Cinco De Mayo or Kentucky Derby? Kentucky Derby or Cinco De Mayo?

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |

Basically that has been the thought running through my head the last week and half.

So far Cinco De Mayo has won. Big Time.

Crockpot Carnitas Tortilla Burrito Bowl or Margarita Chicken Quesadillas with Margarita Guacamole anyone?? Oh man and for dessert what about some Brown Butter Crepe Ice Cream Tacos!? And really if you think I am done you are so wrong. I mean there are still five more day’s till Cinco De Mayo and I have at least one more recipe up my sleeve!

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |

Today though is all about the Derby!

OK, so truthfully I know nothing about the Kentucky Derby and have honestly never watched it. Unless you count some three-minute clip that I saw on the news. Or wait, maybe is was Jim Rome? I don’t I only remember briefly seeing some horses on the TV as I frantically ran back to the garage to get yet another pack of butter from the fridge.

Anyway, one thing I do know is Kentucky Derby Pie. My mom used to make it every now and then. It used to be one of my favorites. Not sure whether it was the pecans, chocolate chips or that I thought I was cool because I was eating bourbon. Alright fine, it was totally because I thought I was so cool eating pie with bourbon. Don’t judge, you totally would have thought (or maybe you did) the same thing too.



Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |

I absolutely hate making pie crust. I have tried over and over to make the perfect pie crust and every time they fall flat. No joke everyone always says, “you should have used Pillsbury”. So I have given up on homemade pie crust (for now) and stick to my very trusted Pillsbury dough boy. He never disappoints.

So I made bars.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Kentucky Derby Pie Bars! Oh yes, I am totally serious. Remember? I am all about over the top desserts.

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |

Wait though, there is more!

Bourbon Caramel Sauce.

What? It’s a big week. Over the top is completely acceptable.

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |

Actually, the bourbon sauce was totally last-minute. I was taking pictures and the bars just looked boring. Like they really needed something oozing off of them.  Bourbon to the rescue!

The bars are awesome on their own. I mean chocolate chip cookies + Kentucky Derby pie!! It’s awesome! But so is the bourbon sauce. Especially when it is warm and drizzled over cold ice cream or whipped cream sitting right on top of a very generous size bar. Oh yeah, now that is a dessert fit for the Kentucky Derby!

The pictures just don’t do this one justice. These were tough to shoot. I have no idea why, but I had a really hard time getting a good photo. I guess it was just an off day.

So what do you guys think of the Derby?

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |
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3.6 from 52 votes
The Recipe

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

By halfbakedharvest

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookie bars

Over the top, dessert cookie bars!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 20 bars
Calories 500 kcal


For the cookie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whole pecans

Bourbon Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish
  2. To make the cookie crust. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Add the water. Beat to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  4. While the crust bakes makes the filling. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, salt, and bourbon and continue to mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans. Pour batter over the cookies crust. Bake until filling is set and the top is light golden brown, about 45 minutes. If the top starts to get too brown cover it with foil. Allow bars to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
  5. While the bars cool make the bourbon sauce. Whisk together the heavy cream, bourbon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it begins to boil watch closely and whisk until the mixture starts to smell like caramel and turn a golden color, and then to a light brown. This will take about 8-10 minutes. When you see that it has started to turn brown, slowly pour in the heavy cream mixture, whisking constantly and quickly. Continue to heat over medium-high until mixture has thickened and is a light caramel color, about 5 minutes more (dont let it get too thick, it will thicken as it sits). Remove from the heat.

  6. Cut the bars and if desired, serve with ice cream, whipped cream or both! Then drizzle on the bourbon sauce.
Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |

I say, Kentucky Derby rules!