Caramel Shortbread Bars

These Caramel Shortbread Bars are easy to make and have an absolutely delicious blend of flavors! This dessert is made with shortbread topped with rice krispie filled caramel, which is then topped with chocolate and sea salt.

If you like this shortbread bar recipe you might also like these Carrot Cake Shortbread Bars or these Raspberry Orange Shortbread Bars.

Caramel Shortbread Bars stacked on wax paper

Caramel Shortbread Bars

So you guys, I am super pumped for tonight! A friend and I are going to see Boyz II Men and En Vogue in concert and I cannot wait! I am going to dance and sing my butt off!

I’m pretty sure the Boyz II Men “II” album was one of the very first cassette tapes I bought. And please tell me you know what a cassette tape is. Don’t make me feel old. 🙂Top view of a chocolate and sea salt covered shortbread bar

Speaking of old, apparently CD’s are becoming old and a thing of the past since the new Macs don’t have CD drives. Seriously, what’s up with that? I have a Boyz II Men CD that I can’t listen to on my laptop and it’s not cool. I’m trying to get even more pumped up! I know most people probably buy digital downloads now, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still own our CDs and need to use them, geez.

Close up of a shortbread bar with layers of shortbread, caramel filled with rice krispies and chocolate on top of a blue mat

Anyways, tonight I won’t need either because I’ll have my music LIVE!

Then the hubs is playing another ProAm tournament, so I’ll be watching that. Let’s hope he wins again!

Aaaand, did you see the photo I shared on instagram last night? Guess who’s in the latest issue of Woman’s World Magazine! I’m pretty excited. 🙂

But back to these bars.

Three Caramel Shortbread Bars with layers of shortbread, caramel filled with rice krispies and chocolateCaramel Shortbread Bars piled on a white cake stand

Are These Shortbread Bars Easy To Make?

I’ve been wanting to make something like these for some time now. I love caramel and these bars are like wrapping caramel up in a beautiful, semi-baked, tasty, sweet and salty package. Yum!

The shortbread is super easy to put together. Just a few ingredients are mixed together in a food processor, then pressed into the pan.

The caramel layer is made easier by using my favorite store-bought caramels. Making your own caramel isn’t really hard, but this way is even easier. I added some rice krispies to the caramel layer to give it a little crunch. I dig variation in texture and that achieves it.

The bars are topped with chocolate and then sprinkled with sea salt. I don’t always love adding salty to my sweet, because I like the full effect of the sweet. I am a sugar lover to the core! But the salt in these is really spectacular. I might have to some salt on half next time and leave the other side without salt. Then I can alternate between totally sweet, and sweet and salty. 🙂

Three dessert bars with layers of shortbread, caramel filled with rice krispies and chocolate

Do Caramel Shortbread Bars Need To Be Refrigerated?

You can refrigerate the bars, or leave them at room temperature. I personally preferred them cold because they’re firmer, but both ways are delicious.

These bars were a huge hit with my taste testers – some of their favorites. It’s nice to switch it up a little too – I make so much cake, bars were a nice change.

These Caramel Shortbread Bars are perfect for taking to a party or gathering. In fact, you might want to make sure you have somewhere to take them or you just might eat the whole pan before you can say, “Where did all the bars go?”

More Caramel Dessert Recipes You Might Like:

Soft and Chewy Caramel Clusters
Caramel Rolo Rice Krispie Treats
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Bars

Print
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Caramel Shortbread Bars stacked on wax paper
Recipe

Caramel Shortbread Bars

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 9-12 Bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Caramel Shortbread Bars are easy to make and have an absolutely delicious blend of flavors! This dessert is made with shortbread topped with rice krispie filled caramel, which is then topped with chocolate and sea salt.


Scale

Ingredients

SHORTBREAD LAYER

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

CARAMEL LAYER

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

CHOCOLATE LAYER 

  • 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.

