Bar Cookies

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

bar cookies are made by pouring, spreading, or pressing batter into a square or rectangular pan (sometimes in several layers) and cutting the finished product into individual pieces after baking. This type of cookie is more cake-like than are drop cookies and rolled cookies, due to the addition of more eggs or shortening to the batter. See drop cookies and rolled cookies. Bar cookies are also known as pan cookies, squares, bars, and, in Britain, tray bakes.

These cookies were not invented at a single moment in time, but rather represent a natural evolution from cakes and sweet breads cooked in a single pan. They are a style of bakery item particularly suitable for families and informal events, and because they are more quickly made than individually formed cookies, and also pack and transport well in the pan, they are popular with the busy home cook. The best known, and arguably the most popular form, are brownies. See brownies.