Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, for those times when you just can’t decide between a chocolate chip cookie and a slice of pecan pie. Sweet, doughy, and buttery, filled with chocolate chips, and swirled with nutty chocolate chip pecan pie. A cookie and a pie in one, truly the best of both worlds. Serve these bars up tomorrow for the Kentucky Derby…and every other weekend after. Every last crumb is delicious!

overhead photo of Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Taking us back to retro HBH today with a recipe that dates all the way back to the very first year of Half Baked Harvest. Honestly, I was not planning on sharing this recipe today. But when I realized that the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow, something inside me flipped a switch. I remembered these cookie pie bars from way back when. I reasoned with myself that the post I had planned to share could easily be saved for next week. And that today was good day for something over the top, extra delicious, and very fitting for the Derby tomorrow.

To be upfront, I’ve never actually watched the Kentucky Derby. But I’m all about celebrating it through some good southern inspired food. In year’s past I’ve made oven fried southern hot honey chicken (a tried-n-true reader favorite) and my Nonnie’s pecan pie (my family’s personal favorite). But this year I got so caught up in Cinco de Mayo recipes that I kind of forgot about the Derby.

side angled of Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars stacked on top of each other

That is until I remembered these cookie pie bars. The perfect chocolate filled recipe to share today. Yes, they’re decadent, and yes, they might be a little more over the top than the recipes I usually share. But hey, every once in a while it’s fun to switch things up…live a little.

When I originally shared this recipe, it had a lot more ingredients. To be super honest, the recipe didn’t actually work all that well. So I was excited to revisit these bars and work out their kinks. I can now say they are so simple, so delicious, and pretty close to perfect.

Plus, they look much more delicious now too. It’s crazy to see how far my photography skills have come since that first year of 2012/2013. It’s also crazy that I’ve now been writing, cooking, photographing, and working on HBH for 6 1/2 years. And we have SO much coming up in the next few months, I cannot wait to share it all with you. Kind of loving seeing all the progress over the years. Makes me feel extra grateful. To all you long time readers (and newer readers too), thanks so much for sticking it out with me!

overhead close up photo Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

OK, now let me break these bars down for you layer by layer.

Layer one: chocolate chip cookie bars. This is your favorite cookie, but in bar form. For the “crust” or bottom layer of the bars, I press my go-to, base cookie recipe, into a baking dish.

Layer two: chocolate chip (bourbon) pecan pie. I used my Nonnie’s recipe for this layer, which is foolproof and so good. I like to sweeten it with real maple syrup so that bars don’t become overly sweet. Once you’ve mixed the ingredients together, spoon the pecan layer over the cookie layer and bake them both together. As the cookie layer finishes baking it rises up over the pecan layer, creating an almost swirled like cookie bar with chocolate chips and pecans bursting up on top.

side angled photo of Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars stacked on top of each other

My one tip here is to really allow time for the bars too cool before you cut into them. I know it will be SO tempting to cut into the warm bars, but they need time to cool in order to properly set up. These bars are incredibly fudgy and gooey, so cutting into them warm is just a bit too messy. Let em cool off and they’ll be perfect.

The bottom of the bars are doughy and soft. While the middle is very gooey and more pecan pie like. The top has more of a caramelized “crunch” to it from the nuts and the sugar browning in the oven.

Like I said, every last crumb is so delicious.

Chocolatey? For sure? Filled with gooey pecan pie deliciousness? 100%.

Thank God it’s FRIDAY. Friday can be decadent, enjoy it, and bake up some cookie bars for Derby Day tomorrow.

PS. scroll past the recipe and you’ll find the very original photo of this recipe. For all your aspiring food photographers out there, this goes to show you that over time, you will improve!  That said, I cringe looking at that photo, so it’s kind of crazy that I had the courage to include it in this post.

side angled photo of Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

If you make these Kentucky Derby pie bars, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 24 (24 bars)
Calories Per Serving: 197 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

Pecan Pie Layer


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. 
    2. Make the cookie layer In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined and creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, beat until combined. Stir in the the chocolate chips. Spread the dough out into the prepared dish in an even layer. 
    3. Make the pecan layer. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the maple syrup, bourbon, if using, and salt. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
    4. Carefully pour the pecan mix over the cookie layer. It's OK if not everything is covered. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. It's OK if the center is a little jiggly. Let cool completely before cutting, at least 1 hour.

horizontal photo of Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

the original photo…

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    1. Hey Melissa,
      This was an older recipe that I revamped, there is no longer a Bourbon caramel sauce, you can follow the full recipe as is! I hope you love them! xTieghan

  1. 2 stars
    Baked these for Thanksgiving. Followed the recipe exactly, and the end result looked like the pictures shown. From a flavor standpoint the maple and bourbon really did not come through. You could really taste the egg quite strongly and the chocolate.

    1. Hi Cathleen! I am really sorry this did not taste as expected. If there are any questins I can help with, please let me know! xTieghan

  2. Very good recipe but cooking time was not accurate. My bars were very dry at 35-40 minutes so check it at 30minutes.

  3. 5 stars
    My mouth is watering while reading the recipe & when I tried this out I really liked the taste of this dish…That Amazing!!

  4. 1 star
    Going to start by saying that I bake A LOT. Would consider myself pretty good in the kitchen and know my way round a recipe. I wish I had listened to the other comments on here and picked a different recipe. These were so disappointing.
    Followed the instructions exactly and ended up with a grey, soggy gelatinous layer at the bottom. No maple or bourbon taste at all. Scraped the gross soggy mess off a few pieces and the cookie part tastes decent. But disappointing to have wasted good ingredients on that hot mess.
    Not sure where I went wrong but find it very strange that so many people are getting the same result.
    Stay away and make something else!

    1. Hi AC! I am really sorry to hear that this did not turn out well for you… Is there anything that could have gone wrong while making it? I would love to help! xTieghan

    1. Hey Catherine,
      That was the old version of the recipe, it has since been redone and added directly to the bars. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

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