Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

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

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4.25 from 49 votes

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

By Averie Sunshine
A buttery shortbread crust topped with a creamy, buttery topping that's almost like custard!! The bars live up to their gooey, buttery name!!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

Shortbread Crust

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ 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:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  • 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.

Filling:

  • To a small bowl, add the corn syrup, water, vanilla, and stir to combine; set aside.
  • 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.
  • Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Add the remaining flour, remaining corn syrup and water, and beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
  • Add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  • 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.
  • Evenly sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.
  • 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.

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

Serving: 1, Calories: 225kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 200mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 24g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Easy Dessert Bars: 

Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars – Keep the napkins handy for these soft, gooey bars dripping with the best caramel-peanut butter sauce!

Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars - Keep the napkins handy for these soft, gooey bars dripping with the best caramel-peanut butter sauce! So good!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars — They’re incredibly easy to make, packed with the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor, and lots of semi-sweet chocolate to balance the sweet glaze. 

Carmelitas — For the serious caramel lover, these soft and chewy layered bars are dripping with caramel and stuffed with chocolate! Easy one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that everyone loves!

Chocolate Chip S’mores Cookie Bars — Between layers of super soft chocolate chip cookie dough there’s chocolate, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs for the most DECADENT smores ever!!

Chocolate Chip Nutella Bars — Super soft, buttery bars STUFFED with NUTELLA and topped with CHOCOLATE chips! Easy, no mixer recipe that puts a smile on everyone’s face!!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies — The tender dough with rich browned butter flavor, a crackly top almost like brownies have, and the melted chocolate chips is an irresistible combination.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars — Between the butter, peanut butter, and salted caramel drizzle, the bars are supremely moist, gooey, and packed with salty-and-sweet flavor.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 1 star
    Very disappointed.  Followed directions to a T.  Chocolate chip mixture was runny and just seemed like uncooked mixture to me.  Even left in oven a little longer.  Gooey is not how I would describe it.  Undone is more like it.

    1. But you had no problem taking the time to read my site well enough to leave a snarky comment. Things must not be that bad.

      1. Didn’t mean to be snarky. Just thought you’d be interested in your readers’ experience.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this recipe yesterday and was completely dazzled. Chocolate chip cookies and gooey butter cake are my top two favorite desserts, and this recipe combines the best of both. The contrast in textures is wonderful, and it’s not overly sweet the way gooey butter cake is (even though I love it!). Thank you for a recipe I know I will make over and over.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this recipe yesterday and was completely dazzled. Chocolate chip cookies and gooey butter cake are my top two favorite desserts, and this recipe combines the best of both. The contrast in textures is wonderful, and it’s not overly sweet the way gooey butter cake is (even though I love it!). Thank you for a recipe I know I will make over and over.

  4. Hi, I’m planning to make these tomorrow for guests who don’t eat flour- could I substitute almond flour for the base and filling? Thanks!

  5. Hi Averie, I’m thinking of making these beauties in advance and freezing them. Do you think these would freeze well? Thanks!

  6. I’ve made these twice and both times I ate most of them myself because I just couldn’t stop eating them. They are so good!

  7. 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.

    1. 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 :)

  8. 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.

    1. 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!