millionaire’s shortbread cookies


Have you had millionaire’s shortbread? Do you even know what millionaire’s shortbread is? Don’t worry, I hadn’t and I didn’t either. Here, let me draw you a picture.

millionaires drawing

Basically, it’s a bar with layers of shortbread, caramel or dulce de leche, and chocolate. Wikipedia tells me that it originated in Australia, but someone in my office told me it’s a British thing, so who even knows. Point is, it’s not a terribly common thing to see in the US. And I have no idea why.

I decided to adapt it into a cookie, because they’re a lot easier to transport, and a lot less messy. Despite the fact that you can get pre-made dulce de leche now, or you could just as easily melt a bunch of soft caramel candies to make that middle layer, I went the DIY route and made my own. Which took a really long time. Mostly because I screwed up the first batch.

These cookies are a bit labor intensive, but they’re entirely worth it. I promise.

Millionaire’s Shortbread Cookies
recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery, Baked Elements, and Baking: From My Home to Yours

for the shortbread:

180 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
90 g sugar (approx. 1/2 cup)
2 g salt (approx. 1/2 + 1/8 tsp)
5.9 g vanilla paste (approx. 1 tsp)
270 g all purpose flour (approx. 1 3/4 cup + 3 TB)


  1. Cream butter on medium low speed for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add sugar and salt. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla paste and mix to incorporate.
  4. Add flour in two batches, making sure the first incorporation is mixed in before adding the second.
  5. Shape into a log, wrap in parchment, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Go here and look for the “slice and bake” section for an idea of how to get the dough into a log).
  6. Slice dough approximately 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 325F for 17-19 minutes. You’ll want to keep an eye on them, because they shouldn’t take on color. The bottoms might get slightly golden, but the tops shouldn’t really color much/at all.
  7. Let the cookies cool completely.

for the dulce de leche:

2-14 oz cans of sweetened, condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt


  1. Heat your oven to 425F.
  2. Add sweetened condensed milk and salt to an 8×8 glass baking dish, or a pie plate (don’t use metal dishes for this)
  3. Cover the baking dish tightly in foil.
  4. Place into a larger roasting pan or baking dish (I used a 9×13 glass baking dish.)
  5. Fill the larger pan with water until the water reaches the same level as the condensed milk in the other dish.
  6. Bake 60 minutes, checking the water level every 20 minutes or so and replenishing if necessary.
  7. Cook until milk/salt mixture turns a golden brown color. It may take longer than 60 minutes. Be sure not to get any water in your condensed milk!
  8. Carefully remove the 8×8 dish from the water bath, and place somewhere to cool (uncovered).

to assemble the cookies:

  1. Place a cooling rack over some foil, parchment, wax paper, etc to catch any chocolate or dulce de leche drips. Place cookies on the cooling rack.
  2. Spread a layer of the cooled dulce de leche on each cookie. I used a tablespoon (or slightly more) per cookie, but you can use however much you want. Don’t get it too close to the edges, or it will eventually spill over. Not the end of the world, but nice if you can avoid it.
  3. Let the dulce de leche set for 30 min or more.
  4. Melt chocolate. I used a combo of semisweet and dark chocolate Ghirardelli chips, but you can use what you like. I will probably use bar chocolate next time, since sometimes the way the chips are tempered sometimes makes them have a slightly dusty look when the melted chocolate dries. They’ll be delicious no matter what you choose.
  5. Spread chocolate on each cookie, completely covering the dulce de leche. You can dip them, use a spoon, your fingers, whatever you want. It’s kind of a messy process. As you can see, mine are far from perfect.
  6. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, if desired.
  7. Let the cookies set for a couple of hours.
  8. Store in an airtight container between layers of parchment or wax paper.



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