Alexandria, Virginia

Use-What-You-Have Cookie Bars

Is there anything better than cookies in brownie form?  Soft, chewy, yummy–and easy to bake.  If you’re like me, your pantry becomes a haven for the left-over mix-ins from past recipes–chocolate chips, candy bits, chopped nuts, mini-marshmallows.  The list goes on.  And if you’re like me, you can’t bear the thought of waste.  What do to?  I put together this easy recipe for blondies using up all those yummy odds and ends.  If you’re looking for a simple and sweet at-home treat during this unusual time, I hope you’ll enjoy these bars.  They’re a great reward for organizing the pantry!

Alexandria, Virginia
5 from 2 votes

Pantry Bars


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • ½ c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 lg eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon optional
  • 2-2¼ c. chocolate chips, candy bits, chopped nuts, mini-marshmallows--whatever mix-ins you like


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Melt butter. Transfer to lg mixing bowl.

  3. Add brown sugar; blend well.

  4. Beat in eggs.

  5. Blend in vanilla.

  6. In a separate bowl, blend flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually blend into butter mixture.

  7. Mix in mix-ins.

  8. Spread batter evenly into greased 13x9" baking pan.

  9. Bake at 350F until fork tines come out clean, approx. 25-28 minutes.

  10. Cool. Cut and serve.

Use-What-You-Have Cookie BarsUse-What-You-Have Cookie BarsUse-What-You-Have Cookie BarsUse-What-You-Have Cookie Bars


  1. Lucky me, I have everything in my pantry except my kids are allergic to wheat so I will substitute to gluten free flour. Can’t wait to try this!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  2. I just started learning to bake since the quarantine and have been looking for new things to make. I can’t wait to try this out. Bonus: I have all the ingredients I need.

    1. Thanks, Scarlett, it’s great that you’re using this unusual time to learn a new hobby.

  3. These look delicious. I am a big “use what I have around” kind of person as well, so I appreciate you being a good steward of what’s in your pantry. And they look good. I have pinned the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. 5 stars
    OMG! I have everything except vanilla extract which is unusual smh…I’m always looking for simple things to bake with my 7yr old because he loves it! Something else to add to my list! I also love the option to print the recipe Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. This recipe is simple and I like how it helps use up the remains of other ingredients so that they don’t go to waste! Great recipe and thanks for sharing!

  6. These are some of my favorite sweet treats to eat! So glad I now have a recipe to enjoy these. With a little ice cream on top, i’ll be in heaven!

  7. 5 stars
    These sound delicious! There is not a more accomplished feeling (in my opinion) than making something from scratch with random things found in my pantry, LOL

  8. Yummy! This is such a great idea! We often do this same concept with stir-fry dinners and whatever veggie remains we have in the fridge. Why not cookie bars, too?!?! I’ll definitely have to try this, because I agree…I hate letting things go to waste!

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