chewy factor.

Plus, the little bits of crunch from the crushed malted milk balls is fantastic.

And yes, that’s coming from someone who would actually never willingly eat Whoppers, say, at the movie theater or while in pantry-hiding. They are probably one of my least favorite chocolate treats ever to eat out of hand. But in these cookie bars? They are goooooood. 

Cookie dough with crushed malted milk balls and chocolate chips.

Malted Milk Powder

Like I mentioned above, I use Whoppers in this recipe. I’ve never seen another brand of malted milk balls…am I living under a rock? (Very high possibility.) I have to be honest, it pains me a little to recommend Whoppers simply because they aren’t available in dark chocolate. UPDATE: comments are flooding in that I need to look for Maltesers and/or check the bulk bins at Whole Foods or Winco for dark chocolate malted milk balls! Yay!

But I compensate by adding a hefty dose of semisweet chocolate chips to the batter. You can choose whatever chocolate chip preference you like.

As for malted milk powder, it’s pretty readily available in most grocery stores (probably the Carnation brand) in the baking aisle or the coffee/hot chocolate aisle. I usually buy this brand on Amazon {aff. link}. It has a less milky and stronger malt flavor than Carnation, and the texture isn’t quite as powdery. But I think most brands should work well in this recipe. 

Bowl of malted chocolate chip blondie cookie dough batter.

The cookie dough base for this recipe takes after these thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

Which means we’re already starting with something that’s tried-and-true delicious. The flour amount is altered a bit to account for the malted milk powder, light brown sugar swapped out for dark brown sugar (worth it), and then we add those malted milk balls for that extra layer of malt flavor. 

It’s slightly pathetic how excited I am just telling you about these bars. Is it too soon to say: jump to the recipe already and just make them? You’ve been warned and encouraged. But until then, I’ll keep talking for a sec.

Unbaked and baked pan of malted chocolate chip blondies.

The top of the bars is golden and crackly but underneath lies the chewy wonder of the malted milk and chocolate cookie flavors. 

How you crush the malted milk balls is up to you. I use my blender (Vitamix) for the job. A food processor would probably do better at producing even results, but it isn’t rocket science. You could even go with the rolling pin/ziploc bag approach.

With the blender, I get a fair mount of fine crumbs along with some pea-sized pieces. I like the inconsistency. It suits me. 

Two malted chocolate chip blondies stacked on each other in pan.

“Worth It” Ingredients

The malted milk powder and dark brown sugar may not be ingredients you keep on hand, but if you don’t mind taking the extra time to get to the store to wrangle them up, it’ll be worth it. I promise, promise, promise. 

I won’t necessarily talk you out of using light brown sugar; the bars will be lighter in both color and chewiness. But it’s not as much of a deal breaker as the malted milk powder. I think I’ll cry if you don’t get your hands on some of that.

(If you are my neighbor, come over, I buy it in bulk and I’ll gladly give you some if you promise to let me know when your cookie bars come out of the oven.)

I can’t wait to hear what you guys think of these divine little malted chocolate chip cookie bars! I’m hoping some of you super speedy recipe makers see this recipe and get them in the oven within the hour. I mean, no pressure or anything. 🙂

Two malted chocolate chip blondies stacked on white parchment paper.

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Chewy Malted Chocolate Chip Blondies

Yield: 12-15 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Chewy Malted Chocolate Chip Blondies

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly (I use salted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) dark brown sugar (see note)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1.5 ounces) malted milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups (5-6 ounces) coarsely chopped malted milk balls (like Whoppers)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups (6-9 ounces) chocolate chips (I use semisweet)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch metal baking pan with foil or parchment (I do this so I can lift out the bars to cut them after they cool). Lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until very thick and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the flour, malted milk powder, baking soda and salt and mix until a few dry streaks still remain.
  3. Add the malted milk balls and chocolate chips and stir until evenly combined.
  4. Spread the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges and top are lightly golden and the middle doesn't jiggle (but is still soft - you don't want to over bake these bars). If they look greasy and raw when you check them, add time as needed.
  5. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares.

Notes

Brown Sugar: the dark brown sugar called for in this recipe amps up the chewy factor AND deepens the flavor. It's worth getting your hands on some, in my opinion! You can substitute light brown sugar (bars will be lighter in appearance, flavor and chewiness).

Malted Milk Balls: to chop the Whoppers, I use my blender and pulse them until coarsely chopped. You can also use a food processor. The end result may be that you have quite a bit coarsely chopped and some of them in finer crumbs - the inconsistent results work great, I promise.

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe