Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

by Jamie on June 21, 2010

Post image for Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars If you follow me on Facebook, you may remember me asking what recipe you would like to see on MBA next. The choices were Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars or a Lemon Blueberry Loaf. After reviewing 30 comments, the Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars was the definite winning recipe. Don’t worry blueberry fans the Lemon Blueberry Loaf will post later in the week!

I’m going to warn you, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars are heavy on the butter…you may feel your thighs expanding as you read the ingredient list. On the plus side, a little square is plenty to get your sweet fix!

Have you heard of Millionaire’s Shortbread? Well apparently it is another name for this type of recipe which consists of a shortbread crust, a caramel center and a top layer of chocolate. After doing a little research, I discovered you can take a little help from your grocery store and use premade Dulce de Leche. If you plan on checking your local market for the premade stuff, here is a little tip…I know Nestle makes it and I have found it in the ethnic food aisle, so start there first. Truly making my own was no big deal either, just be warned…this is not the time to multi-task; focus all your attention on the microwave or very bad things could happen. I may or may not have tried sending out tweets while mine was bubbling away and it may have left a huge puddle of oozing caramel lava all over my microwave. Just. Be. Careful.

These bars were a huge hit; I adore a salty/sweet combo, so the sprinkling of vanilla fluer de sel that was recommended by a Facebook fan really made the flavors stand out. Thanks for the idea, Jessie! I purchased my Vanilla Fleur De Sel from Beanilla, but I am sure plain fine sea salt would work just as well. These Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars reminded Brian and I of Twix Bars. In my family, the only way to eat any type of candy bar is to eat it cold. So, we stored the cut bars in the fridge and were in cold candy bar bliss! If you make these bars, definitely come back and let us know how you liked them! Have a fantastic and delicious week!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

adapted from Nigella Lawson | makes 16-24 bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter; divided use
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla fleur de sel (sea salt)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in 12 tablespoons of the butter (note: I used my food processor for this step), clumping the dough together to form a ball.
3. Press this sandy shortbread mixture into a 9-inch square pan that has been greased and the bottom lined with parchment paper; smooth it with either your hands or a spatula. Pierce it with a fork and cook for 5 minutes, then lower the oven to 300 degrees, and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until it is pale golden and no longer doughy. Let it cool in the pan.
4. In a deep microwave safe bowl, Melt the remaining butter (12 tablespoons) for 2-3 minutes, then add the condensed milk and syrup. Whisk the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
5. Heat in the microwave for 6-7 minutes until it is boiling, stirring thoroughly every 30 seconds. Be careful to stir often and DO NOT leave unattended because this will boil over and create a mess! It’s ready when it’s thickened and turned a light golden brown. Pour this molten toffee evenly over the cooled shortbread and leave it to set.
5. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in a bowl in the microwave. Pour and spread it over the caramel mixture (the less you touch it, the shinier it will be).
6. If you are incorporating the fleur de sel, sprinkle it over the chocolate and allow the bars to cool.
7. Once set, cut the caramel shortbread into pieces. The squares can be stored in the fridge to keep them firm, though if it’s winter that shouldn’t be necessary.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

El June 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I would like one of these right now. They look incredible!


Jessica @ How Sweet June 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Those looks perfect to me. I want about 10 of them.


Margaret June 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm

OMW those look dangerously delicious.


pamela June 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm

These look achingly good!! I want one so very bad!


Prerna June 21, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Gosh! I love that picture.. Now I want to make shortbreads just to pile them like these and take a picture exactly like this one and just stare at it.. And also eat some shortbreads while I’m at it.


Eliana June 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Sweet and salty desserts go down so well. This one looks stunning.


Felicia June 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm

These look amazing! I cannot wait to try them!


Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes June 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

This is so cute! Definitely tasty-looking as well!


Naomi June 21, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I die now! Freak’n Fab!


Sharlene June 21, 2010 at 11:39 pm

These look so yummy! And what a great idea to keep them nice and cold in the fridge. Perfect treat for a hot summer day. Will definitely have to try these out :)


Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 22, 2010 at 12:01 am

Wow, those look aaamazing!



Anh June 22, 2010 at 12:32 am

I have a soft spot for those but never make them. You know why! :D they are so rich and addictive. I can’t control myself :)


Katrina June 22, 2010 at 1:30 am

I’m not worried about the butter. These look THAT good!


hannah @ thepastrykook June 22, 2010 at 1:37 am

i love sweet and salty stuff too! you get the best of both worlds (:


Cherine June 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

Those are irresistible!


shelly (cookies and cups) June 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

I think I am trying to self-sabotage because I SAW the title to this post in my reader and thought it would be best to not read about them or look at the lovely pictures, but I thought I would just take a peek. Great, now I have to go make them and the diet will be put off for another day…I need to get my butt off the computer and get outside jogging off the calories that I am about to consume :)
They look absolutely fantastic!


Brooke (Baking with Basil) June 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

These look devine!!!


Kathy @ The Sugar Queen June 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

These look delicious! Twix bars are one of my favorite!


Maria June 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

What a delicious treat. Love the layers!


Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle June 22, 2010 at 10:21 am

I made a bar like this to include in a gift basket for friends this past holiday season. They were a huge hit; your recipe certainly has some time saving steps as I made my own caramel; great idea to buy premade or use this version. I also used Maldon Flaked Sea Salt on top; it’s another nice alternative as it just looks so pretty!


Becca June 22, 2010 at 10:23 am

Hello my gorgeous buttery caramel candybar of love! Goodbye my waistline!


Heather June 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

i adore layered bars…i think i need these to help me feel better!


Kare June 22, 2010 at 11:15 am

Wow – those look amazing. And with the vanilla fleur de sel? Homerun. Yum.


Renee June 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

Well, didn’t I smile when I checked in today. I have been making these this past week to give to the teachers as our thank you gifts. I cut them into small bite sized pieces and cover them with milk chocolate. So decadent. Such nice little chocolate gifts. I’ll probably do a post about it soon, when I do, I’ll let you know. Aren’t they awesome!


Joanne June 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Twix bars have been my favorite candy bar for a LONG time. These look heavenly!


CaSaundra June 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

It is alot of butter, but hey, doesn’t butter make everything better?! :-)


valen June 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I bet these are nothing but incredibly delicious!


Lisa June 23, 2010 at 10:46 pm

ive made something similar to this (a chocolate caramel slice) but i love the idea of the addition of salt!


Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking June 24, 2010 at 4:26 am

A three layered shortbread like that. Oh wow. That sounds amazing. Mm.


hannah June 24, 2010 at 7:58 am

wow. i am definitely trying these very very soon!


sensiblecooking June 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

Well felt only little bit of thighs expanding but who can resist such a sweet and gorgeous looking treat.


cat June 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

These look spectacular! I love making these for picnics or group gatherings but whenever I make them I struggle with keeping them in the house very long.


Tom Warnock June 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I always boil my sweetened condensed milk for a couple of hours to make my dolce de leche. Then I just mark the can and put it back in the shelf until I need it. I’m not so skilled in the microwave department.


Evan@swEEts June 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

My friend requested I make her some shortbread and I remember seeing the episode on foodnetwork where she made this!! It looks fab.. can’t wait to try it myself! :)


Carrie June 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Yum! I can imagine a cold glass of skim milk alongside one of those…

The butter quantity is a little scary – but I’m about to write a post about Rompope (Mexico’s eggnog) and the recipe is basically: whole milk, a dozen egg yolks & rum. Yikes! But you’re right – a little goes a long way to satisfy a sweet tooth. :D


Flotch June 24, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Gorgeous! I had a recipe for Caramel Slices that I used to make all the time and realised it’s almost identical to your recipe.
Love the layered textures.


vrinda June 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

Superb n gorgeous bars…


Amanda June 25, 2010 at 10:32 am

GORGEOUS!! And they look simply delish!!


momma June 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Queenie- Can you make these for my birthday? Tuesday, June 29. Love Momma


Jodi June 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I plan on making the chocolate caramel shortbread bars this week, thanks for the tips! Can’t wait to try them :-)


Ashley July 3, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I love that you sprinkled fleur de sel on top!


Kerry August 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Millionaire’s shortbread is the name we use in Scotland (so I love the fact you included it)! It’s best made with proper soft buttery caramel, crumbly shortbread and chocolate that sets into a crisp layer that shatters when you bite, but if you want a *really really* sweet treat, put white chocolate on top…! I don’t really eat augar now, so I haven’t eaten this in a while, but this made me want one…


Manu Miranda August 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

Wow…I’m drooling all over my keyboard right now. Awesome recipe!!! I have to try this one very very soon =D

Thanks for posting ;)


Anna November 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I’ve made these twice now, and they are a huge hit with my family!


Kitchie Julien May 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I have been looking for a recipe that is like the Starbuck’s Salty Chewy caramel and chocolate bars. They are 190 calories for each bar. They have a shortbread crust (Very thin) and then nuts such as cashews, pecans and pretzels broken up with caramel gluing them together with a chocolate fudge and caramel cut through it on top. I would like to know how to make them so when I get a craving I would have to make them rather than go buy them. I could freeze them and put a padlock dial lock and promise never to memorize the number……otherwise I would be out there in the middle of the night when they call my name. If you have tried these you will know what I am looking for.


Katie June 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm

My caramel wouldnt thicken, it just seperated into a strange sugary thing and a layer of oil. :(


Kristen August 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

I made my caramel in a pot on the stovetop. You can try it that way instead of the microwave.


Jan December 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Same with mine. I tried it twice so I wasted a bunch of butter. Ended up sopping up the extra butter with paper towels and it came out ok. Way too much butter. I tried it on the stove and the second time in the microwave.


MBA December 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

I am so sorry the recipe did not work out for you. Please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions. Thanks and have a great day!


Kristen August 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I made these a while back and they were delicious. (:


michelle December 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

My carmel mixture seperated while I was microwaving it. I read to add a 1 Tbsp water and stir. This helped so I poured it over the shortbread. Now its in the fridge. I hope it can be saved.


Robin April 10, 2014 at 7:11 pm

A co-worker brings these to the office from time to time. She is from Scotland, and she knows her shortbread! It never lasts very long – we affectionately call it “crack.” It is the best thing ever!


Lori September 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

These bars are native of Edinburgh Scotland. We had them as often as we could, they are very rich and delicious. The only sad thing is that when I made them they just didn’t taste the same as they did in Edinburgh:(


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