Millionaire’s Shortbread (Caramel Shortbread Bars)

This chewy Millionaire’s Shortbread is the best dessert to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings! A buttery shortbread base is topped with a layer of Rice Krispie caramel followed by a rich chocolate topping and a sprinkle of sea salt.

A Close-Up Shot of Three Stacked Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars Topped with Sea Salt

Easy Millionaire’s Shortbread Recipe

I’ve been wanting to make these for quite some time now. I love caramel, and these bars are like wrapping caramel up in a beautiful, semi-baked sweet and salty package. I could not be happier with the results!

The shortbread is very easy to put together. Just a few ingredients are combined in a food processor and pressed into a pan. It only needs to bake for 15 minutes, then the rest of the recipe is completely oven-free!

The caramel layer is made using my favorite store-bought caramels. Homemade caramel isn’t hard to make, but in the interest of keeping this recipe as simple as can be, I like to defer to my favorite brand. Plus, caramel sauce won’t firm up the same way.

I put my own twist on millionaire’s shortbread by adding Rice Krispies to the caramel layer to give it a little crunch. I dig variation in texture and that totally achieved it! The added crunch brought these already-heavenly treats to a whole new level.

The silky chocolate topping compliments the shortbread and the crunchy caramel perfectly. With a sprinkle of sea salt to top it all off, an irresistible sweet and salty treat is born!

Three Millionaire's Shortbread Bars Stacked on Top of a Piece of Parchment Paper

Why is it Called Millionaire’s Shortbread?

Well, no one really knows for sure. I think it’s because these bars are so yummy, each bite makes you feel like a million bucks! But it could also have something to do with how rich and indulgent they are.

A Bunch of Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars on Top of a White Cake Stand

Recipe Ingredients

Despite how luxurious these bars are, the ingredients you need for them are simple! Here’s the roster for each component:

For the Shortbread Layer

  • Flour: You’ll Need 1 cup.
  • Sugar: For both sweetness and chewiness.
  • Butter: Diced.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use a high-quality extract for the best results.

For the Caramel Layer

  • Milk: Whatever kind you have on hand will do.
  • Butter: You’ll need 1/4 cup.
  • Kraft Caramels: Wrappers removed.
  • Rice Krispies Cereal: To add that satisfying crunch.

For the Chocolate Topping

  • Chocolate Chips: I use semi-sweet.
  • Heavy Cream: Just a few tablespoons!
  • Sea Salt: For sprinkling on top.
A Pile of Caramel Shortbread Bars Sitting on a Blue Towel Over a Straw Placemat

How to Make Millionaire’s Shortbread

These cookie bars come together with ease. Just follow the detailed instructions below and watch these tasty treats come to life!

Make the Shortbread Base

  1. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some sticking above the sides of the pan to lift the bars out later.
  2. Make Dough: Add the flour, sugar, butter and vanilla to a food processor and pulse until it comes together and forms a ball.
  3. Add to Pan: Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake: Bake the shortbread for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
  5. Let Cool: Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside so the shortbread can cool.

Make the Caramel Layer

  1. Heat Milk, Butter & Caramels: Put the milk, butter and caramels into a large pot over medium heat. Allow everything to melt, stirring often so that the mixture doesn’t boil.
  2. Add Rice Krispies: Add the Rice Krispies and mix until incorporated.
  3. Pour Over Shortbread: Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the cooled shortbread. Set the pan aside.

Make the Chocolate Topping

  1. Melt Cream & Chocolate: Heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between each one, until the mixture is melted.
  2. Pour Over Caramel: Pour the chocolate evenly over the caramel layer.
  3. Let Cool: Allow the bars to cool completely.
  4. Remove From Pan & Cut: Lift the bars out of the pan using the excess parchment paper and cut them into squares.
  5. Enjoy! Serve millionaire’s shortbread cold or at room temperature.
A Caramel Shortbread Bar on a Blue Kitchen Towel with More Bars

Tips for Success

Want to make sure your caramel bars are fit for a millionaire? These tips and tricks will help you get them just right.

  • Leave Enough Overhanging Parchment Paper: Nobody wants their fresh batch of cookie bars to get stuck inside the pan! Be sure to leave plenty of extra parchment paper on both sides so you can lift the bars out with ease.
  • Don’t Boil the Caramel Mixture: Stir your caramel mixture frequently so that it doesn’t come to a boil. If it does boil, it may burn and take on a bitter flavor.
  • Let the Bars Cool in the Fridge: You can cool these bars in the fridge rather than letting them cool on the counter to save time, if desired.
  • Cool Completely for Easy Cutting: If your bars are cooled to room temperature or chilled, you’ll be able to cut them so much easier. They taste great cold too, so don’t be afraid to enjoy one straight from the fridge!
Three Servings of Millionaire's Shortbread Piled Up on a Sheet of Parchment Paper with Kraft Caramels in the Background

How to Store Leftovers

You can refrigerate these bars or store them at room temperature – up to you – as long as they’re kept in an airtight container. I personally prefer them cold because they’re firmer, but both ways are delicious! Be sure to enjoy your bars within 1 week unless you decide to store them in the freezer.

Can I Freeze These?

Yes! Frozen millionaire’s shortbread will last for up to 3 months. Place your cooled bars into a freezer-safe container and freeze. Thaw them out in the fridge before digging in.

Print
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Caramel Shortbread Bars stacked on wax paper
Recipe

Millionaire’s Shortbread (Caramel Shortbread Bars)

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This chewy Millionaire’s Shortbread is the best dessert to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings! A buttery shortbread base is topped with a layer of Rice Krispie caramel followed by a rich chocolate topping and a sprinkle of sea salt.


Ingredients

For the Shortbread Layer

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, diced
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the Caramel Layer

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 11 oz bag Kraft Caramels, wrappers removed
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

For the Chocolate Topping

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper, leaving some sticking above the sides of the pan to lift the bars out later.
  3. Add flour, sugar, butter and vanilla to a food processor and pulse until it comes together and forms a ball.
  4. Press dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  7. Put milk, butter and caramels into a large pot on medium heat. Allow everything to melt, stirring often so that the mixture doesn’t boil.
  8. Add the rice krispies and mix until incorporated.
  9. Pour caramel mixture evenly over shortbread. Set pan aside.
  10. Heat heavy cream and chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 second increments, stirring between increments, until melted.
  11. Pour chocolate evenly over caramel layer.
  12. Allow bars to cool. You can put them in the refrigerator to cool more quickly.
  13. Lift bars out of the pan and cut into squares. It’s easier to cut them if they are cold.
  14. Serve bars cold or at room temperature.

Notes

Makes 9-12 bars.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Bar
  • Calories: 368
  • Sugar: 33 g
  • Sodium: 290.8 mg
  • Fat: 18.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.5 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 29.8 mg

Keywords: millionaires shortbread, caramel shortbread, caramel bars

More Caramel Desserts to Try

If you’re a caramel addict like me, you will adore the decadent treats below. Don’t forget to check them out next!

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Recipe rating

33 Comments
  1. Staci

    I have a ton of caramel chips and wanted your opinion on using these in this recipe instead of the wrapped caramels. I’m not much of a baker and would love your thoughts!!

    1. Lindsay

      I have played around with the caramel bits versus the wrapped caramels and in my opinion they don’t have the same texture and such when melted. I’d probably go with the wrapped caramels to avoid it not working out, but you could try it if you wanted to use the chips up.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12