Keywords: dessert bars recipe, shortbread bars, caramel bars recipe, caramel dessert, shortbread recipes, shortbread with chocolate, shortbread with caramel, Millionaire's Shortbread, Millionaire's Shortbread recipe

Enjoy!

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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.

  2. Heather

    These are very tasty but the Rice Krispies got soggy. What happened? Does the caramel need to cool before adding the krispies or…

  3. Amy Lynch

    How much caramel sauce would you need if you made your own for this instead of  using the wrapped caramels? Your recipes are amazing!!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure. Keep in mind though that if you make your own, it needs to be firm at room temperature, like the candies.

  4. Misscenterway

    All I can say is that I am an old cook. To say that I’ve acquired recipes from neighbors, friends, co-workers, relatives (I had to play nice with an old cranky aunt once to get the secret to a noodle dish) and restaurants would be an understatement. I see no point in collecting things you’re never going to use so I enjoying trying new things.At some point you have to stop Pinning and start cooking! I even went so far to get the chef of a 5-star hotel to give me his recipe for a dish that he created for my daughter’s engagement night so it could be catered for their wedding reception. I have cookbooks from every region and when a hurricane heads toward the Texas coast, I will admit to grabbing my favorite cookbooks before the picture albums. I know those pictures are always on someone else’s phone or camera but my Ralph and Kacoo’s cookbook with the best stuffed jalapenos? I do have my priorities!. I’m sharing this long, boring saga with you because I only follow ONE cooking blog: yours. Every single recipe I’ve tried has been a winner. Not complicated, not fussy nor do they call for ingredients like amethyst bamboo salt. I mean, when I want to bake I don’t want to have to go any further than my pantry to do so! Anyway, I wanted to tell you that you’ve earned the honor or the only cook I follow. Keep up the great work…and if you see me in the doctor’s office ripping a magazine apart to get a recipe, stop me. lol. Thanks for your efforts! They are appreciated!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      That you so much! What a compliment! It means so much to know that you enjoy the recipes. 🙂 Thank you!!

  5. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    You go girl! Congrats on the magazine feature…you are the coolest so I’m glad they found you!!! And these salted bars? Oh, my goodness! Love me some salted caramel!!!! Thank you so much for sharing a link to one of mine too 🙂

  6. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I just, I don’t even, how do I even express how much I love these bars?! The chocolate, the caramel, the shortbread..AAAAAHHHHHH. The layers are absolutely stunning, Lindsay, and just a bit of sea salt on top is the perfect way to bring it all together. Pinning these immediately.

  7. Michele @ Two Raspberries

    These looks a-maz-ing! Pinned! And what? I had no idea that the new Macs didn’t have a cd drive… Makin me feel old too? … But I didn’t even think I was that old… Hahaha…;-)

  8. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    These are like billionaire bars but better because of the crispity crunchy caramel layer!! I can see how they are your new favorites! I’m sure your hubs will kill it this weekend too!

  9. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Jealous! Have a super amazing time! These shortbread bars look FAB. Can’t wait to make ’em!!

  10. Handmade by Lorna

    How exciting to be in a mag – well done you. I love the look of these bars, how did you get them to cut so straight and neat, they look delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

  11. Heather @ Shards of Lavender

    Jealous! The first concert I ever attended was Boyz II Men(and MC Hammer). And En Vogue is still around? The memories are flooding back… I had a huge collection of cassettes back in the days too! Okay, back to focusing on these bars… I love all the layers and different textures of each and pinned them for later! Enjoy the concert:)

  12. sally @ sallys baking addiction

    Congrats on the woman’s world feature! So exciting. These salty sweet bars look incredible.

  13. Jen @ Baked by an Introvert

    Could these bars look any more delicious? I think not. These will be a fantastic weekend treat.

  14. Mir

    Congrats on getting into Woman’s World! Your pics are so gorgeous, so they deserve a magazine spread!
    These look phenomenal. Anything with shortbread and caramel. And layers!

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!

Scripture I’m Loving

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