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Sep 08

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars {millionaire bars}

If you love Millionaire Bars (or Billionaire Bars) then you’ll be head over heels for these Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars!

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars | crazyforcrust.com | A millionaire bar made with peanut butter! #caramel #peanutbutter

In more “Dorothy has weird pets” news…

Have I ever told you that Ginger likes to walk herself? Whenever I walk her she reaches back and grabs the leash in her teeth.

Sometimes she turns around with it in her mouth and takes me back home. I’m serious! She’ll get a block from home and decide she’s not into it, grab the leash and pull me as hard as she can back to the house.

Sometimes she likes to just hold it her mouth while I hold the end and walk that way. She “walks herself”.

And then, there are days like Friday. She grabbed the leash in her mouth and stopped me from walking. I asked her where she wanted to go. She promptly walked me across the street to the big shady yard with the beautiful cypress tree and, before I could stop her, did…you know. Then she dropped the leash and we went on our merry way.

I swear, sometimes I think she’s a reincarnated person. Someone passed away and hit the return button, and instead in landing in themselves, they landed in my dog.

When I die, I want to be reincarnated into peanut butter. Or someone who tests peanut butter. Maybe someone who works at Skippy?

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars | crazyforcrust.com | A millionaire bar made with peanut butter! #caramel #peanutbutter

I’ve been wanting to make millionaire bars forever. They’re also called billionaire bars. Or Twix bars. Whatever, I’ve been wanting to make them forever.

But, well, I’m me. I can’t just make the same bar – I have to put my spin on it. It’s what you love about me, right? That and my amazing personality? (Kidding.)

So of course my mind went to peanut butter. I’m addicted!

Did you know that peanut butter and caramel is amazing?

Did you know you can make a soft caramel with peanut butter?

Yup. You can!

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars | crazyforcrust.com | A millionaire bar made with peanut butter! #caramel #peanutbutter

There is a basic shortbread base on these bars. It’s baked and cooled. Then you add the fun parts: the caramel and the chocolate.

The caramel layer is made of unwrapped caramel squares (I used Kraft) melted with peanut butter and heavy cream. You spread that on top the buttery shortbread.

Then you melt chocolate chips with peanut butter and spread that on top the caramel. I added Reese’s Pieces to the top because, well. Everything is better with Reese’s!

Once the bars are completely chilled and the chocolate is hard, you’re good to go. I cut these bars when they were really cold, but I don’t recommend eating them until they come up closer to room temperature. The caramel gets really hard in the fridge, so let it warm up a bit so you don’t hurt your teeth.

The peanut butter flavor comes through in both the caramel and the chocolate. You’re not hit over the head with peanut butter but it’s there and it’s good. It’s an accent in these, which is fine by me. Anytime I can accent anything with peanut butter, I’m a happy girl.

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars | crazyforcrust.com | A millionaire bar made with peanut butter! #caramel #peanutbutter

These bars aren’t weird. My dog might be, but not these. Shortbread + Caramel + Chocolate + Peanut Butter = Wonderful!

 

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars {millionare bars}

Yield: 16 bars

Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars {millionare bars}

Ingredients

    For the shortbread
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • For the caramel
  • 25 caramels, unwrapped (I used Kraft)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoons heavy cream
  • For the chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mini Reese’s Pieces, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Make the shortbread by creaming the butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and then stir in flour. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes until slightly golden brown on top. Cool about 20 minutes before continuing.
  3. Make the caramel layer by adding caramels, peanut butter, and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. (Before heating, have an offset spatula or an extra metal spoon and more cooking spray handy for spreading.) Heat for 40 seconds on HIGH, stir, then melt for an additional 10-20 seconds. Stir until smooth. Pour on top of shortbread. Use an offset spatula or metal spoon coated with cooking spray to evenly spread in the pan. Chill 10 minutes before adding chocolate.
  4. Make the chocolate topping by melting chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave, about 30-45 seconds. Stir until smooth and pour over caramel. Spread carefully. Top with Reese’s Pieces, if desired. Chill until completely firm, several hours.
  5. Before slicing, let the bars warm up a little. The caramel gets hard, and it will be hard to cut until they start to come to room temperature. Best eaten at room temp, so the caramel doesn’t hurt your teeth!
http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2013/09/peanut-butter-caramel-shortbread-bars/

Caramel Banana Pecan Doughnuts

banana-caramel-pecan-doughnuts (2 of 6)w

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Dough Truffles

peanut butter oatmeal cookie dough truffles (1 of 5)w

Sweets from friends:
Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars by Averie Cooks
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars by The Recipe Critic
Fudgy Brownies with a Cruncy Butterfinger Crust by Life Love and Sugar
Monster Cookie Brookies by Something Swanky

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78 Responses to “Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars {millionaire bars}”

  1. Susan posted on September 8, 2013 at 6:17 am (#)

    Anything peanutty has my interest!

    Reply

  2. Tieghan posted on September 8, 2013 at 6:29 am (#)

    Oh yeah, these look awesome!! I love the peanutty caramel and the huge chocolate layer! Oh my gosh, yum!

