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Easy Toffee Cookie Bars with Chocolate Chips

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These Easy Toffee Cookie Bars With Chocolate Chips are the ultimate sweet treat! A deliciously buttery shortbread crust is loaded with gooey caramel, toffee bits, and chocolate chips for a dessert that’s impossible to resist.

Toffee cookie bars stacked on each other with caramel and chocolate chips.
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What I love about these toffee cookie bars is how easy they are to make. Starting with a box of vanilla cake mix for the simple shortbread crust means you don’t have to measure out a bunch of dry ingredients, which makes this a super easy treat. The cake mix also ensures that the crust turns out perfectly buttery and tender every time.

The best part of this easy dessert recipe is the toppings. A layer of gooey caramel is spread over the shortbread crust, followed by a sprinkle of toffee bits and rich chocolate chips. The combination of flavors and textures is absolutely irresistible – the caramel is smooth and creamy, the toffee adds a perfect crunch, and throwing in some chocolate chips is always a good thing!

These toffee cookie bars can also be made ahead. They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature, so you can make a batch anytime and use them to satisfy your sweet tooth throughout the week.

If you’re a fan of caramel, toffee, and chocolate, you absolutely have to try these easy toffee cookie bars. Trust me, one bite and you’ll be hooked!

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What Goes Into This Recipe

The ingredients needed to make toffee cookie bars.
  • Vanilla Cake Mix: Using a box of vanilla cake mix for the shortbread crust is a great shortcut that saves time and effort. I begin tons of my easy recipes with a cake mix!
  • Butter:  There is no need to use softened butter because it is melted which saves you time.
  • Caramel Sauce: A generous layer of gooey caramel is spread over the shortbread crust, adding a smooth and creamy element to these easy toffee bars. You can make your own if you prefer, but I just buy mine at the grocery store!
  • Toffee Bits: Heath English toffee bits are sprinkled over the caramel layer, adding a rich, buttery flavor and a bit of crunch. You can buy whole Heath chocolate toffee bars and chop them up into small pieces yourself, or you can buy a bag of toffee bits next to the chocolate chips for convenience. They also work great on this Better Than Anything Cake.
  • Chocolate Chips: Chocolate chips are sprinkled over the toffee bits, bringing a sweet flavor that ties everything together. You can use milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips, depending on your preference.

See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry cake mix, melted butter, and egg until a crumbly dough forms {you want coarse crumbs}. Press 2/3 of the cookie dough into the prepared pan  {lined with parchment paper and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray} to form the shortbread crust, reserving the remaining 1/3 of the dough in the refrigerator for later.
  2. Bake the shortbread crust for 13-15 minutes, or until it’s a pale golden brown. Remove the hot crust from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Making the shortbread dough, pressing it in the pan and baking it.
  1. Once the bar cookies have cooled slightly, pour the caramel sauce over the top of the hot cookie bars and spread it out evenly. Then sprinkle with the flaky sea salt.
  2. Finally, sprinkle chocolate chips and toffee bits in an even layer over the caramel.
Topping bars with caramel, sea salt, toffee bits and chocolate chips.
  1. Take the reserved shortbread dough from the refrigerator and crumble it over the top of the caramel and toppings, pressing it down slightly.
  2. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the toppings are melted and bubbly and the shortbread crumble is lightly golden. Remove from the oven, add a few more toffee bits and allow the cookie bars to cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
Adding the remaining dough to the top and baking until golden brown.

Expert Tips

  • Use a cake mix for an easy shortbread crust. Using a box of vanilla cake mix for the shortbread crust is a great shortcut that saves time and effort. The cake mix also ensures that the crust turns out perfectly buttery and tender every time. I also suggest using it for these Salted Caramel Bars.
  • Buy toffee bits for convenience. While you can certainly buy whole Heath bars and chop them up yourself for the toffee layer, buying bags of pre-chopped toffee candy near the chocolate chips is a great time-saving option.
  • Let the cookie bars cool completely before cutting. It can be tempting to dive into these gooey, delicious cookie bars as soon as they come out of the oven, but letting them cool completely before cutting helps them set up and makes them much easier to slice and serve.
  • Customize the toppings to your liking. While the combination of caramel, toffee, and chocolate is pretty hard to beat, feel free to mix things up and customize the toppings to your liking. You could add chopped nuts, dried fruit or other types of chocolate chips.
  • Add more toffee bits to the top of the bars after baking. This simple step helps to give the bars more flavor and lots of texture.

Storage And Freezing

Store – These toffee bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you live in a particularly humid environment, you may want to store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.

Freeze – If you want to save some cookie bars for later, they freeze beautifully! Simply wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in a freezer-safe container. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy them, just let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a different flavor of cake mix?

Absolutely! While vanilla cake mix is a classic choice for the shortbread crust, you could certainly experiment with other flavors. Try chocolate, butter pecan, or even spice cake for a fun twist.

Can I make these cookie bars in a different size baking pan?

Yes, you can make these cookie bars in a different size pan if needed. Just keep in mind that a larger pan will yield thinner bars and may require less baking time. A smaller pan will yield thicker bars and may require more baking time.

Can I use homemade caramel sauce instead of store-bought?

Of course! If you have a favorite recipe for homemade caramel sauce, feel free to use that instead of store-bought. For best results, make sure it’s a fairly thick, spoonable consistency so it doesn’t make the shortbread crust too soggy.

How do I know when the cookie bars are done baking?

You’ll know the toffee cookie bars are done baking when the toppings are melted and bubbly. The shortbread crumble on top will also be a light golden brown. The bars should be set around the edges but still slightly gooey in the center. They’ll continue to set up as they cool.

Toffee cookie bars cut on a white tray.

Do you love Easy Cookies that are Bars?  Try these recipes…

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Toffee cookie bars stacked on each other.
A cake mix shortbread bar is loaded with chocolate chips, caramel and toffee for the ultimate sweet treat.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 cookie bars
Calories: 353kcal
No ratings yet
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Ingredients

Shortbread

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix {13.25 ounces}
  • cup butter {melted}
  • 1 large egg

Toppings

  • ¾ cup caramel sauce
  • cup toffee bits {or chopped Heath bars}
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Spray an 9×9 {or 8×8 pan} with non-stick spray.  Mix dry cake mix, melted butter and egg with either a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.  The mixture will be crumbly and that is how it should be. 
  • Take ⅔ of the mixture and press it into the pan using your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup {reserve the remaining 1/3 of mixture and refrigerate until it is ready to use}.  Bake shortbread crust for 13-15 minutes or until it is a pale golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Once the crust is cooled, pour caramel over crust and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle the toffee bits and chocolate chips evenly over the caramel. Then  take the remaining shortbread mixture and sprinkle it over the top of the caramel, pressing it slightly.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into 12 even squares.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

You can make these toffee cookie bars in a different size pan if needed. Just keep in mind that a larger pan will yield thinner bars and may require less baking time, while a smaller pan will yield thicker bars and may require more baking time.
These toffee cookie bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you live in a particularly humid environment, you may want to store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.
To freeze, simply wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in a freezer-safe container. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy them, just let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie bar | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 411mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 344IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg
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