Luxury Millionaire’s Shortbread

EpicureanPiranha | January 12th, 2011 - 00:16

When I was living in England, I discovered a popular type of square called Millionaire’s Shortbread, composed of a bottom layer of shortbread, a top layer of milk chocolate, and a thick middle layer of caramel. I found this recipe, a luxury version of Millionaire’s Shortbread, in my December 2007 issue of Canadian Living magazine.

Instead of milk chocolate, this version is covered in a thick layer of imported 70% dark and white chocolates. The caramel and shortbread layers are rich and perfect, and the base has the addition of my favourite nuts ~ pecans!   The recipe was a prizewinner in a large bake-sale competition, and will be a sure winner on any sweet table!

They were one of the sweets I prepared for our New Year’s Eve celebration this year (2010), and were a huge success with everyone, both young and old!

Prizewinning Tripple Layer Squares - square

Prizewinning Tripple Layer Squares – better known as Millionaire’s Shortbread in England, this is a luxury version fit for royalty!!!

They’re easy and quick to make, and the recipe makes a lot (I cut them in smallish, 4 cm (1 1/2 in.) squares ~ that way you can indulge in more than one or two and not feel guilty!) ~ just freeze some if you won’t be eating them all within four or five days. They freeze* very well (see Notes below) and thaw quickly, so you can have some on hand when friends drop in unexpectedly for a coffee. A real treat!


Millionaire's shortbread - shortbread layer

After pressing the shortbread layer into the tin, evenly spread the coarsely chopped pecans over the top.

Shortbread Base: 

Metric US Ingredient Prep.
250 ml 1 c Sweet (unsalted) butter Softened to room temperature
175 ml 3/4 c Brown sugar, packed
500 ml 2 c Plain (all-purpose) flour
1 ml 1/4 tsp Salt
1 1 Egg yolk
5 ml 1 tsp Vanilla extract
175 ml 3/4 c Pecans Coarsely chopped [I like to break the pieces by hand]
  • Lightly butter a 13 x 9 in baking tin and line with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  • Place first four ingredients in a food processor & process until it resembles fine crumbs. Add egg yolk and vanilla while processing (do not over process). If you don’t have a food processor, then in a medium-sized bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and combined. Mix flour and salt, then add this to butter mixture, blending well. Then add egg yolk and vanilla and combine ingredients until they start to bind.
  • Tip the mixture into the tin and press firmly and evenly to form a base.
  • Sprinkle nuts evenly over base and press in gently. Bake in centre of oven for 18 – 20 minutes, or until edges become lightly golden and centre feels firm to the touch.
  • Place the tin on a wire rack to cool.

Prizewinning Tripple Layer Sq - caramel layer

Caramel Layer:

Metric US Ingredient Prep.
125 ml 1/2 c Brown sugar, packed
125 ml 1/2 c Sweet (unsalted) butter
125 ml 1/2 c Sweetened, condensed milk Such as Eagle Brand®
30 ml 2 Tbs Corn syrup (or golden syrup)
  • Combine all the caramel ingredients in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium-heat and bring to a boil, stirring continually with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring and allow to bubble for 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat (do not allow to scorch!) and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then immediately pour over cooled cookie base, spreading evenly to the edges.
  • Place in the fridge to cool.

Black Chocolate Topping:

Metric US Ingredient Prep.
250 g 8 oz Quality black chocolate Chopped (I used 70% Lindt Dark Chocolate)
125 ml 1/2 c Whipping (rich, 35%) cream
  • Gently heat the cream and add the chopped chocolate. Stir continually until thick and smooth, and pour or spoon dollops onto the cool caramel.

White Chocolate Topping:

Metric US Ingredient Prep.
125 g 4 oz Quality white chocolate Chopped (I used Lindt White Chocolate)
30 ml 2 Tbs Whipping (rich, 35%) cream
  • Gently heat the cream and add the chopped chocolate. Stir continually until thick and smooth, and spoon dollops onto the dark chocolate or in between.
  • Make a marbled pattern by running a knife through it.
  • Place back in the refrigerator for about 3 hours until completely set. Remove from fridge. Lift parchment paper to remove slab from pan, and place on a chopping board. Using a large, very sharp knife (such as a butcher knife), cut into smallish, 4 cm (1 1/2 in.) squares, or slightly larger if you prefer.


  • To taste the full flavour of these delicious squares, make sure they’re served at room temperature ~ so if they’ve been refrigerated or frozen, allow about 30 minutes before serving them.
  • These will keep for up to 5 days if they are placed in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • If you want to freeze some, use a plastic freezer-proof container. First, slice the cold slab into squares with a very sharp butcher’s knife. Gently squeeze the squares back together and pick up a section that fits your plastic container. Place it on a piece of waxed paper or baking parchment, and place in the container. You can layer the squares like this, and then just remove what you need. Separate and place them on a plate to thaw; it will take about 15 – 20 minutes (but they will still be cold ~ see first note above).

2 Responses to “Luxury Millionaire’s Shortbread”

  1. Esther says:

    Addictive, I can’t stop eating them. I love the dark and white chocolate blend instead of milk chocolate.

    • Aren’t they the best?! I’m always afraid of eating too many when I make them so I make sure I’ll be giving some away as a gift or having friends over to help me eat them :-) Then I freeze any that are left over. At least that way I can’t eat what’s left all at once!!!

      ~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha

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