Delicious Shortcut Millionaire Cookie Bars have all the delicious buttery shortbread, creamy caramel and rich chocolate flavors that you look forward to in a millionaire bar but without all the hassle. Better make a double batch ’cause who wouldn’t want these for Christmas?
I’m in full holiday bake mode now that Thanksgiving is over and the first cookies of the season are for a special cause. Each year I have joined my fellow food bloggers to participate in the The Sweetest Season fundraiser. It is like a virtual Christmas Cookie Bake Sale to raise money for battling pediatric cancer. We have each donated to this cause and feel like we are making our own holidays a little brighter by helping to find a cure for this terrible disease. All our donations and any you would like to make will go towards Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. The link for a donation can be found here.
I’ve made some interesting cookies for this event in the past, like Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookies, Mint Chip Cookies and Chocolate Chip Macaroons. Today I thought about bringing you the popular Millionaire Cookie Bars but with a twist. These, for the most part, use packaged ingredients, a microwave and a little sea salt. That’s it! Sound good?
How easy is it? First make the shortbread dough, which has to be the easiest cookie dough around, ’cause it only takes 4 ingredients. Use a high quality butter since that is where most of the flavor comes from, brown sugar, flour and vanilla extract. Pat into pan and bake.
Perfect! Let it cool. Next melt the caramels in a microwave safe dish with a little heavy cream. Pour over shortbread. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Melt some good dark chocolate, or you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips, with a little cream and pour over cooled caramel. Done and done.
Let cool and cut into squares. It’s like a cookie and candy bar in one. Believe me, they’ll be the hit of your cookie tray!
How about a bite? Ohhhh, that’s so good! I have to make several batches since I usually include these in my cookie boxes for gifts to the neighbors and like to have some at home for when the family arrives. They’re ooey, gooey delicious and a cinch to make. That’s a win-win for the holidays!
Hope this makes your season a little sweeter! Enjoy!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup 2 sticks cold butter (use premium for any shortbread cookie)
- 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups or about 2 11-oz packages caramels
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 12 oz dark chocolate (I like to use Ghiradelli 72% cocoa bars)
- 6 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom and come up the sides of the baking dish to make it easier to lift out after it has been cooked. Butter the parchment paper as well.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, stir together flour and sugar. Add butter and vanilla extract and beat until it begins to resemble dough. I like to mix it well and then squeeze it with my hands until it is well blended and sticks together.
- Pat into a flat layer in the bottom of the baking pan.
- Bake for 35 minutes, rotating ¼ turn halfway through cooking time. Remove and let cool on wire rack.
- In a large microwave-proof measuring cup or bowl, heat caramels and cream in 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. It takes about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour over shortbread.
- Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until caramel has set.
- In a large microwave-proof measuring cup or bowl, mix chocolate and cream together and heat in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. It takes about 1-1/2 minutes.
- Pour over caramel layer.
- Let cool.
- Use parchment paper to lift cookies out of pan and onto a cutting board. Immediately cut into 1-1/2" x 2" bars with a very sharp knife. Store in refrigerator.
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