How do you make a million into a billion with a flick of the wrist? Add hazelnuts, of course!
When I first went gluten free, I missed Twix bars more than I could ever explain. I knew that the classic millionaire shortbread would be a great stand in for my beloved candy bar. Shortbread covered by luxurious caramel, topped with chocolate? I’m in!
But then I wondered if I could take the classic Millionaire and dress it up with a bit more flavor and a little crunch, and Billionaire Shortbread was born!
I’ve added ground hazelnuts to the shortbread and topped the chocolate layer with chopped hazelnuts and some flaky sea salt. Additions that take this beloved cookie bar straight over the top.
My kids loved these bars so much, my husband fed them to them for breakfast. *Facepalm* But life is short, so I suppose they were just eating their dessert first.
If you’re looking for a really worthwhile way to spend your calories, all while avoiding gluten, bake a batch of these babies and you’ll surely be in for a treat.
Gluten Free Millionaire Shortbread Bars
For the shortcrust layer–
1 c. salted butter, softened
1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. light brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 c. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
2 1/4c. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
1/3c. hazelnuts, finely ground
For the caramel layer-
2 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
14 T salted butter. butter
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
For the chocolate layer–
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla
Flaky sea salt
3/4 c. hazelnuts chopped coarsely
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper, making sure to cover both the bottom and up all four sides. I like to tack it down with a little spray of olive oil to present it shifting around the pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour and salt with a wisk, and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, or an electric mixer coupled with a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars for the shortbread, until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and combine well. Scrape down the sides of your bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
- Add the flour/salt mixture slowly, about a third at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- The dough is complete when mixed, but slightly crumbly.
- Drop dough into prepared 9 x 13 pan, and cover with another piece of parchment. Using the flat bottom of a heavy glass, press dough evenly across the bottom of the pan and into the corners.
- Peel off top layer of parchment.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. The edges should start to turn golden, but because of the flour, the majority of the shortbread will still be pretty pale.
- Cool and prepare the caramel for the next layer.
- Combine sweetened condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. My stove dial runs from 2-9, I heat on 6.
- Whisk constantly until butter is melted, ingredients are well-combined, and mixture begins to boil. This step will take awhile, it will feel like forever, but do not increase the heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer ( I drop the heat on my stove to about 3.5), and continue stirring until mixture darkens to a caramel color, and starts to become fragrant.
- Continue stirring until the caramel thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pot.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
- Pour evenly over the cooled shortbread, using a knife or offset spatula to create an even layer.
- Cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Prepare the chocolate layer once the caramel is cool.
- Combine chocolate chips and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, on my stove a 6.
- Mix until chocolate is melted and well combined with the cream.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla, and stir well.
- Cool one minute.
- Pour over top of the chilled caramel layer. Smoothing if necessary.
- Top with flaked salt and coarsely chopped hazelnuts.
- Refrigerate for thirty minutes.
- Cut the bars into 24 portions and serve.