A bar cookie is a thing of beauty. The perfect format for layers, it’s often a one-bowl deal and requires no shaping — just pour the batter into a pan and spread to the edges with an offset spatula. But, there’s more to bars than just tossing in a layer of chocolate chips! Here are some recipes from our archives showing the best of bars.

Crumbly Lemon Crème Bars, above. These will get demolished minutes after they’re made. A sharp, sweet lemon filling with a delectable oat crust makes an excellent, quick showstopper treat. Major lemon pie vibes here!



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Endlessly Adaptable Cookie Bars. These bars are so much more than a chocolate chip cookie in bar form. These vegan treats take all the flavors of that classic cookie, with toffee undertones and a nutty boost from almonds. Chocolate chips only make things better.



(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post)

Peach Melba Shortbread Bars. Peach Melba combines the flavors of raspberry and peach, a classic we all know is winner! This sweet and tart treat is possibly the best way to combine two of summer’s tastiest fruits. 



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Salted Honey Bars With Thyme. We can’t get enough of these salty-sweet bars that remind us of the corner pieces from a pan of blondies. Honey’s floral sweetness plays beautifully with thyme’s herbaceous notes, for a sophisticated upgrade to a bake sale classic.



(Katherine Frey for The Washington Post)

White Chocolate Honey Crisp Bars. Remember Rice Krispies Treats? This no-bake bar pays homage to the classic, but ups the ante with milk chocolate mixed into the crisped rice and drizzled over a white chocolate topping.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Loaded Rocky Road Caramel Crunch Bars. When we say loaded, we mean fully loaded. Marshmallows, caramel, chocolate chips, nuts . . . this bar has everything. Cut this into smaller pieces so everyone can get a decadent bite.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Dulce de Leche Bars. Sweet caramel on a shortbread-like crust. Need we say more? You can make your own dulce de leche, a thick milky caramel popular in Latin America, or just grab a can from the Latin section of a grocery store and pour straight on top.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Almond Ricotta Bars. The base of these bars walk the line between cookie and cake, with ricotta to help keep things light. Decorate with a light hand, and these bars will be a knockout at tea.

More from Voraciously

7 sweet treats that taste better in a cast-iron skillet

Just one bowl to wash: How to simplify your baking, and cleanup

The best thing to do with heavy cream? Whip it, whip it good.