    Reply

  3. Madison posted on September 8, 2013 at 6:47 am (#)

    Holy Crap-ola! These look awesome. I love peanut butter, chocolate and caramel together. I haven’t made shortbread before and I cannot wait to try these out. Last night I made Fudgy Peanut Butter Caramel Pretzel Brownies and love the combo of the peanut butter and caramel. It steals the show always!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      I swear, I could have eaten the shortbread by itself. And Fudgy PB Caramel Pretzel? I’m dying for THAT recipe!

      Reply

  4. Nora (Buttercream Fanatic) posted on September 8, 2013 at 8:03 am (#)

    I think the PB caramel idea is brilliant! I have to remember this idea next time I go to a party. They look like a huge crowd pleaser!

    Reply

  5. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on September 8, 2013 at 11:08 am (#)

    My dog has this weird thing where she only likes to turn left… which I guess works ok…but you end walking in the same big circle. So i have to “convince” her to go right every once in awhile. BTW I agree everything is better with Reeses :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      LOL! I’m glad I’m not alone in the “my dog does weird things” category!

      Reply

  6. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on September 8, 2013 at 11:35 am (#)

    Peanut butter, caramel, and shortbread. Ohhhhh my gosh. Have I told you lately that I love you? :) These look amazing!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      LOL I love you too Sally! :)

      Reply

  7. Jill @ KitchenFunWithMy3Sons posted on September 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm (#)

    Wowza! these look fantastic!!!

    Reply

  8. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet posted on September 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm (#)

    I always go for twix first when making candy bar choices! These look fabulous!!!

    Reply

  9. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life posted on September 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm (#)

    When in doubt, add peanut butter. Combining it with caramel and shortbread just blew my mind! Despite how rich they look, I think I would eat a 1/4 of the pan!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Oh they went down reallllly easy! :)

      Reply

  10. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie posted on September 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm (#)

    Ah I love it! I’ve been wanting to try the cookie dough millionaire bars for awhile, but these might have jumped in line.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      I saw those cookie dough ones last week and HAD TO MAKE MY OWN. :) Thanks Erin!

      Reply

  11. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on September 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm (#)

    They look incredible! I’ve seen a few recipes this past week for similar bars and I have one that’s like it too with shortbread-caramel/Pb – choc topping. One of the best bars of my year and yours look ridic good! That shorbread layer looks so good. And normally shortbread is not my thing but wow, it’s so rich looking. Mmmm! Pinned!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      I could have eaten the shortbread straight from the bottom of the bars, it was so good! Thanks Averie!

      Reply

  12. Stephanie @ Back For Seconds posted on September 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm (#)

    OH man! These look so wonderful! Pinned :)

    Reply

  13. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting posted on September 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm (#)

    The first time I had a millionaire bar was in Austin. I love the addition of the peanut butter. I need a little something more besides just caramel and chocolate.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Ditto!! Thanks Julianne!

      Reply

  14. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner posted on September 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm (#)

    I love how you added peanut butter to the caramel and chocolate layers. Awesome idea! Totally pinning and making. :)

    Reply

  15. Wendy posted on September 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm (#)

    I love peanut butter too!! These look wonderful! Part cookie, part candy, all delicious. :) I was thinking….one peanut butter lover to another….if a little peanut butter might be subbed for a little butter in the shortbread base making all three layers (plus the bonus Reeses pieces) a peanut butter extravaganza?! I have to try these!

    Reply

  16. Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos posted on September 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm (#)

    Loving the pb caramel combo! I’d have a hard time waiting for these to come to room temp before digging in!

    Reply

  17. Amy posted on September 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm (#)

    Dorothy, that’s EXACTLY what I love about you — your creativity and your super sweet personality. Don’t ever change!! :)

    And any excuse to eat chocolate and peanut butter and caramel together is the perfect excuse in my book! Waiting for them to chill would be the hardest part. I’d keep opening the refrigerator door and peeking… And then it’d take 10x longer for them to cool!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 9th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Totally! It was all I could do not to attack with a fork!

      Reply

  18. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor posted on September 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm (#)

    I think it is the cutest thing when I see dogs walking themselves. It really shows who is in control :) My husband would love these bars since he loves anything and everything peanut butter, I need to make them soon!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 9th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Totally, lol. And I’m not!!

      Reply

  19. Erin Bettis @ erinbettis.com posted on September 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm (#)

    Hi Dorothy,

    These look super yummy. I’ll have to try them.

    – Erin

    Reply

  20. Renee @ Awesome on $20 posted on September 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm (#)

    The first time I had shortbread layered with caramel and chocolate was when we visited England, and my sister-in-law brought me a bunch of her favorite Scottish treats. I tried my best to horde these particular treats all to myself. They were amazing! Peanut butter could only make them better. I can’t wait to try these.

