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Derby Bars

A chocolate chip and walnut bar made with a bourbon caramel sauce and a buttery shortbread crust!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 bars
Calories: 400kcal


For the Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) all purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1/3 cups (65 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter softened and cut into tablespoons

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup (107 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter
  • 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tablespoons dark or light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extracte
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (256 g) whole walnuts toasted and chopped
  • 2 cups (340 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Prepare oven and pans. Preheat your oven to 375F and prepare a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make the crust. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the flour sugar and salt. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Press into the 13x9 pan. Bake at 375F for 14-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 350F.
  • Make the caramel. In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar and butter. Stir and cook over medium heat until melted. Add the milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and bourbon. Bring to a boil and stir continuously. Insert a candy thermometer, and continue to cook until the thermometer reaches 225F. Remove the heat and allow to cool before adding to the rest of the filling.
  • Make the filling. Once the caramel has cooled to room temperature add your flour and eggs and stir to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Bake the bars. Spread into the prepared 13x9 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated 350F oven until the top is golden brown and set. Cool completely before cutting into bars and enjoying!


  • Make ahead/storage: I prefer to store these covered on the counter for 2-3 days, or you can store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Allow to soften again before serving.
  • Freezing: Wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
  • Bourbon: The bourbon is completely optional in this recipe and can be left out if you so choose.


Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg