Looking for the PERFECT neighbor holiday treat to give this year? These millionaire shortbread bars are AMAZING! They are like a Twix bar, but better. If there is one holiday treat you decide to make this holiday season, THIS dessert is the perfect choice. Read on for the recipe and helpful tips.
What is Millionaire Shortbread?
Millionaire shortbread consists of 3 layers. It starts with a buttery shortbread crust (similar to this recipe), a firm yet soft caramel filling, and a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate that is the perfect compliment to the bottom two layers.
This millionaire’s shorbread doesn’t need to be refrigerated, it stores easily for up to a week, and it is super addicting. They are so small and cute, so you might just find yourself each them one after the other without realizing how many you have eaten!
I have a fabulous homemade caramel recipe you could use for the center, but I really like the caramel center made with sweetened condensed milk for this particular recipe.
I first learned about millionaire shortbread on America’s Test Kitchen. My recipe was originally adapted from their recipe, but I revamped it so that it’s my own recipe now. And I have to say, it’s incredibly delicious!
Origin of Millionaire Shortbread
After researching, I found many sources that state that the origin of this delicious treat is Scottish. It became popular in Australia in the 1970s and eventually made it’s way to the states.
Millioinaire shortbread is also known as caramel slice, but no matter! Regardless of the name, the important part is how amazingly delicious this dessert tastes!
The Best Chocolate for Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars
Even if you are not a fan of dark chocolate, please do not use milk chocolate for this dessert. Because the top layer of chocolate is thin, the flavor of the chocolate needs to be apparent. BUT, it should not be overpowering or too heavy.
That’s why we use bittersweet chocolate that is 55-60% cocoa. You do not need to use 100% bittersweet chocolate unless you want a more intense flavor.
Do not use chocolate chips, however, as they are too thick when melted. They are much harder to spread evenly, and chocolate chips do not have a beautiful sheen after drying. While they might work for cookies, they are no good for chocolate caramel shortbread bars.
4 Helpful Tips for Making the Best Millionaire Shortbread Bars
Cool the Layers
Give the layers time to cool as indicated. It can be tempting to skip the cooling time, but the layers won’t have time to set up properly if they are assembled warm.
Make a Foil Sling
Use a foil sling so that the shortbread lifts out of the pan with ease. It’s really easy to transfer the shortbread to a cutting board without the shortbread breaking.
The sling should slide right out from the bottom so that the shortbread sits directly on the cutting board for slicing.
A Serrated Knife Works Wonders
To cut the shortbread, use a sharp serrated knife. When cutting the shortbread, use a gentle sawing motion until the knife reaches the caramel, and then press down firmly through the crust.
If you try to cut straight down through the chocolate and caramel, it will push the caramel out and make a mess. Take care after making such a beautiful and yummy dessert when cutting it!
Chill the Chocolate
Lastly, put the millionaire shortbread in the freezer right after adding the melted chocolate. This gives the chocolate some added shine beauty. It only needs to be in the freezer for 3-5 minutes, and then it’s ready to slice.Print
Millionaire Shortbread Bars
- Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 27 bars 1x
- Category: bars
For the Shortbread Crust
- 127 g unsalted butter, room temperature (9 Tbs)
- 60 g granulated sugar (approx. 5 Tbs)
- 180 g all purpose flour (1 1/2 c)
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Caramel Filling
- 266 ml sweetened condensed milk (9.5 oz)
- 50 g granulated sugar (1/4 c)
- 50 g light brown sugar (1/4 c)
- 50 g heavy cream
- 41 g light corn syrup (2 Tbs)
- 70 g unsalted butter (5 Tbs)
- 1/2 tsp fleur de sel or flaked sea salt
For the Chocolate Layer
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate baking bar (60% cocoa)
To Make the Crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make a 9×9 inch foil sling and place in 9×9 pan so that the foil folds over the edges.
- Combine butter and sugar in a stand mixer and mix with a paddle attachment on medium low. Add flour and salt, and mix until doughy and crumbly. Pour into the sling and press crumbled dough together until dough is flat and even. It also helps to use the back of a measuring cup to smooth out the shortbread crust.
- Prick crust with a fork so no air pockets form while baking. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges of crust are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and press crust firmly down with the back of a measuring cup or spatula to compress the crust. Let crust cool for at least 15 minutes or until cool.
To Make the Caramel Center
- In a medium, heavy bottomed pot, combine all filling ingredients and stir together.
- Cook on medium heat and stir often until temperature is 239-242 degrees F. This will take around 20 minutes. Be sure to use a thermometer to check temperature once the color of the filling begins to darken.
- Pour on top of crust and smooth as is needed so that the caramel filling is even.
- Let cool for approximately 1 hour, or until completely cool to the touch.
To Finish with Chocolate
- Melt chocolate in microwave in 20 second intervals. Do not allow chocolate to get super hot. Instead, when there are only a few small piece of chocolate left in the melted chocolate, stir continually until the chocolate melts.
- Pour chocolate over caramel and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set chocolate and to give it a nice sheen.
- Remove millionaire shortbread from pan by lifting the foil sling out of the pan. Discard foil and place shortbread on a cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife, cut the shortbread into 3 equal sections that are 3 x 9 inches each. Then cut each 3 x 9 into 3×1 inch pieces with a sharp knife.
- Store in a container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Place parchment between the layers if stacking.
Keywords: millionaire shortbread, caramel filling, shortbread crust