Hershey Brown Sugar Shortbread Bars

The sweetest, butteriest shortbread with an easy chocolate frosting. Decorate these quick Hershey Brown Sugar Shortbread Bars for any holiday.

I love when you share your favorite family recipes with us and the recipe I’m sharing today is one of those! I was THRILLED to find this recipe because I just love shortbread bars.

And when you add the word “Hershey” and “brown sugar” in front of shortbread, I’ll swoon even more. If you like buttery shortbread and milk chocolate, you’ll fall in love with this recipe too!

hershey brown sugar shortbread bars

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Easy recipe with only 10 minutes prep time.
  • 7 ingredients.
  • Easy chocolate bar frosting.
  • Just wait ’til you spread those melted Hershey bars. It’s so satisfying. Just watch!

What is shortbread?

Shortbread is a traditional Scottish dessert made from flour, sugar and butter. This recipe is a twist on that traditional buttery dessert that people have loved for years.

I switched up the sugar to brown sugar, added an egg and vanilla and created a sweet shortbread style cookie bar.

stack of brown sugar shortbread bars with sprinkles

How to Make Brown Sugar Shortbread Bars

I tested this recipe with both a 9×13′ baking pan which is common in just about every kitchen and a 10×15″ jelly roll pan. You can use either, you’ll just end up with slightly thicker bars in the 9×13″ pan and it may need to bake a minute or two longer. When I photographed this recipe, I used a 10×15″ pan for baking.

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 10×15″ or 9×13″ baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that you can easily remove the bars.
  • In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
  • Add the egg and vanilla. Mix again, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the flour and salt. Mix just until combined. The mixture will be thick and slightly crumbly.
  • Place the mixture into the prepared pan and press along the bottom to cover it evenly.
  • Bake for 17 minutes (10×15″ pan) or 18 minutes (9×13″ pan) until the shortbread is set and just slightly browned around the edges.

🍫 How to Make Frosting with Hershey Bar

While the bars are baking, unwrap about 10-12 full size Hershey bars. You need them to be ready so you can place them on immediately after the shortbread comes out of the oven.

  • When the bars come out of the oven, immediately place the unwrapped Hershey bars on top of the cookie bars.
chocolate bars laying on cookies
  • Let them sit for about 5 minutes to melt. The cookie bars should be warm enough to melt the chocolate if you put them on right away. If for some reason they are not melting, place them in the oven (the oven can be turned off…it will still be warm from baking) for about 2-3 minutes to finish melting the chocolate.
  • Use a spatula to smooth the chocolate evenly.
spreading chocolate on cookie bars

If you want to add any toppings, do this while the chocolate is still melted so that they stick into the chocolate as it cools.

overhead view of chocolate topped cookie bars

Recipe Variations:

  • Use dark chocolate or white chocolate if you’d like.
  • Add sprinkles for any holiday.
  • Sprinkle nuts or toffee bits on the top.
  • Add finely chopped nuts or toffee to the shortbread batter.
stack of 5 shortbread bars
stack of 5 shortbread bars

Hershey Brown Sugar Shortbread Bars

4.84 from 6 votes
The sweetest, butteriest shortbread with an easy chocolate frosting. Decorate these quick Hershey Brown Sugar Shortbread Bars for any holiday.
Servings 20
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes

Equipment

  • 9×13 OR 10×15 baking pan

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (235 grams)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (260 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10-12 full size Hershey bars

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 10×15" or 9×13" baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that you can easily remove the bars.
  • In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
  • Add the egg and vanilla. Mix again, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the flour and salt. Mix just until combined. The mixture will be thick and slightly crumbly.
  • Place the mixture into the prepared pan and press along the bottom to cover it evenly.
  • Bake for 17 minutes (10×15" pan) or 18 minutes (9×13" pan) until the shortbread is set and just slightly browned around the edges.
  • When the bars come out of the oven, immediately place the unwrapped Hershey bars on top of the cookie bars. Let them sit for about 5 minutes to melt. The cookie bars should be warm enough to melt the chocolate if you put them on right away. If for some reason they are not melting, place them in the oven (the oven can be turned off…it will still be warm from baking) for about 2-3 minutes to finish melting the chocolate.
  • Use a spatula to smooth the chocolate evenly.
  • Immediately sprinkle on any toppings such as holiday sprinkles.
  • Allow the chocolate to set. This will take a couple of hours.
  • When the chocolate is still slightly soft, use a sharp knife to cut the bars.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. These also freeze well for up to 6 weeks.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the bars being cut into 20 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 cookie bar. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 303IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 257
Keyword bake sale, cookie bars, easy dessert recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use gluten free flour?

Yes. Gluten free flour should work, although the bars might be slightly more crumbly.

Do you have to put the chocolate on?

No! These bars are amazing as they are. The chocolate makes them even more so.

Do I have to add salt if I’m using salted butter?

These bars are sweet so the salt helps cut that sweetness. If all you have is unsalted butter, up the salt to ¾ teaspoon.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Nikki
1 year ago

Thanks for the receipe for Hershey brown sugar shortbread bars they look absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make them 💙💜

Nicole Murwin
1 year ago

5 stars
Soooooo good!!! I made one batch with milk chocolate as instructed, and another batch with Hershey Symphony bars instead. OMG…my sweet tooth thanks you!!!