Billionaire Dessert Bars

by Pamela

Billionaire Dessert Bars

I’m not sure what is the best part of these billionaire dessert bars. Is it the shortbread cookie bottom, the gooey caramel, the creamy chocolate chip cookie dough or the thick and rich chocolate ganache smothered on top with a sprinkling of sea salt to pair with the sweetness?

What’s not to love about dessert bars that have four layers to them? Nothing, there’s nothing that’s not to love about ’em. (I just put that double negative in there to make my high school English teacher lose his mind. Double negatives were a pet peeve of his.) Those four layers give you lots to love about these bars. You can eat each layer individually or pair them up.

Rich and Delicious Billionaire Dessert Bars

I’m pretty much a whole package kinda girl, but when Craig got his hands on these billionaire dessert bars he couldn’t figure out which combo he liked better. He cut each square into smaller pieces so that he could mix up different pairings of the layers. Yes, I married a weirdo….No, I didn’t know these things when we got married. I think his ultimate decision on his favorite combo was the cookie dough and gananche. At least that was the last pairing that he mentioned out loud. Weirdo.

These dessert bars are one of those things that take a little time to make, but none of the steps is very difficult. And the sum is definitely greater than the parts! The most “involved” layer is probably the caramel layer. I tried making it without a thermometer and using condensed milk, but the caramel never turned out quite right and usually ended up with burnt bits in it. So the caramel recipe uses a thermometer. But you could get away with not using one (if you don’t have one) by following the caramel recipe steps and when it says to stir it until it reaches 230-240 degrees, just stir it for 2 minutes after adding all the cream and remove from heat and pour over the cookie bottom.

Rich and Delicious Billionaire Dessert Bars

The first day you make these, the shortbread cookie layer (I use Ina Garten’s shortbread cookie recipe) will be pretty firm. The second day that layer will have softened just a bit (from the moisture in the caramel) and it will be easier to cut through with a fork.

So that Craig and I didn’t fall into a total sugar coma, I sent the majority of these into work with him. (I am so grateful he’s working in an office again.) They didn’t last 5 minutes. These billionaire dessert bars are what you want to serve to a hungry group of sweet lovers.

Billionaire Dessert Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These billionaire dessert bars are a rich combination of shortbread cookie, caramel, cookie dough, and ganache all topped with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • For the Shortbread Cookie Bottom
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1¾ Cups Flour
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Salt
  • For the Caramel
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • For the Cookie Dough
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk or Cream (you might have extra from the caramel and ganache)
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1¼ Cup Flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Cup Chocolate Chips (I used semi-sweet)
  • For the Ganache
  • ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 9 Ounces Chocolate Chips (I used the same semi-sweet chips as before and it ended up being the rest of the 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips)
  1. For the Shortbread Cookie Bottom
  2. Line an 8"x8" pan with foil (foil should go all the way up the sides) and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until well mixed.
  4. Sift the flour and salt together then slowly add the flour to the butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
  5. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Pat dough evenly into baking pan, prick top of dough all over with fork, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until just lightly beginning to brown on top.
  7. Let cookie cool in pan.
  8. For the Caramel
  9. Melt butter and cream in a small saucepan. Once melted turn off heat but leave on the warm burner.
  10. In a large saucepan add the sugar, water and vanilla. Attach thermometer to side of pan. (Pour the sugar evenly around the bottom of the pan. It will make your life easier.)
  11. Heat pan over medium heat and do not stir it. As it heats, you can swirl the pan to move things around. You want to heat it until the sugar turns a gold caramel color (roughly 7-8 minutes).
  12. Once you have that color, slowly drizzle the cream and butter mixture into the pan (it's going to bubble a lot). Now you want to stir (while you're adding it) constantly. You want the thermometer to reach 230-240 degrees.
  13. Stop stirring and pour the caramel over top of the cookie base.
  14. Even the caramel out with a silicon spatula.
  15. You can let this cool on the counter or pop it into the fridge to cool faster.
  16. For the Cookie Dough
  17. Beat the butter and sugars together in a bowl.
  18. Next add the milk and vanilla to the mixture.
  19. Slowly add the flour to the mixture and beat to combine.
  20. Add the chocolate chips to the mixture and stir those in with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  21. Once the caramel has cooled you can pat the cookie dough mixture on top of it. Make sure that the layer is even.
  22. For the Ganache
  23. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until small bubbles form on the edges.
  24. Pour cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes.
  25. Stir to mix the chocolate and cream together to form the ganache.
  26. Once the chocolate is completely melted, slowly pour the ganache over top of the cookie dough layer.
  27. Evenly spread the ganache with a spatula.
  28. Let cool completely on the counter or in the refrigerator.
  29. Once completely cooled, sprinkle the top with sea salt, cut into bars and serve. (Don't add the sea salt until ready to serve because it will melt into the chocolate.)
When you're making the caramel, it's easiest to use a whisk for the stirring part.


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Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

They are meant to be eaten all together so all the flavors come together on your tongue and send you to heaven. Right?

I want these so I can feel like a billionaire even for a moment. 🙂

Pamela June 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Yes Maureen, all stacked together. Eat them and feel like a billionaire baller. 😉

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