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Millionaire Cookies

These millionaire cookies are made with buttery shortbread and topped with decadent layers of gooey caramel and chocolate ganache.

image of millionaire shortbread cookies on a platter

They’re all the fun of a classic millionaire bar but are made individually to give them a more elevated look! As an added bonus, smoothing the caramel and chocolate ganache onto each cookie is extremely satisfying.

How to Make This Millionaire Cookie Recipe

Let’s walk through each step of this recipe to make sure it turns out as amazing as possible.

I’ve also shared a video tutorial below, along with the equipment/tools that I used to make this recipe. If you don’t have all of these things on hand, feel free to improvise with the equipment you have!

Step 1: Make the Shortbread Cookies

I recommend making the shortbread cookie dough first because the dough needs to chill in the fridge for a bit. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats. Set aside.

Use a pastry cutter or electric mixer to combine the butter, flour, powdered sugar, and fine salt.

image of shortbread dough being made with an electric hand mixer

The dough might look a little crumbly at first, but as you keep mixing it should come together and form a soft dough.

image of shortbread dough being mixed with an electric mixer

Roll the dough into a log, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for an hour, or until it’s firm. This will make it easier to get clean slices.

Then use a sharp knife to cut 24 cookies from the log. Each slice should be about 1/2 inch thick. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

image of shortbread cookie dough that's been cut into half inch thick rounds with a sharp knife

Prick each cookie with a fork a few times, then bake one tray at a time for 9-11 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through to help them bake evenly.

image of shortbread cookie dough being poked with a fork to prevent them from puffing up

Then place the pan on a wire rack and let the cookies cool fully on the pan.

image of baked shortbread cookies that are cooling on the pan before being transferred to a wire cooling rack

Step 2: Make the Caramel

I recommend making the caramel topping next so it has time to cool down and thicken before we spread it on each cookie.

Heat the sweetened condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, light corn syrup, and fine salt over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.  

image of ingredients being whisked together over a stove top to make a thick caramel topping

Stir frequently and let the mixture just begin to bubble (if you have and are using a candy thermometer, cook until the mixture hits 212 F/ 100 C).

It will start bubbling up on the sides of the pan first. Once this happens, turn the heat down to low to let the caramel simmer.

image of thick caramel being cooked down on a stovetop while being stirred with a whisk

Continue to stir frequently until the mixture thickens and becomes a medium caramel color (about 10 minutes).  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour into a separate container, then set aside to cool to room temperature. If you make this in advance, cover the bowl and store it at room temperature overnight or in the fridge for up to a week.

This is what my caramel looks like once it cools to room temperature.

image of thick caramel filling cooled before being added to millionaire shortbread cookies

If you refrigerate the caramel, heat it in the microwave in short 15-second intervals until it reaches room temperature and is a more workable consistency.

Step 3: Make the Chocolate Ganache

The last step is to make the decadent dark chocolate ganache.

Add the heavy cream into a medium-sized bowl and heat it until it just begins to bubble. This can be done in either the microwave (this takes me about 45-60 seconds in my microwave) or a double boiler.

Then pour in the dark chocolate and let the mixture sit for a minute.

image of spreadable dark chocolate ganache being mixed together

After a minute the chocolate should be softened. Stir the mixture until the cream and chocolate are combined and the mixture is smooth.

If any bits of chocolate aren’t fully melted, heat the mixture again for 15 seconds and stir until smooth.

Then mix in the unsalted butter, corn syrup, and fine salt.

image of chocolate ganache being mixed together in a glass bowl with a whisk

Cover with plastic wrap placed flush against the top of the ganache to prevent it from forming a skin, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

image of spreadable dark chocolate ganache being covered and set aside to cool to room temperature

If you need to make this topping in advance, it can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to a month.

The ganache should thicken and be scoopable once it reaches room temperature. If you want to accelerate the cooling process, place the bowl in the fridge.

image of scoopable chocolate ganache filling

This step is optional, but I like to place the cooled ganache in a small piping bag fitted with a French piping tip so that I can pipe pretty swirls of ganache on top of the cookies!

Alternatively, you can also just spread the ganache on top of the caramel with the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula.

Step 4: Decorate the Millionaire Cookies

Once the cookies are fully cooled, spread a generous spoonful of room-temperature caramel on top of each cookie.

image of caramel being spread on a shortbread cookie

Then pipe the room-temperature chocolate ganache on top of the caramel layer.

image of chocolate ganache that's been piped onto millionaire cookies with a French piping tip

Top each cookie with a bit of edible gold leaf and a sprinkle of flakey sea salt, then enjoy!

These cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you notice the caramel starting to flow over the sides of the cookie (this can happen if the caramel is slightly undercooked), I recommend storing them in the fridge in an airtight container. It will help the caramel firm up and stay in place.

image of gold leaf being added to millionaire cookies with a small paint brush

Substitutions & Swaps – Shortbread Cookies

This recipe uses quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

  • Unsalted Butter – Salted butter can be used in place of unsalted butter, just omit the salt that the shortbread recipe calls for.
  • Powdered Sugar – Adding powdered sugar to the cookies helps them keep their shape as they bake and gives them the perfect hint of sweetness.
  • AP Flour – A good baking gluten-free flour blend can be used in place of the AP flour.

Substitutions & Swaps – Millionaire Cookie Toppings

  • Granulated Sugar – You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar by a few Tablespoons based on your preferences.
  • Light Brown Sugar – I prefer using light brown sugar to make the caramel, but you can also use dark brown sugar.
  • Light Corn Syrup – Using a bit of corn syrup in the caramel and ganache gives them a glossy, silky smooth consistency. However, it can be omitted from both recipes if needed.
  • Dark Chocolate – I love using dark chocolate (60% cocoa or higher) to make the ganache topping. If you want to use milk chocolate to make the ganache, use 1 cup or 175 grams of milk chocolate and 15g of butter.
image of a millionaire bar that's been bitten into

Making These Millionaire Cookies in Advance & Storage Tips

These cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

I don’t recommend stacking them on top of each other (like I did in the picture below) unless they are fully chilled. If you want to store them that way, I recommend placing a piece of parchment paper between the layers of cookies.

You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months in an airtight container! When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen cookies, place them in the fridge overnight to let them thaw gradually and enjoy them the following day.

image of millionaire shortbread cookies on a platter

Tips for Making the Best Millionaire Cookies

  • Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. It helps them mix together better and will give the cookies a smoother texture.
  • Properly measure your flour! I like to use a scale, but the fluff and level method works great too.
  • Chill the cookie dough until it is firm to the touch. This will make it so much easier to cut and prevent the cookies from overspreading.
  • Let the cookies cool fully before topping them with caramel and ganache.
  • Use a sharp knife to get clean slices of shortbread. Be sure to wipe the blade as needed after each cut.
image of millionaire shortbread cookies on a platter

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this millionaire cookie recipe, I’d love to hear what you think of it! Please leave a rating and comment below.

Don’t forget to tag me @chelsweets and #chelsweets if you share on social media! I love seeing your delicious creations.

Other Posts You Might Like:

Yield: 24

Millionaire Cookies

image of millionaire shortbread cookies on a platter

These millionaire cookies are made with buttery shortbread and topped with decadent layers of gooey caramel and chocolate ganache.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (65g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (2g)

Caramel Topping

  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (396g)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks (113g)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (100g)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup (60g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)

Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • 3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp heavy cream (225g)
  • 1 1/4 cups dark (60-65% cocoa) chocolate chips (220g)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (45g)
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup - optional (20g)
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt (2g)

Garnish - Optional

Equipment / Tools Needed

Instructions

Shortbread Cookies

  1. First, we tackle the shortbread cookies. The dough needs to chill in the fridge for a bit, so it makes sense to make it first! Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Set aside.
  2. Use a pastry cutter or electric mixer to combine 1 cup butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp fine salt. The mixture might look a bit crumbly at first, but it will eventually form a soft dough once it's fully mixed. If the mixture isn't coming together, you may want to heat it in the microwave for a couple of seconds (literally 2-3 seconds, you don't want to melt the butter!) to help soften the butter.
  3. Roll the dough into a log that is 12 inches long, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill the dough in the fridge for an hour, or until it's firm. This will make it easier to get clean slices.
  4. Then use a sharp knife to cut 24 cookies from the log. Each slice should be about 1/2 inch thick. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Prick each cookie with a fork a few times, then bake one tray at a time for 9-11 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through to help them bake evenly. Then place the pan on a wire rack and let the cookies cool fully on the pan.

Caramel Topping

  1. Next, we make the caramel filling while the cookies chill and bake. This gives it time to cool and thicken up before we use it to top the cookies.
  2. Heat 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, and 1/2 tsp fine salt over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Stir frequently and let the mixture just begin to bubble (if you have and are using a candy thermometer, cook until the mixture hits 212 F/ 100 C). It will start bubbling up on the sides of the pan first. Once this happens, turn the heat down to low to let the caramel simmer.
  3. Continue to stir frequently until the mixture thickens and becomes a medium caramel color (about 10 minutes). You should be able to drag a spatula through the mixture and see the bottom of the pan for a second or two once it's ready.  Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  4. Pour into a separate container, then set aside to cool to room temperature. If you make this in advance, cover the bowl and store it at room temperature overnight or in the fridge for up to a week. If you refrigerate the caramel, heat it in the microwave in short 10-second intervals until it reaches room temperature and is a more workable consistency.

