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What makes this Millionaire shortbread so special?

In two words, peanut butter! These millionaires bars have peanut butter in each and every layer from the shortbread crust to the creamy caramel filling, there's even a sneaky spoon (or three) in the chocolate topping!

Similar to my peanut butter twix bars, they're essentially a vegan peanut butter caramel slice.

vegan millionaires shortbreadPin

How to make this recipe

(Full instructions and ingredient measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post)

Prepare and bake the shortbread crust

One of the best things about this millionaire shortbread recipe is that you don't need to spend half an hour using your hands to crumb together flour and butter. Simply add all of the ingredients (flour, flaxseed, coconut sugar, salt, peanut butter, vegan butter, and salt) to your food processor and blend until they form a dough.

Next press the dough into an 8-inch square pan lined with parchment paper. Use a flat bottomed glass, cup measure, or spatula to compact the crust into the base as this will ensure that you don't end up with a crumbly base. Pierce the base with a fork several times and bake.

Make the peanut caramel

Making the caramel for millionaires shortbread couldn't be easier. We're doing this without condensed milk or any processed ingredients too which makes these bars extra special.

It's as simple as adding all of the ingredients (in this case peanut butter, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt) to a large bowl and melting them over a bain-marie (water bath). This essentially makes a thick and creamy peanut butter caramel, similar to one featured in my banoffee millionaires shortbread and peanut butter oatmeal bars.

Now there's a little "in-between" step where you wait patiently for your bars to set in the freezer. I like to prep them first thing in the morning so that they're ready in time for afternoon tea 🙂 But hey, you could also make them just before bed and have them for breakfast - no judgment here.

Melt the ingredients for the chocolate coating

Simply melt together the dairy-free chocolate with the remaining peanut butter and pour that on top of your caramel traybake. Slice and you're good to go.

Vegan millionaires shortbreadPin

How to cut caramel slices

Easy peasy you say, but how to cut millionaire shortbread without cracking it, takes a little bit of patience and precision.

Right well first off, adding a little peanut butter to the chocolate topping helps immensely with the end result as it ensures that your chocolate won't set rock hard.

Even more important is how you cut the bars...

Take a large sharp knife, a chef's knife ideally if you one at home. If you want to be a real stickler you can get your measuring tape for this next bit, very gently mark out the cuts of where you want your slices/bars to be with the knife.

Next, fill a jug with some hot water, I like to use my blender jug (side note: is there anything they can't do?!). Grab a clean tea towel and keep that to hand, now dip your knife in the hot water and wipe it clean. Cut slowly, applying pressure to the pre-cut knife markings until you can see that the knife has made its way through the chocolate, then press down to cut through the caramel and biscuit layers. Tada! A perfect clean cut.

How to store them

These bars are best when stored in the fridge. Make sure that the container you're keeping them in is air-tight. They will last in the fridge for up to a week, alternatively, you can freeze them in a sealed container and defrost them for an hour or two before serving.

Vegan millionaires shortbreadPin

Swaps-Outs and Add-Ins

Swaps

  • Peanut butter: the peanut butter caramel in these millionaire bars is similar to the cashew caramel featured in my raspberry salted caramel millionaires shortbread recipe. Feel free to swap out the peanut butter for another nut butter of your choice, or a mix if you're trying to clear out the cupboards! 

Additions

  • White chocolate: a swirl of dairy-free white chocolate would be heavenly on top of these bars. Add it when you add the topping (before it melts) and use a knife to create a swirl effect
  • Roasted salted peanuts: just before your chocolate topping sets, add a handful of crushed peanuts on top of the traybake, for those snickers vibes!
  • Miso: miso and caramel are a match made in heaven, take that umami flavor to the next level by adding a teaspoon of your favorite miso paste to the caramel ingredients.

More vegan millionaires shortbread recipes

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Peanut Butter Millionaires Shortbread

4.98 from 39 votes
PREP TIME: 25 mins
COOK TIME: 18 mins
Chilling Time: 4 hrs
TOTAL TIME: 4 hrs 43 mins
Servings: 16
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Description

These delicious vegan peanut butter millionaires shortbread bars have peanut butter in every single layer. They're also gluten-free!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour, sub with gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) milled flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) coconut sugar, or light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) sea salt
  • ¼ cup (65 g) smooth peanut butter, I use NutShed Original Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup (113 g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (10 ml) water

Caramel

  • 1 cup (260 g) smooth peanut butter, I use NutShed Original Peanut Butter
  • ¾ cup (178 ml) pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (55 g) coconut oil, solid
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) sea salt

Topping

  • 8.5 oz (240 g) vegan chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) smooth peanut butter, I use NutShed Original Peanut Butter

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a square 8" pan with some oil or vegan butter, then line with parchment paper.
  • In your food processor, combine the flour, milled flaxseed, coconut sugar, sea salt, peanut butter, vegan butter, and water until the ingredients stick together to form a dough. Evenly press the dough into the base of the pan and smooth it out with a spatula or flat bottomed glass. With a fork, gently prick the dough several times.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until slightly browned, then allow to cool to room temperature.

Caramel

  • To prepare the caramel, add all of the ingredients to a heat-resistant bowl. Heat over a double boiler (bain-marie) while stirring until all of the ingredients have melted into a smooth caramel.
  • Pour the caramel on top of the shortbread layer and place in the freezer to set for a minimum of 4 hours (overnight works well).

Topping

  • Melt the chocolate and peanut butter over a double boiler (bain-marie) and stir to combine. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer and place it in the fridge to set for 15-20 minutes.
  • To slice, place a sharp knife in a jug of boiling water to heat it. Wipe the knife dry and gently cut, allowing the heat from the knife to melt through the slices.
  • Store these slices in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze any unused portions and defrost them as needed.

Notes

  • Peanut butter: Feel free to swap it out for another nut butter of your choice, or a mix if you're trying to clear out the cupboards!
  • White chocolate: a swirl of dairy-free white chocolate would be heavenly on top of these bars. Add it when you add the topping (before it melts) and use a knife to create a swirl effect
  • Roasted salted peanuts: just before your chocolate topping sets, add a handful of crushed peanuts on top of the tray bake, for those snickers vibes!
  • Miso: miso and caramel are a match made in heaven, take that umami flavor to the next level by adding a teaspoon of your favorite miso paste to the caramel ingredients. 

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 378mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
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