Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars Recipe | Desserts With Benefits

Healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars

Shortbread.  Caramel.  Chocolate.

No wonder these are called Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars…  they’re so rich you feel like royalty when you taste it.  More than anything, though, you will feel like a real winner when you remember that this bar you are eating isn’t so bad for you.  That’s right.  The decadence you see here is actually good for you!  Unlike the original recipe, which contains refined flour, white sugar, butter and other unhealthy ingredients, these Healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars are whole grain, low sugar, free of butter, and contain fiber and antioxidants.  Yeah, in dessert.  Life is good, yes?

These delicious Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars have a gluten free shortbread base, refined sugar free caramel filling, and dark chocolate topping! You'll feel like royalty with every bite!

I honestly wasn’t expecting this recipe to be such a success as I was making it (nothing like expecting defeat before you even started the battle).  I mean, how could I possibly healthify caramel with the substitutions I was making?  Using no heavy cream, sugar and butter is likely a recipe for disaster (hah, no pun intended)

So when these bars were finally ready to slice, I was a nervous wreck.  Knowing my luck, something was bound to go wrong.  As I sliced the bars and caught a glimpse of the caramel, I squealed like a little kid.  The caramel didn’t gush out, the chocolate layer wasn’t too thick, and the shortbread crust didn’t crumble into dust.  Yeah, I kind of imagined all of those things before I even brought out the knife.  I quickly snapped some photos (aka, three) and had to put the camera down.

The looming question:  does it taste good?

I took a bite and did a little happy dance (or prance?).  That was my very first “happy dance” and I certainly hope it was my last…  I’d be quite embarrassed if you saw me do that.  It was deeelicious.  The shortbread crust was exactly like shortbread–nice and buttery with a slight crumble.  The caramel was sweet, smooth and creamy.  And the chocolate?  Oh, the chocolate… rich and undeniably decadent.  A real millionaire’s treat.

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Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars

Servings: 16 bars
   

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust:

  • 5 tbs Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 2 tbs Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 2 tbs + 2 tsp Agave Nectar
  • ⅔ cup + ¼ cup Oat Flour
  • ½ cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 tbs Ground Flaxseed
  • ½ tsp Salt

Caramel Layer:

  • 1 cup Light Coconut Milk (canned)
  • ¼ cup Coconut Oil (melted)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Agave Nectar
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 1 cup Granulated Erythritol
  • ½ cup  Sucanat
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Layer:

  • 3.5 oz 85% Cacao Chocolate (melted)
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil (melted)

Instructions

For the Crust:

  • In a large bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil, applesauce, and agave.
  • Stir in the oat flour, brown rice flour, flaxseed, and salt. Form a ball with the dough, cover, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8" brownie pan with parchment paper both ways.
  • Press the dough into the pan. Dock it with a fork, and bake for ~15-18 minutes, or until surface is dry and the edges are golden brown.

For the Caramel Layer:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and salt.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together the agave, water, erythritol, and sucanat. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the pot so there are no crystals above the surface of the sugar mixture.
  • Place a candy thermometer in the pot and place over medium-medium/high heat. Do not stir, let mixture come to a boil.
  • At 250 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat and slowly whisk in the coconut milk/shortening mixture (it should bubble). Stop whisking once all is added and return to medium-medium/high heat.
  • At 245 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour hot caramel over the crust and let cool/firm completely at room temperature.

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • In a small bowl, stir together the melted hcocolate and coconut oil. Pour over the completely cooled and hardened caramel, and refrigerate JUST until the chocolate has firmed up. Do not refrigerate any longer than that. Slice and serve!
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 bar)
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Sodium 110mg5%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 3g6%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Bars, Blondies & Brownies

Everyone who tried these Healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars had a hard time believing they were actually healthy.  Unlike what everyone thought, my Healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars don’t have “500 calories and 50g of fat per slice.”  Just to convince you even MORE, I thought I’d compare my recipe’s nutrition facts to the nutrition facts of the original recipe (courtesy of Joy of Baking)!

Compared to the original recipe, my recipe is:

  • lower calorie
  • lower fat/saturated fat
  • lower carb
  • lower sugar
  • cholesterol free
  • higher fiber

And my recipe tastes just as rich and sweet and decadent and satisfying as the original…  if not better.  Not to mention, this recipe doesn’t contain any butter, whole milk, refined sugar and refined flour!  Oh, and it’s gluten free and vegan (but you’d never know it).

These delicious Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars have a gluten free shortbread base, refined sugar free caramel filling, and dark chocolate topping! You'll feel like royalty with every bite!

These delicious Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars have a gluten free shortbread base, refined sugar free caramel filling, and dark chocolate topping! You'll feel like royalty with every bite!

The richness of the chocolate helps balance the sweetness of the caramel, and the shortbread crust provides a lovely textural contrast.  This is my family’s new favorite dessert, and I assure you, it will be yours too  🙂

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With love and good eats,

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– Jess

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16 comments on “Healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars”

  1. I literally LOLed at the pictures with the $20. aaaand it’s my mama’s birthday soon, carmel and chocolate are two of her favorites- so stoked on this recipe!

  2. Oh my gosh, I love you for this. I’ve been looking for some gluten free dessert recipes along these lines for a while since being diagnosed as celiac. This just seems soooo lovely.

  3. Nice work! Not low carb enough for me personally, but I love the healthification of these. Also love the $20 bill in the pics, so cute!

  4. I opened this link reluctantly thinking “there is NO way these are gluten free,” only to look at the recipe and see that they’re made with oat & rice flour! I can’t wait to make these.

  5. Heh, like the $20 bill under the millionaire bars. Don’t worry, you’ll reach a million dollars soon enough with your baking!

    As usual, whatever you make looks amazing, must taste amazing, and makes me feel healthy and happy just looking at it!

  6. Love the photos with the 20-dollar bill! So imaginative 🙂 I hope I was able to make all these yummy creations of yours, it’s such a pity I don’t live in the States and so many of the products you use I cannot obtain here. As I am a student it would be too expensive to order them online, the postal and customs fares are so ridiculously high… But I love to come here and drool over your beautiful pics 🙂

  7. Hi,
    I’m planning on making this tomorrow but I don’t have any shortening or butter extract. Can I use applesauce in place of the shortening?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      I haven’t tried using applesauce but I’m sure it will work! The crust might turn out a little bit crumbly though, so if you have xanthan gum maybe add 1/4 tsp to the crust’s dry ingredients or maybe an extra tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Good luck, and I hope you love the recipe 🙂

  8. could I use only rice flour instead of both rice and oat? if so, would I just substitute? also, could the caramel layer be made with soy or rice milk?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      You can use all brown rice flour if you like, however you might want to add another tablespoon of flax and another tablespoon of applesauce to help bind the dough. I haven’t made the caramel with soy or rice milk but you can try! As long as you like the flavor it should work 🙂

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  10. I’ve always wanted to try these and your lighter version looks great!

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  12. These look incredible!! Do you think I could substitute it for plain gluten free flour? 🙂

    • Lucy-
      Thanks Lucy! 🙂
      Did you mean the oat flour or brown rice flour? Either way, I’m not really sure… I’ve never used a pre-mixed gluten-free flour before. If it has xanthan gum, than I’m sure it will work, but if it doesn’t then it won’t. The oat flour helps bind the base so it’s not super crumbly, and xanthan gum has the same effect 🙂
      I hope you like the Millionaire’s Bars!
      -Jess

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