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If you’re looking for a simple camping dessert, look no further. These easy dutch oven chocolate chip cookie bars are going to be a HUGE hit on your next camping trip. Let’s dive into the recipe!
These cookie bars are perfect for camping because they’re easy to bake and share. In fact, most of the prep work is done at home.
The crispy edges and gooey chewy center make for a delicious treat that everyone will love. Plus, they’re easily made in a dutch oven with briquettes.
What are cookie bars?
First, let’s clarify what a “cookie bar” is. I use the term to describe this dutch oven dessert because baking in the dutch oven results in one giant cookie! To serve and share the dessert, I cut it into bars, hence “cookie bars”.
These chocolate chip cookie bars are the perfect texture and flavor. There was a lot of trial and error in my recipe development to get both the crispy outer edge and a gooey center that turns chewier once cooled. I can’t forget to mention that the recipe calls for brown butter which takes the cookie bars to another level entirely.
Don’t know how to make brown butter? Don’t worry, it’s really easy and only takes a few extra minutes, but the flavor you get is 100% worth it!
What camp cooking gear do you need for these dutch oven chocolate chip cookie bars?
These cookie bars are baked in a cast iron dutch oven at camp. The recipe is perfect for a 10-inch diameter dutch oven. You use briquettes underneath and on top of the dutch oven to create the right temperature inside the dutch oven for the cookies to bake.
If you’re new to dutch oven cooking, these cookie bars are a great place to start.
Can you make the cookie dough ahead of time?
Yes! That’s how the recipe is written. While you can make the dough at camp, I never do. I like to make it ahead of time at home and store it in the cooler at camp.
When I want to make dessert at camp, it couldn’t be any easier. Plus, if you make the dough ahead of time at home then this camping dessert doesn’t create any dirty dishes!
Tightly wrap your homemade cookie dough in plastic wrap and it should last in the fridge or cooler for 2-4 days. I prefer to bake it within 2 days of making the dough.
Dutch Oven Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi sweet)
- First, brown the butter – Place the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk the butter as it melts and starts to crackle. Mix constantly until the butter stops foaming and starts to smell nutty and you see golden bits on the bottom of the pan. Immediately transfer the butter to a large bowl. Don't walk away during this process, it can burn quickly!
- Add the sugars to the hot butter and mix well. Let the butter-sugar mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well with a large spoon.
- Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Roll the dough tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge or cooler until you’re ready to bake at camp. Let the dough chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days in the fridge.
- At camp, heat the briquettes and line your dutch oven with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Press the cookie dough into the dutch oven.* If your cookie dough is really firm, break it into large chunks and let it warm up for a few minutes so you can more easily shape it.
- Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove the briquettes from the dutch oven and let the cookie cool. It will continue to cook as it cools.
- Slice the cookie into bars and serve. Enjoy!
Can I bake this dough as regular cookies at home?
This is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. At home, I simply roll the dough into balls and chill them on the cookie sheet for 1-2 hours. Then, simply bake them at 350°F for about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Note that the bake times are very different if you’re at home baking this dough as individual cookies and not one giant cookie like you would at camp.