The first time I ate Millionaire’s Shortbread, I was in Scotland. We were at a grand old hotel having high tea, when on the three tiered plate in front of me was a curious looking sweet. Three distinct layers. Cookie. Caramel. Chocolate. I had no idea what it was, but was thrilled to grab it and make it mine. It was delicious. Pure sweet delight.
When we got home I knew I had to try to make this shortbread cookie covered in caramel and chocolate. And I did. They were delicious, but they didn’t look so good. I was frustrated, and I never attempted them again. You see, while they are not hard to make, because there are three layers, they take some time. Let’s just say when (I said when, not if) you make them, no one should be hanging over you waiting for you to finish. As each layer sets, it just takes awhile. As the baker you can read or binge watch something while you wait, but your eaters grow impatient. (Are they ready yet?) I know from experience.
But now my Millionaire’s Shortbread taste delicious and LOOK fabulous. They are truly the English version of a Twix bar, and I’m sure you would like to make a Twix bar! I will pass on all my tricks (including how to cut these) to you so you won’t get frustrated like I did. I’m so glad I went back to trying to make these again. It was so worth it.
Note: You do need a candy thermometer (or instant-read thermometer) to make the caramel, so hurry up and order one on Amazon so you can start baking! You also need a 13” x 9” pan. So add one of those to your cart if one is not hiding in your baking cabinet. Lastly, if you are already ordering, buy Lyles Golden Syrup. I like it better than corn syrup. Sometimes you can find it in a really good supermarket in the maple syrup aisle, but I just order it. It’s worth it and I promise we will use it again (pecan pie)!
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
For the Crust
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the Caramel Filling
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (190 grams) dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (118 ml) golden syrup or corn syrup (I used golden syrup)
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Chocolate Topping
8 ounces (228 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
For the Crust
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare your pan. You need an 13” x 9” baking pan. Create a sling by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil. The first sheet should be 13 inches wide and the second sheet 9 inches wide. Lay the sheets of foil in the pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. Push the foil into the corners and up the sides of the pan, smoothing it flush to the pan. (See photo above)
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the melted butter and stir with a rubber spatula until the flour mixture is evenly moistened. Crumble the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Using your fingertips and the palm of your hand press the dough into an even thickness. Smooth the dough with your palm. Next, take a fork and pierce the dough at 1 inch intervals. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Using a sturdy (I broke mine) spatula, press on the entire surface of the warm crust to compress it. Let the crust cool for at least 20 minutes.
For the Caramel Filling
Meanwhile, stir all the ingredients together in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until mixture registers 236ºF - 239ºF on your instant read thermometer. It should take 15-20 minutes. Pour the filling over the crust and spread with an offset spatula to even thickness. Cool for 1 1/2 hours.
For the Chocolate Layer
Microwave about 6 ounces of the chocolate chips for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the chocolate is melted. When the chocolate is hot and melted, add the last 2 ounces of chips and stir. They will melt in the already hot chocolate. Spread the chocolate evenly over the surface of the caramel filling with an offset spatula. Refrigerate shortbread until the chocolate is just set, about 30 minutes.
To Cut the Millionaire's Shortbread
Using the foil overhang, lift the shortbread out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Throw out foil. Using a serrated knife cut the shortbread into two rectangles (6 1/2” x 9”) using a gentle sawing motion. Cut each rectangle in half to make four rectangles. Continue in this manner until you cut the shortbread to the size you prefer. Shortbread can be stored between layers of parchment for up to a week. Good luck with that!