A delicious twist on the classic millionaire’s shortbread, these bars have a rich, buttery pecan crust covered with a sweet and salty homemade caramel and topped off with a thick layer of melted chocolate. A super simple, extra delicious treat worthy of their name!
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, split into 1 cup and ¼ cup measurements
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
11 tablespoons Danish Creamery European Style unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
5 tablespoons Danish Creamery European Style unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3–4 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top
For Pecan Shortbread
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350˚ F.
Make a parchment sling in one 8×8 pan. Set aside.
Toast the pecans on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes in the oven. Be sure to check on the nuts at 5 minutes because they can burn easily. Remove from oven when you smell the nutty aroma. Let cool.
Once the nuts are cooled, add them to a food processor with ¼ cup flour and pulse until it is combined and the pecan pieces look like flecks of brown in the flour mixture.
Add pecan mixture, remaining 1 cup of flour, sugar and sea salt to a medium bowl. Whisk together.
Add melted butter to dry ingredients and mix together.
Pour the dough into the pan. Using clean hands, press the dough evenly into the square pan. Use a fork to prick the top of the dough. Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven when the top is golden brown. Take a spatula and lightly press down the surface of the baked shortbread. Set aside and let cool for 30 minutes.
For Caramel Filling
Add the sugar, corn syrup, room temperature butter and cream to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. Increase heat to a medium low and allow the caramel to boil, but then adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Stir continuously and monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer for 20-25 minutes. Once the thermometer reads 236˚-240˚ F, remove from heat.
After 5 minutes off the heat, add the salt, vanilla and bourbon and mix. Pour the caramel over the shortbread, slightly tilting the pan to cover all the shortbread in even thickness. Let cool for at least 60 minutes on the counter.
For Chocolate Layer
Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with oil. It is best to microwave the chocolate in 15 second intervals until just melted. Mix together smooth.
Pour chocolate onto the caramel layer and spread evenly. Give the pan a little shake to flatten out the chocolate. Let the chocolate cool 10 minutes before sprinkling flaky sea salt on top.
Refrigerate bars for at least 60 minutes to set chocolate before cutting. However, the bars taste best after being refrigerated, and all three parts are well chilled, for at least 3 hours.
When ready to cut into squares, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment sling. Use a sharp knife and press firmly all the way through all three layers of the bar.
*The bourbon flavor can be omitted from the caramel.
**For a clean cut, use a very sharp knife and wipe off the knife between each slice. Cut the number of squares you need a time right before serving for the cleanest looking three-layer bars. Can keep in refrigerator for 5 days.