Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

Let’s see how much butter I can cram into an 8×8-inch pan was what I was thinking when I made the bars.

The more butter, the merrier. Just a half pound, no biggie.

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars - A buttery shortbread crust topped with a creamy, buttery topping that's almost like custard!! The bars live up to their gooey, buttery name!!

The bars have a buttery soft shortbread crust and are topped with a gooey, creamy, buttery topping that’s studded with chocolate chips.

It’s soft, luscious, and just melts in your mouth. It reminds me of the inside of a custard-filled donut that’s squishy and wonderful. The texture contrast between the lighter filling and the heartier crust is fabulous.

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars - A buttery shortbread crust topped with a creamy, buttery topping that's almost like custard!! The bars live up to their gooey, buttery name!!

I used mini chocolate chips because they stay suspended in the filling better than regular size and there’s a better chocolate ratio in every bite.

I used the same crust I’ve used for Tagalongs Cookie Bars and The Best Lemon Bars. One tablespoon of cornstarch helps the crust from turning overly crunchy and helps to minimize cracking and crumbling when you slice these buttery babies that live up to their gooey, buttery name.

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars - A buttery shortbread crust topped with a creamy, buttery topping that's almost like custard!! The bars live up to their gooey, buttery name!!

Print Recipe

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

The more butter, the merrier. The bars have a buttery soft shortbread crust and are topped with a gooey, creamy, buttery topping that's studded with chocolate chips. It's soft, luscious, and just melts in your mouth. It reminds me of the inside of a custard-filled donut that's squishy and wonderful. The texture contrast between the lighter filling and the heartier crust is fabulous. I used mini chocolate chips because they stay suspended in the filling better than regular size and there's a better chocolate ratio in every bite. One tablespoon of cornstarch helps the crust from turning overly crunchy and helps to minimize cracking and crumbling when you slice the bars.

Yield: one 8x8-inch pan, 9 to 12 generous squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 35 minutes, divided

Total Time: about 2 hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, plus about 2 tablespoons for sprinkling over the top (mini chips highly recommended although regular sized chips may be substituted if absolutely necessary)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Shortbread Crust - To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or large bowl and electric mixer), add all ingredients and beat on low speed until combined and a dough forms, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn dough out into prepared pan in an even, smooth, flat layer, using a spatula or your fingers to smooth it. Pierce crust with a fork in a dozen places so steam can escape while it bakes. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until crust has just barely set. It should not be golden or browned and should still be white, but crusted over and set. While crust bakes, make the filling.
  3. Filling - To a small bowl, add the corn syrup, water, vanilla, and stir to combine; set aside.
  4. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or large bowl and electric mixer; the same bowl you already used is fine, just wipe it out with a paper towel), add the butter, sugar, salt, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add half the flour, half the corn syrup and water, and beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the remaining flour, remaining corn syrup and water, and beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  9. Turn filling out over crust (I didn't wait for crust to cool) in an even, smooth, flat layer, using a spatula to smooth it.
  10. Evenly sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.
  11. Bake for about 23 to 25 minutes, or until edges have set, the center is mostly set (some jiggle is fine), and the top has a few light golden brown spots. Don't overbake or they won't be as gooey. Allow bars to cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week.

Crust adapted from here. Filling adapted from here and here.

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32 comments

  1. I can’t even imagine how incredible these are! The filling is intriguing–I don’t think I’ve come across anything like it. At first I thought it might be similar to a sugar cream pie type of filling but saw there wasn’t any milk or cream. Must be the magic of butter….swoon!!

  2. amazingly pretty and yummy looking.. 

  3. Mini chocolate chips are like little formidable champions. Their flavor gets everywhere and it’s just so good!
    I’m all about butter bars with a crust. Shortbread rules my world!

  4. Oh my gosh, they look SO chewy! I don’t care that the holidays are nearly over, I’m so ready to sink my teeth into these beauties!

  5. Oh my gosh. These are fabulous, as usual. The more butter is certainly better, that’s for sure!!

  6. Yum! I love bars with a gooey filling and then the firmer bite of crust! Thanks for posting these while we still have a couple days left of December, where butter is king. In January, I’d have to feel just a little guilty.

  7. The more butter, the merrier — this is so, so true. These bars look wonderful, I can’t wait to sink my teeth in them.

  8. These bars look incredible! I need them in my life asap!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  9. Mmm, yummy. I love all things shortbread-ey. And chocolatey.

  10. Averie!!!!  These look SO good.  We recently made a gooey butter cake for the first time.  It’s a little different than this, but I’ll have to say I’m fan of all gooey butter desserts now.  I’m sure I’d love these!

  11. You are the queen of bar cookies…I love how you always have them cut into such perfect squares and you always seem to capture how gooey they are…These look so good. I had some really bad shortbread over the holiday but these could remedy that memory for me.

  12. Pretty sure I could devour that entire 10″ right about now! Hot fudge on a cookie!!! Thank You!

  13. Yummmm! 
    Mini choc chips are the cutest and these look the yummiest! 
    You’ve done it again Averie :)

  14. Gooey butter. Chocolate chip. Shortbread bars. I keep on reviewing that stream of words for a weak link, but there is none. It’s all goodness. I love these bars, Averie!! I am a huge fan of gooey butter cake and of chocolate chip cookies and shortbread and it looks like they are all present and accounted for here!

  15. I don’ t see where to add the vanilla in the filling . . . is it after the eggs?

  16. Really interesting recipe! They look pretty darn good… you may have set your own personal record for butter! Hope you, Skylar, and your husband are having a good holiday season. Just curious, are you still running? I remembered that a while back you used to mention whatever exercising you had been up to. They were interesting anecdotes :)

  17. These bars look so buttery delicious!! 

  18. What if I don’t have corn syrup?

  19. ooooh they look so gooey I could die!!!!!!

  20. Snowed in here in NC so I did some baking today. I was eating some Girl Scout shortbread cookies and I thought to myself “I wonder if Averie Cooks has any shortbread recipes…” Lo and behold…you do!

    I’m not sure if it’s the weather but I had to add 4 teaspoons of water to the shortbread to get it to form a dough. Otherwise it was just an unformed powdered mess even though my butter was extremely soft. I didn’t use aluminum foil in my pan and I think that may have affected the cooking times (I had to add a lot of time and use a foil tent to prevent the edges browning too much). No mini-choc chips on hand (and can’t drive in the snow) so I used regular sized and they sunk. But oooh this is SO GOOD and so buttery and so shortbread-y. LOVE this recipe and I’ll definitely make it again.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it worked out for you. With baking, the weather has a huge effect on things and sounds like you did what you needed to do given your climate, ingredients, etc to get the dough to form. As for lining with foil vs. without and how that impacts baking time, I can’t speak to that because I always line with foil but glad you tented and it all worked out and that you’ll make these again!

  21. I should not have made these. I’m trying to keep portions healthy right now, and I’ve been rewarding myself for eating well by ending each day with a homemade treat: a cookie, a brownie, etc. Yesterday, I ate FOUR of these amazing gooey wonders. I have no self-control around them! They’re like little pieces of cookie dough pie. Thank you for introducing me to gooey butter shortbread! But now I have to give them all away.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you! I know, this is one amazing gooey wonder :) I loved these things too and had to donate about half too :)

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