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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: 242 kcal

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


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.
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horizontal photo of Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

the original photo…

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  1. Tieghan,

    I’m glad I didn’t read the reviews first! I made these for a Kentucky Derby party and they turned out perfectly! Thank you for sharing your baking talents and this recipe!

    1. Hey Amy,
      I appreciate you making this recipe and your comment, so glad it was enjoyed! Have a great weekend! Xx

  2. 1 star
    There has to be an error in the recipe.

    The topping is very liquid. There is no way the topping was going to absorb in and the cookie bottom still cook fully.

    Big waste of sugar, butter and chocolate.

    1. Hi Kelsey,
      So sorry to hear you had some issues with this recipe! I’ve tested it quite a bit and have never had these results, I double checked the measurements too. Did you adjust the serving size at all or anything that could have messed with the measurements? Again, I apologize for the trouble! xx

      1. I followed exact recipe.
        Where it seems off to me is the 3 large eggs and 3/4 cup of maple syrup. It was a lot of liquid that flooded across the top of the cookie base.
        In your recipe it says “don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the entire base”.
        I had so much topping it was well covered, like almost over flowing.

        1. Hmmm, what size pan did you use? The recipe has worked for so many others, I’m not sure why it hasn’t worked for some! Again, I apologize for the trouble!

        2. Recipe ingredients must be missing something to make it less liquidy in the pecan layer topping! Flour perhaps??? I too wish I scrolled down to the comments before proceeding ! Disappointed! Your recipes are usually spot on!

  3. 1 star
    Do not make this nasty thing. I hope you found the comments first. It made gelatins egg base. Wasted so much money buying the ingredients. Throwing my first derby party tomorrow and now no derby pie.

  4. 1 star
    I should have read the comments before making these.
    Just like what others said, they did not turn out well at all- gelatinous, eggy bottom and bland flavor.
    Save yourself time and money and do not make these.
    Please, Tieghan, delete this recipe from your blog- it’s not doing you any favors

    1. Hi Holly,
      Thanks for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear it was not enjoyed. Please let me know what I can help with! Happy Friday! xx