Millionaire’s Shortbread

I’ve had a big container of delicious, homemade caramel from a farmstand in my pantry for a few weeks now. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it – make a caramel apple pie, swirl it in chocolate brownies, eat it with a spoon? Finally I decided to make a simple but classic treat: millionaire’s shortbread.

Millionaire’s shortbread is a buttery, crumbly shortbread that is topped first with a layer of soft caramel and then a thin layer of chocolate. I used dark chocolate but you can use milk if you have a real sweet tooth, or semisweet (or even bittersweet) if you want to balance the sweetness of the caramel.

Just in case you don’t have a big container of farmstand-fresh caramel in your pantry, I’ve included the recipe for the caramel filling from the Cook’s Illustrated where I also got the shortbread recipe.



  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 8 oz chocolate of your choosing (I used dark)


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir until a dough forms. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Pierce dough with a fork.

Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Lightly press entire surface with a metal spatula; this will help firm the shortbread and make it easier to cut. Let the crust cool.

While crust is cooling, make the caramel filling. Stir all caramel ingredients together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is between 236 and 239 degrees (use a candy thermometer), 16 to 20 minutes. Pour over crust and carefully spread evenly – the caramel will be very hot, don’t lick the bowl! Let cool completely.

Once cool, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in intervals, stirring the chocolate every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Spread evenly over the caramel. Refrigerate until firm, 10-15 minutes.

Lift out of the pan and remove the foil. Cut into rectangles (or squares if you prefer) with a serrated knife. Store for up to one week at room temp. Enjoy!


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