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Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars

These Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars are made with a buttery brown sugar shortbread crust, filled with a sweetened condensed milk caramel, and topped with milk chocolate and toffee bits! SO sweet and rich!

This recipe was originally published in 2014. The images and recipe tips were updated in 2021. The recipe remains the same!

Buttery Shortbread Cookie Bars with Toffee

Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars is one of those recipes that has been around for ages, I think. I found the base for this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try…unfortunately the picture just kept leading me back to a million other sites and never a proper source. Annoying.
So, I slightly varied the recipe that the person reposted on the picture. Recipe police, don’t arrest me.

Anyway, I know that calling these cookies “Best Ever” is a pretty confident statement to make, but I think they deserve the praise. Because these are the “Best Ever Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars” I’ve ever had. Their base is a brown sugar shortbread, the filling is a caramelized sweetened condensed milk, and the topping is a mixture of milk chocolate and toffee. It’s everything you could ever want all in one place.

Ingredients for shortbread toffee cookie bars.

Recipe Ingredients

Let’s stop staring at these beautiful cookie bars, and bake them into being! Here’s what we’ll need to do that:

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • Butter: Make sure the butter comes to room temperature so that it will easily cream with the sugar.
  • Brown Sugar: I used light brown sugar for its sweet, caramel notes.
  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour for these cookie bars.

For the Filling:

  • Sweet Condensed Milk: Whatever brand your local store carries is fine.
  • Butter: You can use salted or unsalted, whichever you prefer.

For the Topping:

  • Chocolate Chips: You’ll need 2 cups of milk chocolate chips – if you want to add richness, mix in some dark chocolate chips.
  • Toffee Bits: You can buy these at your local store, or make a batch of toffee and crush some of it up!
3 stacked shortbread toffee cookie bars.

How to Make Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars

These chocolate toffee cookie bars take about 15 minutes to prepare, and 30 minutes to bake – and it’s all super easy! I love cookie bars because they can be a casual dessert for snacking on, but you can also make them as a somewhat decadent dessert.

Prepare: Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

Cream the Butter and Sugar: Beat butter and sugar together until combined, 1-2 minutes.

Brown sugar and butter cubes in a bowl.

Mix in Flour & Bake: The mixture will be slightly dry. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow the pan to cool slightly.

Pressed shortbread dough in a pan.

Prepare the Filling & Bake Again: In a small saucepan heat sweetened condensed milk and butter together until butter is smooth. Pour over shortbread crust. Bake 12-15 minutes until filling is bubbly and browned. It will almost take on a light caramel appearance. Remove from oven.

Filling for shortbread cookie bars.

Add Chocolate Chips: Immediately sprinkle milk chips on top of filling when it comes out of the oven. Place back in oven for 2 minutes until chips are shiny and soft. Carefully spread the chips over the filling with an off-set spatula.

Add Toffee Bits: Sprinkle with toffee bits, pressing into milk chocolate. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Toffee bits on chocolate and shortbread.

Tips for the Best Cookie Bars

Looking for some tips to ensure the best results with your cookie bars? You’re in the right place:

  • Cooling These Cookies: You can place these in the refrigerator to help speed up the cooling process. I allowed mine to cool at room temperature overnight, though, before I sliced and served.
  • Don’t Over-Bake the Chocolate: You just want to make sure that it’s melted enough that you can spread it. It doesn’t have to cover the entire top of the cookie perfectly, because you’re going to add toffee on top, too!
  • Add a Drizzle of Caramel on Top: I know, I know, sweetness overload, but it’s soooo good!
  • Refrigerating the Shortbread Dough: You don’t have to do this, but it will ensure that the dough does not spread out too much it bakes – this is more relevant with separate cookies.

How to Store

I like to store these toffee cookie bars in an airtight container in the fridge (because of the chocolate) for 4-5 days. Let them come to room temperature before eating, though, because the shortbread will taste better that way.

Can I Freeze These?

Sure! You can freeze these cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw them in the fridge so they’re not too hard before eating!

Shortbread cookie bar with a bite out of it.

More Cookie Bar Recipes

Looking for more easy cookie bar recipes? Try these!

