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The Bad Day Bars {Sea Salt & Double Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookie Bars}

Incredible sea salt and double dark chocolate brownie cookie bars made with browned butter, rich dark chocolate, and a sprinkle of sea salt. The ultimate "bad day bars" that are guaranteed to turn your day around!

Course Brownie, Cookie, Dessert, Indulgent
Keyword dark chocolate brownie cookie bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Author Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/4  teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
  • 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch pan with parchment paper or alternatively spray with nonstick spray. 
  2. Whisk flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. To brown your butter: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat immediately as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.

  4. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

  5. Once butter is slightly cooled use an electric mixer to beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until well combined, 2–3 minutes. 
  6. Add egg and vanilla; beat on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. 
  7. Add dry ingredients, reduce speed to low, and mix just to blend. Fold in chocolate chips.
  8. Pour into baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are set and middle no longer wiggles. The middle will look cracked slightly. This is when you know the cookie bars are done. 
  9. Cool bars for 10 minutes, cut and serve warm. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp additional sea salt on top if desired. Makes 12-16 bars.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Bon Appetit's chocolate chip cookies

The bars might take slightly longer than 25 minutes, just be sure not to over bake them. Every oven is different!

You can add in a swirl of caramel, add nuts, peanut butter, or glaze these with frosting for an even more decadent dessert.