    Reply

  21. Nancy @ gottagetbaked posted on September 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm (#)

    Lol dogs have such funny personalities. My little Abby will bite the leash too but it’s because she hates submitting to my authority. My husband is the alpha and she listens to him unconditionally. Me? She thinks I’m her toy. Sigh. Oh well, I love her to pieces. Just like I looooooooove these gorgeous millionaire bars and your peanut butter spin on them. How in the heck did you get the layers so perfectly? I’ve made this once and mine looked no where near as beautiful as yours. This just means I need to make this recipe again and again until I reach that standard ;)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 9th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Totally, she does the same with my husband. I’m just the pushover I guess!!

      Reply

  22. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on September 8, 2013 at 9:55 pm (#)

    I love you just the way you are! Your sweet personality and crazy baking skills!!! Keep the peanut butter goodness coming…you’ll never hear me complain! These bars are absolutely fabulous!!!!

    Reply

  23. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on September 9, 2013 at 5:42 am (#)

    Yes. Peanut butter is alwaaaays a good addition ;)

    And omg lol your dog is HILARIOUUUUS!

    Reply

  24. Natasha @ The Cake Merchant posted on September 9, 2013 at 6:29 am (#)

    I love the idea of peanut butter flavored caramel, and millionaire bars are one of my favorite desserts. Pinning these!

    Reply

  25. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar posted on September 9, 2013 at 6:49 am (#)

    These look delicious! I love the peanut butter in the caramel – what a great idea! And I totally understand your feeling about Ginger. Sometimes I’d swear our dog Jessie knows so much more than we give her credit for. I love it! :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 9th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      LOL, glad it’s not just me!! Thanks Lindsay!

      Reply

  26. tanya posted on September 9, 2013 at 6:49 am (#)

    I love your dog Dorothy! I love peanut butter and caramel too, I don’t think people realize how amazing that combination really is. These looks fantastic!

    Reply

  27. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on September 9, 2013 at 8:41 am (#)

    P.S. thanks for the linky love on my bars!

    Reply

  28. Jamie @lifelovelemons posted on September 9, 2013 at 8:51 am (#)

    Look at those amazing layers! I could eat about 6 of these right now…

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 9th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      And that’s pretty much what I did!! :)

      Reply

  29. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction posted on September 9, 2013 at 10:45 am (#)

    Caramel with peanut butter?! Must try!!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 9th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Jessica! Enjoy!

      Reply

  30. Ashton posted on September 9, 2013 at 10:50 am (#)

    Ok. These are GORGEOUS! Love, love, love!

    Reply

  31. Lisa @ Wine & Glue posted on September 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm (#)

    I feel like every golden I’ve ever met has wanted to walk themselves, and I agree, dogs have SUCH personality. They are for sure an additional family member. Okay, I want to be reincarnated in the Skippy factory next to you, but can I be the magical Skippy employee who doesn’t gain a single ounce but eats ALL. THE. PEANUT. BUTTER. Sound good? These look amazing Dorothy! Pinning!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 9th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      LOL, SO true. We need the magical metabolism to live there. :) Thanks Lisa!

      Reply

  32. Deb@CookingOnTheFrontBurner posted on September 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm (#)

    Wow – awesome looking bars! Thanks for linking up to MM this week – I’ll be sharing these on FB.

    Reply

  33. Julie @ This Gal Cooks posted on September 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm (#)

    Dogs can be so dog gone funny! I have a little pup (well, she’s really an old lady – she’s 13 1/2) and she can be so silly sometimes! Even at her age she will still dart across the yard if she sees a rabbit, armadillo or even a turtle! And if she sees a cat, forget about it. She’s gone. I’ve had to chase her around the blog after she chased a cat. That’s happened more than once!

    Anyways, I am LOVING these little bars, Dorothy. Peanut butter is oh so good and it’s one of my favorite things to snack on. I have a jar in my desk. I eat it by the spoonfuls!

    Thanks for sharing on MM. Pinning and sharing on social media!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 10th, 2013 at 6:46 am

      Ours is like that with cats too. But not ours, ours put her in her place a long time ago, ha! Thanks so much Julie!

      Reply

  34. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl posted on September 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm (#)

    Love times infinity!!

    Reply

  35. Emily @ Life on Food posted on September 10, 2013 at 3:55 am (#)

    These seem pretty close to perfection for me.

    Reply

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  37. Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com posted on September 11, 2013 at 12:02 am (#)

    Hey Dorothy, these look great! I wanted to let you know that this sketchy website has stolen/republished your photo and recipe. (Boo!)

    http://www.alltimehungry.com/peanut-butter-caramel-shortbread-bars/#more-708

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 11th, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Thank you for letting me know Elizabeth! YUCK.

      Reply

  38. Meg @ Sweet Twist posted on September 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm (#)

    Awesome twist

    Reply

  39. Mindy posted on September 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm (#)

    These look so yummy! Can’t wait to try them out for a football party later in the season!

    Reply

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  44. Abi posted on January 6, 2014 at 5:22 am (#)

    I Love Caramel Shortbread and bake it more than what I properly Should!! I must try this recipe it sounds so sweet and yummy!!

    Reply

  45. learn how to do vedic meditation posted on August 30, 2014 at 1:45 am (#)

    Nice and Juicy and creamy product. sweet dish and i have note you all engrained . I try to prepare .
    Keep on more share
    Thanks

    Reply

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