These No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars are easy to make, require no baking and are full of caramel and chocolate! Everyone will love them!
Let’s face it, we can’t always make everything from scratch. Well, I used to believe I could make everything from scratch. And I even went so far as to turning my nose up at anything not homemade. I also had very firm beliefs about other things and would make sure everyone knew about them. Enter pregnancy. Scratch all my prior principles. Au revoir to driving all over the country to get that special ingredient (who can sit in a car for that long with a huge belly?), arrividerci to homemade pasta (the couch is much more comfortable!) and Auf Wiedersehen to eating nothing but organic produce (and hello to saving any kind of extra money). Don’t get me wrong, I still like organic things and homemade pasta and cooking a special dinner. It’s just not this everyday kind of deal anymore. And come on – it only gets worse with a baby.
But now I’m looking back at my pre-pregnancy self and think that I must have been so annoying and condescending. “What’s the problem of all these moms? Yes sure you can still go to nice restaurants with a baby and sure you can still get your hair done. And why do you need to be so aggressive with that stroller?” The truth is that the first time we tried to leave the house with our baby girl we eventually gave up and just stayed at home. I haven’t had a haircut in months and yes, people are annoying when they just stop in their tracks in front of your stroller. I hate to admit it but what I thought were the worst clichés are so true. And being mainstream and normal and not totally hipster-off-the-edge? Completely OK.
I also complained about all the moms who felt the need to set up a pretty nursery and buy all. the. stuff. for their babies. And now? I’m kind of, sort of, just a tiny bit jealous. I know it’s ridiculous because she will not even sleep in her own bed the entire night and wouldn’t know if I painted her a room and set up a pretty changing table in there. But I never even knew how I would want to do all those things for my child. Apparently that’s what motherhood does to you. I just hope Branimir understands that there will be more shortcuts in the kitchen and less tidyness in our home. Only that last part was a lie because I still like it tidy.
Now back to those amazing bars. Can you believe they require absolutely no baking whatsoever? Because shortcuts. Shortbread shortcuts in fact. Since shortbread crumbles and butter make the perfect base for these gorgeous things – why bother making your own? (And also Walkers make the best shortbread ever (no ad, I just love them!), I used these in this recipe). There’s still enough to make from scratch. OK, just the caramel but it’s so simple it barely counts. And is it worth making your own? Oh yes because it turns into this sweet and amazing layer of gooey soft goodness. All you need to do is simmer it for quite a while but if you stick to the recipe and keep the heat on low while stirring every once in a while it doesn’t even require your constant attention. You can do a load of laundry, chase around your toddler and finally clean that corner which has been bugging you last night. But maybe that’s just me laying awake at night and thinking about what to clean. Because now that my girl is slowly starting to sleep more than thirty minutes at a time (and most importantly not on top of me!) I find myself having trouble to do the same. I seem to have settled into this rhythm of not really sleeping at night and hence need to think about cleaning at 2am.
I think next time I’ll just make these bars instead. Because when I made them my brother-in-law and his soon-to-be wife came over and ate them all. He’s trying to lose weight. And he ate five (!) of these delicious things. That’s how amazing they are. They break even the hardest of people.
EDITED TO ADD:
A lot of commenters have noted that the caramel never thickened for them. This is most likely due to brand differences. As a little troubleshooting if your caramel won’t thicken, you can either
- put it back on high heat and it should caramelize pretty quickly
- OR use condensed milk from the beginning, if you’re used to making caramel like that!
- 10.5 ounces shortbread cookies, crumbled
- 7 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Grease a 8x8 square baking pan well. Add the cookie crumbs to a bowl. Melt the butter and stir it into the crumbles until everything is wet. Press the shortbread mixture into the pan in an even layer. Refrigerate until firm.
- Add all caramel ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened (this might take 30 minutes - stir from time to time to avoid burning). Pour over the hardened shortbread base and refrigerate again until cold (else the chocolate will mix with the caramel).
- Melt the chocolate together with the butter. Pour over the caramel layer and refrigerate until hardened. Cut into bars.
Items used in this recipe: