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How to Make Perfect Millionaire Bars

How to Make Perfect Millionaire Bars

These millionaire shortbread bars have three distinct layers of buttery shortbread, chewy caramel and dark chocolate.

 

The entire process of making these delicious chocolate caramel slices couldn’t be simpler. You only really need to work on 2 main processes – the shortbread base and the caramel filling. The chocolate portion of the millionaire shortbread is achieved by simply melting it. Literally, that’s all! They’re so simple and perfect for when you’re craving a treat that’s buttery, full of chewy caramel and dark chocolate.

The basic rule of thumb for when you make shortbread is the ratio of 2:1. For every two parts of all purpose flour, you use 1 part of butter. In simpler terms, you use halve the amount of butter for the total amount of flour you use. Say you’re using 200 grams of flour, you’ll then use 100 grams butter.

Another important thing to note when making shortbread is to ensure that your butter is super cold! So, no room temperature ingredients for this section. The cold butter needs to cut through the flour. The mix will tend to look like breadcrumbs. You can do this in one of many different ways – you could use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour (this is what I’ve done), you could use a pastry cutter or simply use a food processor. This is the fastest way to do it but I absolutely detest all the washing up required afterwards! If you have a dishwasher, you’re sorted! I, unfortunately, don’t so I have to scrub all the pots and pans (least favourite tast!)

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The shortbread will not achieve any colour and will still be pretty pale looking and that’s exactly what you’re after. You basically bake this shortbread base first. You need to bake it almost 80% and the final 20% happens when you pour the caramel filling.

For the filling… This is literally the simplest caramel you will ever make! All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk, salted butter and sugar and you’re good to go. Keep cooking this mix on low heat. Eventually after about 15 minutes or so, you’ll notice that the caramel begins to thicken and develops a beautiful amber colour. This is basically the filling ready but you go one step further and bake this in the oven after pouring over the shortbread base. Bake it for 5 minutes and the top gets beautifully bruléed. Oh the deliciousness that is this layer! It’s very hot right now so be careful, you don’t want to burn yourself

The final touch on these millionaire shortbread squares is the pouring of melted dark chocolate. Chop up your favourite chocolate bar, melt in the microwave at 10 second intervals and once the mix is smooth, glossy and uniformly melted, pour over the shortbread and caramel layer. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then generously top it with sprinkles (because, why not?)

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

How to make the simplest, most perfect, and most delicious Millionaire Bars.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooling Time 4 hrs
Servings 16 squares

Ingredients
  

For the Shortbread Base

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp cold water

For the Caramel

  • 1 3/4 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar

For the Chocolate

  • 3/5 cup dark chocolate melted
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
  • Grease and line a 9 x 9 inch square tin with parchment paper in a way that the paper hangs outside the tin from all sides. This will make it easier to lift the slices out of its tin when ready.
  • In a bowl, add the flour and sugar. Whisk to combine.
  • Add cold chopped butter. Using fingertips, rub the butter into the flour + sugar mix until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs.
  • Add some cold water and mix again. Do not overwork the dough. It will look like crumbs and won't come together into a ball. Dump the mix into your prepared tin and use your hands to spread the mix around evenly.
  • Use the back of a glass or a flat spatula to press the mix tightly so it clumps together. It'll harden when it bakes.
  • Bake in the oven at 180 C / 350 F for about 15 minutes. Let the oven continue heating.
  • Take the shortbread tray out and let it cool down. In the meantime, begin to work on the caramel layer.
  • In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add sweetened condensed milk, sugar and butter. On medium low heat, continue heating until all ingredients have melted.
  • Keep mixing until the colour changes from a pale yellow to a rich amber colour. This takes about 12 - 15 minutes. Don't leave unattended as it will stick and catch at the bottom.
  • Transfer the prepared caramel onto the shortbread base and spread it out until even. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes at 180 C / 350 F.
  • Melt your favourite dark chocolate bar in the microwave at 10 second intervals until smooth and glossy. Pour over the caramel layer and spread out evenly.
  • Finish off with some sprinkles. But don't add immediately. As the chocolate is quite warm, it may melt the sprinkles. Wait for about 10 - 15 minutes before adding sprinkles but also ensure that you don't wait to long or the chocolate will cool down and harden subsequently.
  • Refrigerate for about 4 - 5 hours. Take it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature slightly before slicing into squares.

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