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The Crucial Mistake That Makes Bar Cookies Turn Out Ugly

What you should never do with bar cookies or they’ll turn out ugly

If you’re a fan of cookies, you probably know that they come in all shapes and sizes. One popular variation is the bar cookie, which is baked in a pan and then cut into pieces. Bar cookies are popular for their ease of preparation and ability to serve a crowd. However, despite their simplicity, there are some common mistakes that can result in less-than-perfect bar cookies. In this article, we’ll explore one crucial mistake to avoid if you want your bar cookies to turn out beautifully.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before cutting

One of the biggest mistakes many bakers make when it comes to bar cookies is cutting them too soon. It can be tempting to jump in as soon as they come out of the oven, but this can lead to disastrous results. Cutting bars while they’re still warm can result in jagged edges and a higher chance of them falling apart when you try to remove them from the pan.
The key to perfectly shaped and intact bars is to allow them to cool completely before cutting. The King Arthur Baking Company advises against cutting warm bar cookies and recommends letting them cool in the pan on a wire rack. Better Homes & Gardens also supports this advice, stating that cooled cookies hold their shape much better than hot ones.
The amount of time needed to cool bar cookies can vary depending on several factors. Some sources suggest letting them cool for at least an hour, while others say 30 minutes is enough. For best results, it’s important to give your bar cookies plenty of time to cool. Patience is key here, as rushing the process can compromise the structural integrity of the cookies.
By allowing your bar cookies to cool completely, you’ll notice a significant difference in their appearance and texture. They will have cleaner edges and be less likely to crumble when handled. The flavors and textures will also have a chance to fully develop, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.


Bar cookies are a delicious treat that can be enjoyed on many occasions. To ensure that your bar cookies turn out beautiful and delicious, it’s important not to cut them too soon. Allowing them to cool completely before slicing will help them hold their shape and prevent them from falling apart. Remember to be patient and give your bar cookies the time they need to cool. By following this simple tip, you’ll be rewarded with picture-perfect bar cookies that are sure to impress anyone who takes a bite. Happy baking!


Why is it important to let the bars cool completely before cutting?

Allowing bar cookies to cool completely ensures that they hold their shape and have clean edges. Cutting them too early can result in jagged edges and a higher risk of them falling apart.

How long should I let bar cookies cool before cutting them?

Cooling time can vary, but it’s generally recommended to let bars cool for at least an hour. However, some recipes may call for a shorter cooling time of about 30 minutes. The key is to make sure they are completely cooled before cutting.

Can I speed up the cooling process for bar cookies?

While it’s best to let bar cookies cool naturally, you can place the pan on a cooling rack to promote faster cooling. Avoid methods such as refrigeration or freezing as they can change the texture and affect the overall quality of the cookies.

Will cutting warm bar cookies affect their flavor?

Cutting warm bar cookies can affect their flavor and texture. Allowing them to cool completely allows the flavors and textures to fully develop, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.

Can I reheat bar cookies after they cool?

Yes, you can reheat bars after they cool if you prefer warm treats. However, it’s important to note that reheating can slightly affect the texture, so it’s best to consume them within a day or two of baking for optimal flavor and quality.

Are there any other tips for making the perfect bar cookies?

In addition to allowing the bars to cool completely before cutting, some additional tips include properly greasing the pan to prevent sticking, using a sharp knife or spatula for clean cuts, and storing the cooled bars in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

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