Chewy Peanut Shortbread Bars are made with a buttery crust, sweet butterscotch filling, and crunchy peanuts. Ready in 25 minutes!
Simple Shortbread Cookies are an easy, buttery, simple dessert that serves as a great base to which you can add different toppings and flavors. In this Dessert Recipe, we’ve added creamy butterscotch topping and crunchy peanuts for some amazing flavor and texture.
CHEWY PEANUT SHORTBREAD BARS
Chewy Peanut Shortbread Bars are an easy treat that’s perfect for a dessert, after-school snack, or to bring to a party. They are quick, simple, and absolutely delicious. The shortbread dough comes together in a matter of minutes, and then you just need the creamy nut topping to pour over the top. It’s the perfect recipe for when you need a dessert in a hurry.
The shortbread texture in the crust is complimented perfectly by the creamy topping and crunchy peanut mix-ins. These bars absolutely melt in your mouth and are full of sweet flavor, but the salted nuts bring a contrasting texture and flavor to keep the nut squares interesting. You won’t be able to get enough of this sweet and salty snack!
Bar Recipes, like this one, are great for when you’re feeding a big group. Instead of making individual cookies, you just bake it all together in one large pan that’s easy to take in the car to transport without making a mess. Then you just slice the dessert into easy squares for everyone to serve themselves.
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TIPS FOR BAKING
- Prep time: Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8×8 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and then line it with a piece of parchment paper.
- Dough: Add the butter and brown sugar to your stand mixer using the paddle attachment and beat for 1 minute until light and fluffy. Then sift in the all-purpose flour. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined, but be careful not to over-mix the dough. Gently press half the dough into the base of the prepared baking pan.
- Baking time: Put the crust in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
- Peanut mixture: Add the butterscotch chips, corn syrup, and butter to a medium saucepan, and put them over medium heat. Stir the ingredients until they’ve melted into a smooth mixture. Stir in the peanuts. Then pour the mixture of peanuts over the shortbread crust.
- Bake: Sprinkle the remaining shortbread mixture on top, and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Then let them chill before slicing into squares.
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- Pretzel peanut bars: You can break up some pretzel sticks to sprinkle over the top of these bars. They’ll add some extra crunch and salty flavor just like the peanuts do. Pour the butterscotch mixture over the crust, and then sprinkle the pretzel sticks on top.
- Peanut butter filling: Instead of using the butterscotch chip mixture, you could use a layer of peanut butter. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the peanut butter mixture in 30-second increments. Then mix it all into one soft peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 ⅓ cup of powdered sugar until well combined. Mix the peanuts in, and then pour the nutty peanut butter mixture over the shortbread to make peanut butter bars.
- Chocolate topping: To make a chocolate topping for this recipe, melt chocolate chips and drizzle them over the top. Use dark chocolate, white chocolate, or milk chocolate chips for a delicious chocolatey topping.
- Coarse salt topping: Sprinkle flaked sea salt over the top for an easy and beautiful topping.
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HOW TO STORE CHEWY PEANUT SHORTBREAD BARS
- Serve: Once baked, the shortbread bars can keep well at room temperature for up to 4 days. Cover the dish in plastic wrap so that they stay moist.
- Store: You could also cover them or put them in an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Freeze: Slice the Chewy Peanut Shortbread Bars into squares, and put them in a freezer bag or another airtight container with the layers separated by parchment paper to store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 12 ounces butterscotch chips , about 2 cups
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups salted peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8x8 baking dish with baking spray and line with parchment paper.
- To your stand mixer add the butter and brown sugar and cream on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add flour until just combined.
- Spread mixture into the baking dish and press gently.
- Bake for10 minutes.
- While crust is baking add butterscotch chips, corn syrup, and butter to a medium saucepan on medium heat.
- Stir until smooth, then remove from heat.
- Stir in the peanuts and pour the mixture over the shortbread crust.
- Sprinkle the remaining shortbread mixture over the top
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly.
- Cool completely before slicing.