Our Best Bar Cookies
These bar cookie recipes will tempt dessert lovers with an array of flavors, from chocolatey layer bars to tangy, lemon-filled bars dusted with sugar.
Brown Butter Apricot Bars
These deceptively delicious bars deliver the perfect, rich balance of sweet-tart fruit and buttery pastry.
Gooey Pecan Pie Bars
These sweet, nutty and oh-so-buttery bars are a guaranteed showstopper on any cookie tray.
These bars are a grown-up spin on a campfire classic: buttery graham cracker crust, chocolate mousse, toasty meringue.
Salted Caramel, Chocolate and Peanut Cracker-Stack Bars
These fantastic potluck bars come from Patrice Hurd of Bemidji, Minnesota. She won the grand prize in a Best of the Midwest® Recipe Contest. Patrice says they're a twist on her grandmother's cracker bars. They cut beautifully and brim with salty-sweet-nutty-chocolately flavor.
Jacob Van Patten pours a refreshing summer cocktail into his creative take on lemon bars, which took the overall blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair.
You would think there's no way to improve on a scotcheroo (that peanut-buttery, chocolate-y cousin to Rice Krispies treats). But then we added Fritos.
Maple-Walnut Banana Bars
The math on these homey bars couldn't be simpler: one pan, one ripe banana and less than one hour from start to finish.
Coconut Chocolate Squares
This super easy dessert uses caramel candies and chocolate cake mix. Make it for a work party or as a sweet snack for the kids.
Graham crackers form the base for this bar cookie with layers of marshmallows, brown sugar, almonds and coconut. "I've made these cookies since 1984," says Georgine Simmonds of Genesee, Michigan. "They're one of my family's favorites."
Scrumptious Seven-Layer Cookies
These rich bar cookies star among the sweets at Stafford's Bay View Inn in Petoskey, Michigan. Mix and match among your favorite treats for some of the layers to create a dessert that's just right for your family.
Gooey Butter Bars
Traditionalists may grumble, but we think topping St. Louis-style gooey butter bars with fresh berries is a stroke of midsummer genius.
Scandinavian Almond Bars
Perennial Iowa State Fair ribbon-winner Robin Tarbell-Thomas' buttery best-in-class bars are loaded with almond flavor.
Apricot-Rosemary Streusel Bars
A rich, fruity filling bakes in a rosemary-infused crust, then gets drizzled with a powdered sugar icing.
Peanut Butter Chip and Jelly Bars
The flavor of these bars from Connie Siegel of Wisconsin will take you right back to your school lunchroom! If you don't like grape jelly, strawberry would work well, too.
Cranberry Candy-Bar Cookies
These gooey bar cookies start with a German chocolate cake mix. Melted caramels and cranberry sauce form a moist middle layer.
Caramel and Chocolate Kettle-Corn Crispie Bars
These bars, from Judy Reynolds of Bloomington, Indiana, won the grand prize of $10,000 in Midwest Living's first Best of the Midwest cook-off. Judy started with a Hoosier staple—popcorn—and stirred together these sweet-salty snack bars. Homemade caramel sauce helps makes them a standout.
Maple Nutty Candy
These bar cookies combine four winning flavors: peanut butter, maple, butterscotch and chocolate. The easy recipe, from a Wabash, Indiana, reader, makes about 6 pounds of bar candy. We suggest freezing the bars and thawing them out as needed.
Harvest Apple Bars
Tammy Post's Iowa State Fair blue-ribbon recipe doesn't skimp on apples, which results in incredibly moist and indulgent bars.
Luscious Lemon Bars
Sweet and tart, these moist, powdered sugar-topped classics will disappear fast at a potluck.
Triple Peanut Butter Streusel Bars
Dry-roasted peanuts, peanut butter-flavored pieces and peanut butter bring triple flavor to this make-ahead bar cookie.
Cherry Crumble Pie Bars
Zesty lemon peel adds zing to this fruit bar cookie; almond extract and brown sugar give it extra sweetness.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars
Peanut butter and chocolate meet for a sweet treat in this recipe from a Cedarburg, Wisconsin, reader who likes to make these bar cookies for potluck gatherings.
Butterscotch Pretzel Bars
This sweet-salty dessert goes together quickly with a no-bake bottom and a topping of butterscotch pieces and whipping cream heated on the stove.
Date-nut desserts can be cloyingly sweet, but orange juice brightens these simple bars.
Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
Layers of cheesecake, raspberry filling, almonds and coconut form dessert bars perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.
Danish Pastry Apple Bars
This recipe for Danish Pastry Apple Bars comes from an Indiana teacher who discovered these treats in a student's lunch box years ago. The student's family was happy to share the recipe; the results taste almost like apple pie.
Salted Oatmeal Bars with Roasted White Chocolate Frosting
Roasting white chocolate gives it a nutty flavor and caramel color; show both off in these utterly delicious salty-sweet bars.
These candy-like bar cookies have a brown sugar crust and a filling of brown sugar, butter and chopped pecans. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces immediately after baking.
Salted Peanut Bars
Luscious caramel tops a sweet-salty treat of peanuts, pretzels, marshmallow crème and peanut butter.
These sinful brownies feature a cheesecake layer sandwiched between two ultra-rich chocolate layers.
Easy Cherry Crumb Bars
Oatmeal cookie mix speeds prep time for these tart cherry bar cookies.
Fruit fillings complement the sweetness of other bar cookie ingredients. Blueberry-Almond Bars was a grand champion award recipe at the Marshall County Fair's annual Blueberry Bake-A-Rama in Plymouth, Indiana. Lori Van Der Weele combined blueberries, butter, white baking pieces and almonds for this winner.
These moist, easy brownies get a little extra crunch from a topping of toffee pieces.
Strawberries and rhubarb flavored with ginger make an appealing combo in this dessert. Drizzle just before serving with Ginger Icing, if you like.
Toffee-Pumpkin Pie Bars
Love sweet and salty combos? You'll fall for these bars with sweet toffee, toasted pecans and a spiced Ginger Crumb Crust.
Hallelujah Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Chocolate and peanut butter naturally complement each other in bar cookie recipes. The Eagle Ridge Inn and Resort near Galena, Illinois, combines the flavors to make the candylike Hallelujah bars.
Cooks in the Midwest's Red River Valley learned early to take advantage of rhubarb. The tangy, celerylike ingredient grows well in a region where strawberries seldom thrive. This recipe comes from RBJ's Restaurant in Crookston, Minnesota.
Candy Bar Cookies
These gooey bite-size treats feature a creamy mixture of chocolate pieces, butterscotch pieces and peanut butter over a cooked oatmeal-brown sugar layer. The recipe is from a Madison, Wisconsin, reader, who likes to take the bar cookies to potluck gatherings.
Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars
These are especially good in fall, but canned pumpkin makes them an any-time treat.