These amazing Billionaire's Shortbread Bars feature a buttery pecan shortbread crust and browned butter caramel layer topped with dark chocolate ganache with a sprinkle of salt.
These incredibly rich and satisfying bars will become your new obsession. They are my seriously dreamy take on Millionaire's Bars; only much more rich and decadent. Every bit as buttery and amazing as my Cookies & Cream Brownies or Coffee Nanaimo Bars.
Layers of crunchy and nutty, smooth and buttery, deep and creamy, finished with a sprinkle of salt. The flavor and texture layers in these bars are incredible. Pecans and salt bring balance to an otherwise very sweet bar. Check out my Caramel Peanut Clusters if you love the combination of nuts and caramel.
⭐️ Why You Need to Make This Recipe
- Utterly rich and decadent. These bars are generous with butter, sugar, and chocolate. Just like my tasty Canadian Nanaimo Bar recipe. Not low on calories, but we're not eating them every day so it's okay. 😉
- Balanced in flavor and texture. Sweet, salty, nutty, chewy, crunchy, smooth - all make for a well-balanced dessert.
- Easy to make. Don't be intimidated by the process of browning the butter. It is really so easy!
Here are the ingredients needed to make these rich and chewy billionaire bars.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - A canned product made from milk and sugar that is cooked into a thick and smooth texture. Not to be confused with evaporated milk which also comes in a can but is thin and unsweetened.
- Dark Chocolate - I use 70% dark chocolate chunks to make the ganache.
- Flakey Sea Salt - Add a sprinkle of fine or flakey salt on top of these bars, if desired.
See the recipe card for the full list of ingredients with measurements.
Here are some possible substitutions and variations for this recipe that may just save you a trip to the grocery store!
- Salted Butter - Use unsalted butter instead in each step. ¼ teaspoon of salt in the caramel and ¼ teaspoon in the crust.
- Nuts - Omit the nuts completely or use walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts instead of pecans.
- Corn Syrup - Use golden cane syrup in place of corn syrup in this recipe.
Step 1: Cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Add the flour and mix until combined but crumbly. Add the chopped pecans.
Step 2: Press firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden around the edges.
Step 3: Brown the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until a deep golden brown color is achieved. Watch constantly and stir a few times during this process. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, and syrup. Cook for 5 minutes while whisking constantly until caramel-colored and thickened. Take off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
Step 5: Pour the caramel immediately over the still-warm prepared crust. Smooth out the top. Let cool before transferring to the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Step 6: Heat the heavy cream until scalding. Add the dark chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.
Step 7: Whisk briskly until a smooth ganache forms.
Step 8: Spread over the bars that have chilled. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
Chill the fully assembled bars in the refrigerator for at least 1 more hour before slicing them into pieces to serve.
💡 Top Tip
Watch the caramel closely, stirring constantly while it cookies on the stove as the sweetened condensed milk will stick to the bottom and burn if not stirred.
❓ Recipe FAQs
Ganache is a mixture of chocolate and cream that can range from a glaze, icing, sauce, or a filling depending on the ratio of cream to chocolate used.
Millionaire shortbread is made with a plain shortbread crust and a light caramel. My billionaire shortbread has pecans in the shortbread crust, browned butter caramel, and dark chocolate ganache.
The inclusion of the "billionaire" prefix in billionaire's shortbread or billionaires slice suggests a heightened degree of decadence and affluence in the dessert, elevating it beyond the standard shortbread.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The bars will soften too much if left out at room temperature.
🍫 More Recipes for Brownies & Bars
Looking for other recipes like these incredible millionaire bars? Try these brownies and bars next:
If you tried these Billionaire's Shortbread Bars or any other recipe on my website, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and write a little note telling me how it went in the comments below. Thank you!!
Billionaire's Shortbread Bars
- 9x9-inch baking pan
- parchment paper
- mixing bowls
- medium-size saucepan
- electric handheld mixer
- measuring cups & spoons
- silicone spatula
For the Crust:
- ⅓ cup salted butter * softened
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chopped pecans *
For the Caramel:
- ½ cup salted butter * room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups sweetened condensed milk (10 ounces)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden corn syrup *
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
- optional: flakey sea salt to garnish
To Make the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the side of the pan.
- In a medium-sized bowl using an electric handheld mixer on high speed, cream the softened butter and powdered sugar together for 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Add the flour and mix at low speed until incorporated, the mixture should be crumbly. Stir in the chopped pecans. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan to make a crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Let the finished crust cool slightly while you prepare the caramel.
To Make the Caramel:
- Melt the salted butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter is chestnut brown in color and has a nutty aroma. It is completely normal for the butter to sputter, bubble, and foam during the process. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly in the saucepan for about 10 minutes.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, and corn syrup to the slightly cooled brown butter in the saucepan and whisk to combine. Turn the stove on to medium heat and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes in total, while whisking constantly. The mixture should boil and turn a light caramel color. Take the finished caramel off the heat and whisk in the vanilla before immediately pouring over the finished, slightly cooled crust, spreading well into the edges of the pan and smoothing the top. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 1 hour to firm up.
To Make the Ganache:
- Place the chopped dark chocolate in a heat-safe bowl. Heat the whipping cream to scalding and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes before whisking briskly until smooth.
- Pour the ganache over the chilled bars and smooth out the top as best as you can. Top with flakey sea salt, if desired. Cover and return to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the ganache to firm up.
- To serve, remove the bars from the pan using the overhanging edges of parchment paper as handles. Slice in 16 pieces using a sharp knife. Serve chilled or allow to warm up on the counter for 15-20 minutes if you prefer a softer caramel. Enjoy!
- Use unsalted butter instead in each step. ¼ teaspoon of salt in the caramel and ¼ teaspoon in the crust.
- Omit the nuts completely or use walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts instead of pecans
- Use golden cane syrup in place of corn syrup in this recipe.