Add these triple-layer cookie bars to your holiday baking plans and cookie trays ASAP, and you will not regret it. With a buttery, barely sweet shortbread base topped with a rich, thick layer of semi-sweet chocolate and chopped toffee bits, these sweet treats are nothing short of outrageously impressive. They're intensely chocolatey and wildly decadent. Sign me up.
The Easiest Shortbread Is Made in Your Food Processor
The beauty of making these bars is how surprisingly easy they are to pull together. They start with a five-ingredient shortbread base that's pulsed together in the food processor. If you have a tendency to forget to soften the butter when making cookies (guilty!), you're in luck because this dough starts with cold butter straight from the fridge. It leaves the shortbread with a sandy texture I think you'll adore just as much as we do.
You'll want to make sure to give the shortbread ample time to completely cool before adding the chocolate layer. While you can certainly make the bars in a single day, I like splitting it up over two days, where I make and cool and shortbread on day one, then add the chocolate and toffee layers on the second day.
Layered Chocolate Toffee Bars
Makes 32 bar cookies
(8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cubed
semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups
chopped toffee bits (8 ounces)
Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil so that it hangs over the long sides of the pan; set aside.
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse to combine, 2 to 3 quick pulses. Add the butter and vanilla and pulse to combine. Continue pulsing until the mixture comes together in large balls and sticks together when pressed with 2 fingers, about 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the dough is evenly mixed.
Transfer the dough to the baking pan. Use your fingertips to press the dough into an even layer in the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.
Bake until the shortbread is lightly golden around the top and edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan.
Place the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the chocolate is just melted. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.) Stir until smooth.
Pour the chocolate over the shortbread and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with the toffee. Use a flat spatula to gently press the toffee pieces into the chocolate. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the baking pan in the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Grasp the excess foil and lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Peel the foil off the bottom, then cut into squares and serve.
Make ahead: The shortbread can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cool, cover the pan, and store at room temperature.
Storage: Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.