I’ve always loved desserts in bar form for several reasons. And these Chocolate Shortbread Bars are no exception.
Dessert Bars are Better!
- They’re quicker. No scooping cookie dough onto baking sheets.
- Easy to transport in the baking dish.
- Can get fancy with layering with very little effort!
These bars are unbelievable. Starting with the buttery, shortbread crust. And ending with the topping that’s filled with brown butter, oats, chocolate, and coconut. My, oh my. You HAVE to make these. And please save me one, or five.
Why You’ll Love these Chocolate Shortbread Bars
- The easy shortbread crust (just flour, butter, sugar, and salt).
- Brown butter! Yes, please.
- All of my favorite mix-ins. Chocolate chips, coconut, and oats!
- Just as good the next day. So go ahead and bake a batch in advance!
First, mix up the shortbread. All it takes is a quick whirl in your food processor. Processing the flour, butter, sugar, and salt until the dough comes together. Then press into a 9×13 inch baking dish. I like to line mine with parchment paper so that you an easily lift the bars out to cut them. Using your hands, just press the dough in an even layer. Then into the oven!
While the shortbread bakes, we’ll make our top layer. This is where it really gets good! First, melt the butter and make the brown butter. The key to browning butter is to babysit it as it will go from perfectly amber and browned to burnt in seconds. To the brown butter, stir in the sugar. Both white granulated and brown sugar. You can use either dark or light brown. Whatever you have on hand.
Now stir in the mix ins. I used semisweet chocolate chips, unsweetened shredded coconut, and rolled oats! Pour the chocolatey, brown butter mixture evenly over the baked shortbread crust. And back into the oven! You’ll bake it for about 25 minutes until the top is firm, set, and lightly golden.
In order to cut the bars, it’s best to let them cool completely. You can pop the whole dish in the refrigerator to speed up the process. Once cooled and set, use a sharp knife and cut into bars as big or as small as you’d like. Enjoy!
*Note – this recipe was originally published on April 8, 2019 but has been updated with newer pictures and more detailed instructions.
Gooey Chocolate Shortbread Bars start with the buttery, shortbread crust. And end with the topping that’s filled with brown butter, oats, chocolate, and coconut. Melt in your mouth good. Recipe at KathleensCravings.com
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
Brown Butter Topping
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark, but light will work)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet. Dark or milk will also work)
- powdered sugar (optional, to finish)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Make the shortbread crust: Cut the butter into chunks. In the bowl of your food processor add all shortbread ingredients – flour, salt, sugar, and butter. Run the processor until the dough comes together and forms large chunks. This usually takes a good minute or two, but I promise it will come together. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish and press evenly along the bottom and about 1/4 inch up the sides. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until very pale golden on top.
- While the shortbread is baking, make the filling. First, add the white and brown sugar to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside. Next, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a light colored saucepan or skillet (using a light color vs nonstick makes it easier to see the color of the butter as it browns). Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter turns an amber and golden brown bits form at the bottom. About 5 minutes. Be careful, it will go from brown to burnt very quickly. Remove from heat and pour over the sugar. Stir together.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Next, stir in the oats, coconut, and chocolate chips. Pour the mixture over the par-baked shortbread crust.
- Return the bars to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes. The top will be golden, firm, and set when you jiggle the pan. They will continue to set up as they cool.
- In order to cut them easily, allow them to cool completely. Once they have slightly cooled at room temperature, you can put the dish into the fridge to speed up the process. Once cool, cut into bars. If desired, use a fine mesh sieve to dust with powder sugar right before serving.
Leftover bars can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days… but they won’t make it that long 🙂
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American