Chocolate Ganache Topping

  1. The last component of these cookies is the decadent dark chocolate ganache! Heat 3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp of heavy cream in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds, until it's just beginning to bubble.
  2. Gently pour 1 1/4 cups of dark chocolate chips into the heavy cream. Make sure the chips are fully covered with cream. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute. If you want to use milk chocolate to make the ganache, use 1/2 cup (120g) of heavy cream, and 2 cups milk chocolate (350g).
  3. Stir slowly until the cream and chocolate are combined and the mixture is smooth. If any bits of chocolate aren't fully melted, heat the mixture again for 15 seconds and stir until smooth.
  4. Mix in 3 Tbsp of unsalted butter, 1 Tbsp of corn syrup, and 1/4 tsp fine salt until combined.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the ganache from forming a skin, then set aside to cool to room temperature. If you need to make this in advance, it can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to a month.
  6. Set aside to cool to room temperature. If you want to accelerate the cooling process, pour the ganache into a shallow, wide pan.
  7. This step is optional, but I like to place the cooled ganache in a small piping bag fitted with a small French piping tip so that I can pipe pretty swirls of ganache on top of the cookies! Alternatively, you can also just spread the ganache on top of the caramel with the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula.

Topping These Millionaire Cookies

  1. Once the shortbread cookies are fully cooled, spread about 1 Tbsp of the room-temperature caramel on top of each cookie.
  2. Then pipe the room-temperature chocolate ganache on top of the caramel layer.
  3. Top each cookie with a bit of edible gold and a sprinkle of flakey sea salt, then enjoy! These cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you notice the caramel starting to flow over the sides of the cookie (this can happen if the caramel is slightly undercooked), I recommend storing them in the fridge in an airtight container. It will help the caramel firm up and stay in place.

Notes

Ingredient Swaps & Substitutions

For a detailed list of ingredient swaps and substitutions that can be made in each component of this recipe, please refer to the "swaps and substitutions" section above.

Making These Millionaire Cookies in Advance

These cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

I don't recommend stacking them on top of each other (like I did in the picture below) unless they are fully chilled. If you want to store them that way, I recommend placing a piece of parchment paper between the layers of cookies.

If you notice the caramel starting to flow over the sides of the cookie (this can happen if the caramel is slightly undercooked), I recommend storing them in the fridge in an airtight container. It will help the caramel firm up and stay in place.

You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months in an airtight container! When you're ready to enjoy the frozen cookies, place them in the fridge overnight to let them thaw gradually and enjoy them the following day.

Doubling this Recipe

This recipe makes about 24 cookies. If you want to halve or double this recipe, go for it! Simply adjust the ingredients and follow the directions in the recipe card above.

How To Make the Best Millionaire Cookies

  • Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. It helps them mix together better and will give the cookies a smoother texture.
  • If you want to use milk chocolate to make the ganache, use 1/2 cup (120g) of heavy cream, and 2 cups milk chocolate (350g) in place of the dark chocolate and heavy cream that the recipe calls for.
  • Properly measure your flour! I like to use a scale, but the fluff and level method works great too.
  • If the butter doesn't get fully incorporated into the caramel (this can happen if the caramel gets cooked at slightly too high of a temperature), don't worry! You can gradually stir the butter into the caramel as it cools and it will come together once it reaches room temperature. It won't be quite as smooth as normal, but it will still taste great!
  • Chill the cookie dough until it is firm to the touch. This will make it so much easier to cut and prevent the cookies from overspreading.
  • Let the cookies cool fully before topping them with caramel and ganache.
  • Use a sharp knife to get clean slices of shortbread. Be sure to wipe the blade as needed after each cut.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 308Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 47mgSodium 172mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 1gSugar 24gProtein 4g

Denise

Tuesday 4th of June 2024

This recipe looks so amazing but would like to know what size to form the log. For example 12”x3”? Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

Chelsweets

Sunday 9th of June 2024

Hi Denise,

Great question! The log should be about 12 inches long, so that you end up with 24 cookies that are roughly 1/2 inch thick. The log diameter isn't as important, but it should be about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. Hope that helps, happy baking!

Tye

Monday 27th of May 2024

Looks so yummy ?

Chelsweets

Tuesday 4th of June 2024

Thanks Tye!

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