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Plate of stacked chocolate cookie bars.

Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 30 Squares 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars are made with a buttery brown sugar shortbread crust, filled with a sweetened condensed milk caramel, and topped with milk chocolate and toffee bits! SO sweet and rich!


Ingredients

Scale

Shortbread Crust

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

Filling

  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Topping


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

Shortbread Crust

  1. Beat butter and sugar together until combined, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Mix in flour. Mixture will be slightly dry. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Filling

  1. In a small saucepan heat sweetened condensed milk and butter together until butter is smooth. Pour over shortbread crust. Bake 12-15 minutes until filling is bubbly and browned. It will almost take on a light caramel appearance. Remove from oven.

Topping

  1. Immediately sprinkle milk chips on top of filling when it comes out of the oven. Place back in oven for 2 minutes until chips are shiny and soft.
  2. Carefully spread the chips over the filling with an off-set spatula.
  3. Sprinkle with toffee bits, pressing into milk chocolate.
  4. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Notes

You can place these in the refrigerator to help speed up the cooling process.
I allowed mine to cool at room temperature, though, over night before I sliced and served.

Keywords: shortbread cookie bars, toffee cookie bars, chocolate chip shortbread, chocolate chip cookie bars, chocolate cookie bars, toffee cookies

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90 comments on “Shortbread Toffee Cookie Bars”

  1. Shannon Stone

    These bars are amazingly easy and delicious….it’s the one cookie on my Xmas trays that always gets asked to repeat..

    1. I always use the crushed heath bars; they’re the only thing available here. No changes needed, just spread them over the top as directed.

  2. I made these today, I found them overly sweet so not sure I’ll make them again. I did like the shortbread with the brown sugar as opposed to white that I usually make it with.

    1. Saw your comment before I made them, so I added 1/2 t. salt to the shortbread crust. Also used bittersweet chocolate. Mine weren’t too sweet. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Saving and I’m sure they’ll be good as I love toffee. I have to agree with those who object to the term “crack.” Not only is it way overused on Pinterest, but I just don’t think comparing food to a dangerous illegal street drug is appealing. Sorry if that makes me a negative Nancy.

  4. Made these today and they came out great. A little sweet but so good. I followed the recipe as is.

  5. Jessica L Eikmeier

    I didn’t have any toffee bits for the last step, so I used reeces’ pieces and cups…..o.m.g so good!

  6. I found this recipe and made it several times for church events before Christmas. Everyone wanted the recipe! These bars are sooo good!!! I made them today for my daughter and somehow messed up the order of the recipe. They still turned out delicious!! Love, love, love these! Thank you for what will be o e a Christmas tradition!

  7. Oh my gosh! This is the most delicious dessert that I have ever made. They didn’t even last two days in our house-everybody loved them! And they were very easy to make.

  8. YUMMM- such an easy recipe and super tasty! These are very thin bars- which is totally fine because they are super rich. I just had expected them to be a tad thicker (always hard to tell from the pictures). They would be perfect for Xmas cookie exchange! They also freeze wonderfully!

  9. I just made the bars, however, the fillilng didn’t solidify. it oozed out and the bars were fragile. I cooked according to the receipe. Not sure if I did something wrong

  10. I made these and followed the recipe (mostly). I made my own toffee bits instead of the packaged ones, and get this, I also put ground ghost pepper in the sweetened condensed milk/butter mixture. Heat and Sweet go together nicely!

  11. Thank you I have made these multiple times. Everyone loves them. I’ve changed the recipe a bit. I double the shortbread layer,adding a pinch of salt and use Mexican sweetened condensed milk (Nestle La Lechera) It has a deeper flavor.

  12. Delicious! I would add salt to the shortbread next time, to cut down on the sweetness. I also left out the butter in the milk, didn’t see why that was necessary and they turned out great! My family loves them and they are in danger of disappearing!

  13. Have made these quite a few times, and love them. Easy and everyone always asks for the recipe – so I send them your way!

  14. Fantastic recipe! They never last more then a few days at my house. Had to adjust the cooking time for the filling, 15 minutes wasn’t quite enough. Just finished making another batch at the request of my family.

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