Salted Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars (Secret Recipe Club)

May 28, 2012 at 10:00 am 40 comments

Happy Memorial Day! I hope y’all are enjoying your holiday so far :) It’s been cold and rainy for most of the weekend yet these decadent shortbread bars kept a smile on my face…

I can’t believe another month has flown by and reveal day is here again…this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment was Lucy and Shannon’s spunky Double the Sugar blog. These two ladies are friends “from across the pond” who share a love for sugar and carb-filled goodies…you can’t go wrong there, right?

Once I spotted their Millionaire Shortbread Bars, I was sold. I knew I had to make them…no question, hands-down, I was on a mission to create a healthier and gluten-free version of these sinful treats. While these are a tad healthier, I wouldn’t call these “healthy” by any means :)

Since I basically eat my goodies all by myself, I decided to halve the recipe to start with. To make these gluten free, I made an almond flour shortbread crust in lieu of the gluten-filled original and reduced the sugar by replacing the white sugar with xylitol.

The salted caramel filling was made from scratch with coconut palm sugar, coconut milk, honey/agave and nut butter for a refined sugar-free treat. I opted for unsweetened carob chips that were melted with a touch of coconut oil and a couple tablespoons of nut butter for the topping…though your favorite milk or dark chocolate could easily be used if carob isn’t your favorite.

Sinful squares of delicious goodness with a chewy caramel center, crumbly grain-free crust and a salted topping…need I say more?

Salted Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars (inspired from Double the Sugar)
gluten free, grain-free with vegan option 

Ingredients

Crust
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/3 cup granulated xylitol (or coconut palm sugar or other granulated sugar)
1/8 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp butter, ghee or vegan Earth Balance

Caramel Filling
3/4 cup coconut milk fat (could probably use whipping cream as well but this is not dairy-free)
2 Tbsp honey, agave or brown rice syrup (do not use honey for vegan)
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (I pulsed mine in a blender to help dissolve more quickly)
2 Tbsp cashew butter (or other nut butter)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for vegan)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Top Layer
1 1/4 cups unsweetened carob chips (or use your favorite chocolate chips or dairy-free chips for vegan)
2-3 tsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for vegan)
2 Tbsp cashew butter (almond butter or peanut butter can be substituted for a different flavor)

For garnish, optional
fleur de sel (I used grey finishing salt, this adds that extra wow factor…)

Directions.

To prepare the Crust
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease one 8-inch square pan (or a large loaf pan for thicker bars) and coat with a sprinkle of almond flour.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, add almond flour, sweetener and salt and pulse once. Add butter/Earth  Balance and pulse until mixture resembles peas. Press the shortbread mixture into prepared pan and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To prepare caramel filling 
1. Refrigerate one can of full-fat coconut milk overnight and scoop the fat off of the top to measure 1 cup.
2. Add coconut milk and honey/agave to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Place the coconut milk fat into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until liquid. Add the palm sugar and whisk until combined. Boil mixture for about 15-20 minutes, whisking well every few minutes.
4. Add nut butter, butter/oil, vanilla and salt, let bubble and continue to let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
5. Remove from heat and pour over prepared crust. Refrigerate or let cool to room temperature.

To prepare the top layer 

1.  In a double broiler or a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chips and oil/butter. Stir in the nut butter until smooth.
2. Pour mixture over the cooled caramel layer. Cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, sprinkle with fleur de sel (if desired, makes the bars really pop in my opinion) and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, allowing chocolate to slightly harden, it’ll get a more matte look to the topping when firm.
3. Cut into 2-inch squares and enjoy *Tip: run hot water over the blade of a sharp knife, wipe dry and slice for cleaner cuts.

To store, put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

For other Secret Recipe Club reveal recipes:


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Entry filed under: Dessert, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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40 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah Jane @ The Fit Cookie  |  May 28, 2012 at 10:16 am

    These look incredible!!

    Reply
  • 2. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  May 28, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Oh my goodness! This look incredible! Does the caramel really taste like normal caramel? Wow wow wow. I’m in awe. I don’t even know what to say. Maybe I’ll try a whole grain version. :)

    Reply
    • 3. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks Erin! In my opinion, yes the caramel does taste like caramel! I would LOVE to see what you come up with Miss Erin, a whole grain version would be divine!

      Reply
  • 4. Heidi @ Food Doodles  |  May 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Wow, these look incredible! I am so impressed! You did an amazing job making a healthier version of these!

    Reply
    • 5. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      THanks so much Heidi! :) you always impress me!

      Reply
  • 6. Sonia! The Healthy Foodie  |  May 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Nora, you are killing me! First the Peanut Butter Layered Mini Cups and now these. OMG! They look so good, I want to lick my screen from corner to corner, and from bottom to top! Oh, the caramel… and the chocolate… AND the fleur de sel on top? I can almost taste this. Amazing. Simply amazing.

    Now I have to go, cuz if I don’t, I’ll whip up a batch right when I get home tonight. Oh, wait, I can,t… coconut milk has to be refrigerated overnight. Phew! Saved by the bell! (or not…there’s always tomorrow!)

    Reply
    • 7. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      HAHAHAHA I LOVE your comments Sonia – I need to get in the kitchen and make some of YOUR amazing creations soon…long, long overdue along with my commenting. Been thinking about you lately!
      Isn’t the fleur de sel add such a fantastic touch? Drooooooool…..
      Hugs to you my friend! XO

      Reply
  • 8. Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious  |  May 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I had their blog a few months ago. Isn’t it fun?

    Reply
  • 10. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life  |  May 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    WOW! Those look incredible! Must. Stop. Drooling.

    Reply
    • 11. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Haha, they taste just as good as they look too :)

      Reply
  • 12. bakeaholicmama  |  May 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Seriously… couldn’t be a yummier treat! These look AWESOME!

    Reply
  • 14. Elisabeth  |  May 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    These look delicious! Maybe it’s just me, but I am a little confused about what to do with the separated coconut milk mixture…do you add it to the coconut fat mixture? Thanks :)

    Reply
    • 15. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      I could have been a little more specific, sorry about that! I refrigerate the coconut milk can and skim off the top layer and then add more of the liquid to equal the specified amount. You can always use the extra in a smoothie or a curry dish :)

      Reply
  • 16. Kris  |  May 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    one of my favorite ever desserts – my three favorite things. I love that you added my fourth favorite thing (cashew butter!) to the caramel… definitely making that!

    Reply
    • 17. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      woohoooo! These are sinful…soooo good, I bet you could make a fabulous version with all your creativity! If you give the caramel a go, I’d love to hear what you think :) XO

      Reply
  • 18. bakingaddict  |  May 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I love millionaire shortbread and made a gluten free version recently but this looks so much better!! Am bookmarking to try :)

    Reply
    • 19. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Yay! Glad these caught your eye, love to hear how you like them if you get around to whipping them up :)

      Reply
  • 20. kristy @ gastronomical sovereignty  |  May 29, 2012 at 8:48 am

    wow! what effort you put into your SRC this month! i love the photographs too :)

    happy SRC reveal!

    Reply
    • 21. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you Kristy! I had a ton of fun this month :) Happy reveal day to you!

      Reply
  • 22. Heather  |  May 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Salt, caramel & chocolate – I need to stop right here and make these!

    Reply
    • 23. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      I love salt in desserts, isn’t it amazing?!?

      Reply
  • 24. amy donovan (@amy_donovan)  |  May 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    these look awesome + i love that you made them gluten-free + healthier. i have a lot of GF friends who will love this recipe!

    Reply
    • 25. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Thank you Amy! I loved the challenge this month – fun + yummy :)

      Reply
  • 26. Words Of Deliciousness  |  May 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Yum, these sound delicious. Shortbread, caramel, and chocolate it can’t get any better than that.

    Reply
    • 27. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you! It’s definitely a delicious combo! :)

      Reply
  • 28. Karla  |  May 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Looks delicious!!!

    Reply
    • 29. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      crumbly, chewy and decadent – you can’t go wrong! :)

      Reply
  • 30. Megan  |  May 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    These look stellar!!

    Reply
  • 32. JennyO  |  May 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I adore your blog! I’ve decided to nominate you for the Illuminating Blogger Award! You can check out the details here: http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/ or on my blog! :D

    Reply
    • 33. naturalnoshing  |  May 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Awwww THANK YOU!!! :) You are SO sweet and I am so honored :) I’ll definitely check it out!

      Reply
  • 34. Bean  |  May 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I LOVE how you made this so much healthier, gluten free and with a vegan option! This recipe is definitely pinned. :)

    Reply
  • [...] Check out the recipe for Salted Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars. [...]

    Reply
  • 36. Shannon  |  June 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the recipe! I’m amazed you could get it remotely healthy, well done!

    Reply
  • 37. Erin @ Making Memories  |  June 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    OH MY GOSH! Look at those! They look delicious!

    Reply
  • [...] translates into a serotonin rush and a full, happy tummy. Eaten alongside a few of my salted millionaire shortbread bars, I am momentarily transported to my happy [...]

    Reply
  • 39. Tessa@ TessaDomesticDiva  |  June 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Not sure how I have missed your blog so far…we cook an awful lot alike! I am your newest follower, and look forward to seeing your creation for inspiration! You should come and share on our Wednesday links if you get. Chance too, allergy free wednesdays. I have pinned these and look fwd to making them soon!

    Reply
  • 40. Bree  |  June 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    These look amazing. Yummmmm. Each layer looks just delicious.

    Reply

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