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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 {millionaire bars}

Yield: 16 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


Directions:


  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!


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