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Peanut Butter Millionaire Bars

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1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 (11 ounce) packages caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Peanut Butter Millionaire Bars

Peanut butter added to shortbread, caramel filling, and chocolate frosting makes these rich bars the best ever.

  • Serves 24
  • Easy

About This Recipe

Millionaire Bars is a classic bar cookie recipe made of a shortbread crust topped with chewy caramel and a smooth chocolate ganache. The bars are very rich, which of course is the reason for their name. I decided to take the recipe up a notch and add peanut butter to every layer: thus, Peanut Butter Millionaire Bars!

Peanut butter shortbread is made from butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, peanuts, and flour. The crust is baked until light golden brown, then it is topped with a caramel layer with added peanut butter, and a ganache frosting made from chocolate chips melted with peanut butter.

You have to cut these bars into tiny squares because they are so rich. And they are wonderful!

Enjoy these super delicious and rich bar cookies for dessert, for a mid-morning snack, or with tea in the afternoon. You’ll love every bite.

Tips for the best Peanut Butter Millionaire Bars:

  • First, don’t over mix the shortbread mixture. Shortbread should be, as the name says, a “short” cookie. That means the cookie has a lot of butter in proportion to the flour.
  • Second, make sure that the butter is soft enough so you can easily press a finger into it, but not so soft that it starts to melt. The butter and sugar, when beaten together, form little air pockets that make the characteristic crumbly texture of shortbread. If the butter is melted the shortbread will be too dense.
  • And third, make sure that you cool the layers before you add the next. You want the layers to be distinct and separate.

Why this recipe works:

  • Peanut butter is key to this recipe. It adds moisture and tenderness to the cookie base, creaminess and texture to the caramel filling, and tempers the chocolate for the frosting.
  • Make sure you don’t overwork the cookie base in this recipe, or it will be tough.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside.


In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, 1/3 cup peanut butter, and brown sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat again.


Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until a dough forms. Then stir in the peanuts.


Press this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.


In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on high for 1-1/2 minutes, then remove and stir. Continue microwaving for 30 second intervals on high, stirring after each interval, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in 1/3 cup peanut butter. Pour over the crust and carefully spread to cover. Let cool for 1 hour.


In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue microwaving for 30 second intervals on high, stirring after each interval, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour over the caramel layer and carefully spread to coat.


Let the bars stand until completely cool, then cut into squares to serve.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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