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Close view of caramel pecan shortbread cookies stacked on white plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Million Dollar Candy Bar Cookies (Caramel Shortbread Cookies)

Million Dollar Candy Bar Cookies taste like - you guessed it - a million bucks! They're made with tender shortbread, caramel pecan topping, chocolate ganache, and a pecan on top. These festive and indulgent caramel shortbread cookies that are absolutely perfect for holiday parties and Christmas cookie exchanges!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Assemble Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 222kcal

Ingredients

Shortbread Cookies

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter softened
  • 2 tablespoon half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Caramel Pecan Topping

  • 6 oz Kraft caramels about 24 caramels
  • tablespoon half and half
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar sifted
  • ¾ cup pecans chopped

Chocolate Topping

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • tablespoon half and half
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon powdered sugar sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • 24 pecan halves

Instructions

Shortbread Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a mixer, combine butter, half and half, and vanilla on low speed until combined, then increase to medium speed and blend until smooth and fluffy, 30 -60 seconds.
  • Add powdered sugar and mix on low until combined.
  • Add flour and salt, then mix on low until large, moist crumbs form. Don't overmix.
  • Turn dough onto a flat surface. Using your hands, gently shape the dough into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 5-6 minutes.
  • On lightly floured surface, roll dough until ¼" thick. Use rolling pin rings, if desired.
  • Use a 2¼ - 2½ inch circle cookie cutter to cut cookies. Gently gather the scraps and re-roll the dough until you have 24 cookies.
  • Place cookies on cookie sheet (12 per sheet) and freeze for 5-10 minutes or refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  • Bake chilled cookies for 10-12 minutes. Edges and bottom will be very lightly golden (tops will not be golden). **See picture in post.
  • Cool completely on cookie sheet, then move to cooling rack.

Caramel Pecan Topping

  • Place caramels, half and half, and butter in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30-60 seconds until smooth.
  • Whisk in powdered sugar, then stir in chopped pecans.

Chocolate Topping

  • Combine chocolate chips, half and half, and butter in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  • Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla.

Assembling

  • On cooled cookies, spread 1 tablespoon of caramel pecan topping onto each cookie, leaving a small edge. Allow to set for a few minutes.
  • On top of the pecan caramel topping, spread 1 teaspoon of the chocolate mixture in the center.
  • While the chocolate is still warm, top each cookie with a pecan half.
  • Allow cookies to sit at room temperature until toppings are set. Then store in an air-tight container.

Notes

Tips & Tricks
  • Be gentle during the whole process. Try to avoid over-mixing, over-handling, and over-rolling the dough. The extra care makes tender shortbread cookies!
  • Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the cookies. More flour = denser cookie.
  • Don't skip the chilling time. Getting the dough cold before rolling and especially before baking makes sure that the cookies don't spread.
  • Lay your parchment flat on the cookie sheet. I even trim off all the overhang. If the parchment isn't flat, it will cause the cookies to warp and come out in funny shapes.
 
Storage: These are best served within 1-2 days, but you can store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 
 
Freezing: Freeze the dough in a flat disc or in cut out, raw circles for up to 3 months. Make sure to store them wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in a zipper bag. For a disc, thaw and roll out. For cutouts, bake straight from frozen, adding 1-2 minutes of baking time if needed. 

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg