Contest Winner! Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Squares (a.k.a. Millionaire’s Shortbread)


Thanks to all who participated in my holiday cookie contest! I received many wonderful family recipes but, in the end, these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Squares of Scottish origin won me over. Sent in by Carrie H. of Rockville, MD and known as Millionaire’s Shortbread, presumably because they are so rich, they consist of a layer of crumbly shortbread, a layer of soft caramel and a layer of chocolate. To me, they taste just like gourmet Twix bars.


Other cookies submitted were wonderful too, particularly Dianne’s Dark Chocolate Buttercrunch with Sea Salt and Amy’s Snickerdoodles. I’ll be sharing these recipes on the site soon. (2-Tier Server by Julia Knight)


Begin by making the shortbread layer. Simply combine all of the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.


Blitz to blend, then add the butter in chunks.


Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, then add the ice water and egg yolk.


Pulse until the dough comes together in wet clumps.


Dump the dough into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.


Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake until lightly browned.


Meanwhile, make the caramel by combining the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, golden syrup, vanilla and salt in a medium sauce pan.


Cook until the caramel is smooth and thickened, and the temperature reaches 225 degrees.


Immediately pour the caramel over the crust and let set for about 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze by combining the chocolate pieces and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl.


Cook in 20 second intervals, so as not to scorch the chocolate, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth and creamy. Spread the melted chocolate over the set caramel.


Chill the bars for about an hour, or until the chocolate is completely set.


Then lift the bars out of the pan and cut into small squares.


Note: You’ll need a candy thermometer for this recipe to measure the temperature of the caramel. You can find one at any kitchen supply store. Don’t be intimated to use it; it’s easy!

Millionaire's Shortbread

Print Recipe
Servings: 20-25 squares
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours


For the Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the Caramel Layer

  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup (such as Lyle's Golden Syrup) or dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch salt

For the Chocolate Layer

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces, best quality
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream


For the Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, pushing the foil neatly into the corners and up the sides of the pan, using two pieces if necessary to ensure that the foil overlaps all edges (the overhang will help removal from the pan). Spray the foiled pan with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the flour, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt; process until well combined and no lumps of brown sugar remain. Add the butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add the ice water and egg yolk and blend until moist clumps form. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and press with your fingers into an even layer (dust your fingers with flour if the dough is too sticky). Pierce the dough all over with a fork and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For Caramel Layer

  1. Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, golden syrup, vanilla and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and boil gently, whisking constantly, until the caramel is thick and the temperature registers 225 degrees F, about 6 minutes. Pour the caramel over the warm crust; cool for about 15 minutes, or until caramel is set.

For Chocolate Layer

  1. Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Spread the chocolate over the caramel layer. Refrigerate the bars until the chocolate is set, at least 1 hour. Using the foil overhang, lift the bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into small squares and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. Note: The shortbread layer will crumble a bit when you cut it; that's just the nature of it.
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  • sandi

    Awesome! Anxiously waiting for the recipe for Amy’s Snickerdoodles! :) Hopefully before cmas

  • Andi

    I didn’t want to touch this recipe because it looked very complicated. But when I read the description that it is like a gourmet twix bar I decided I have to try. ;)

  • Bonnie

    You had me at gourmet Twix bars. Yum! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks!

  • Edbtxas

    I was skeptical because I never used a candy thermometer before. I had a little trouble with the caramel burning I think I needed a heavier pan? Anyway, made a double batch and everyone loved it!!! Cam right off the tin foil!

  • Barbara

    Just made these. Will take them to our daughter’s tomorrow. I’m being very good and not stealing a bite!! Can’t wait until tomorrow.

  • Toni

    Yummy cookies. It’s a keeper – I would make them again.

  • I made these today and they are excellent. The recipe is very easy to follow, especially with photos. I substituted milk chocolate and they are yummy!

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