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!!

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!!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie 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.

These gooey chocolate chip cookie 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 the same crust I’ve used for these Tagalongs Cookie Bars and these 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.

What’s in the Gooey Shortbread Bars? 

To make the chocolate chip shortbread cookie bars, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Light corn syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Semi-sweet mini chocolate chips 

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!!

How to Make Gooey Shortbread Bars 

First, make the shortbread crust. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until combined. 

Press the dough into the bottom of an 8×8-inch pan. Bake until the crust is just set, but not yet golden. 

While the crust bakes, make the gooey butter filling. In the same bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs, followed by the remaining ingredients. Fold the chocolate chips in last.

Turn the filling over the crust, then sprinkle with additional chocolate chips. Return the bars to the oven to finish baking.

Can I Double This Recipe?

I imagine so, yes. Double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13-inch pan. Note that these bars are very rich, so a pan that size will make about 24 servings.  

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!!

Tips for Making Gooey Shortbread Bars

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. But use regular chocolate chips, if that’s what you have. 

Note that this recipe calls for light colored corn syrup and not lite (i.e. lower sugar) corn syrup. 

These bars freeze really well, or they’ll last about a week at room temperature. 

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars
Yield: 12

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes

A buttery shortbread crust topped with a creamy, buttery topping that's almost like custard!! The bars live up to their gooey, buttery name!!

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)

Instructions

Shortbread Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Turn dough out into prepared pan in an even, smooth, flat layer, using a spatula or your fingers to smooth it.
  4. Pierce crust with a fork in a dozen places so steam can escape while it bakes.
  5. 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.
  6. While crust bakes, make the filling.

Filling:

  1. To a small bowl, add the corn syrup, water, vanilla, and stir to combine; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the remaining flour, remaining corn syrup and water, and beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  7. 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.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.
  9. 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.
  10. Allow bars to cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Notes

Storage: Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week.

Crust adapted from here. Filling adapted from The Little Kitchen.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g

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