When you bite into a Millionaire Bars it’s like enjoying both a cookie and a candy bar at the same time. It has three delicious layers; a buttery shortbread, creamy caramel, and a shiny layer of dark chocolate. To me, it tastes remarkably like a Twix candy bar. The caramel seems to take center stage, which is probably why these bars are also called Caramel Squares, Caramel Shortbreads, and a Caramel Slice.
As its’ name implies, this confection starts with a baked shortbread base, which is then topped with a layer of creamy caramel. The caramel is made by heating a can of sweetened condensed milk until it turns into a wonderfully thick caramel. Sweetened condensed milk is made from a mixture of whole milk and sugar that has had about 60 percent of its water removed. Its consistency is thick and sticky (like honey) and it is very sweet tasting. While some recipe call for heating the milk right in the can, this kinda scares me. So what I like to do is to pour the milk into a covered heatproof bowl, and cook it (about 60 to 90 minutes) over a saucepan of simmering water. Quite simple actually.
The finishing touch is a delectable layer of dark chocolate. While you could use milk chocolate, my preference is to use either a semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate as I like how these chocolates temper the sweetness of the caramel. I add a little butter when I melt the chocolate to keep the chocolate shiny, even when refrigerated. Once the melted chocolate is poured over the caramel layer and has been left to set, cut the shortbread into bars with a sharp knife. Do this before the chocolate gets too hard as cold chocolate tends to shatter into small pieces. If you can resist I find it best to make these bars at least a day before serving to give the flavors time to soften and mingle.