Pecan Butter Millionaire Bars

These pecan butter millionaire bars have 3 layers: shortbread, nut butter, and chocolate! This easy dessert recipe couldn’t be tastier.

Pecan butter millionaire bars

This post was created in partnership with the American Pecan Council. All opinions are our own. 

Ever had Millionaire bars? Sometimes called Millionaire’s shortbread, they’re a layered bar of shortbread, caramel, and chocolate, similar to the Twix candy. But this cookie originates from the British Isles and it’s a delicious homemade treat. For our rendition of this famous bar, we’ve transformed it into an easy dessert and replaced the caramel layer with pecan butter! Our friends have been literally begging for the recipe. So without further ado…let’s make millionaire bars!

maple pecan shortbread millionaire bars

Why bake with pecans?

This year, American pecan farmers are asking you to pledge to make one more pecan dish this holiday season – beyond the pecan pie! They’ve launched the Super American Pecan-a-thon and are asking people to #PledgePecans – to make one more recipe with pecans in the spirit of supporting the farms and families that harvest pecans in America. To pledge, simply watch the Pecan-a-thon (an online variety show starring pecan growers), or click / download a recipe. This holiday is the perfect time to take advantage of exploring all the nutritious, delicious and versatile possibilities of cooking with pecans.

Will you #PledgePecans this holiday season? All you’ve got to do is make this pecan butter millionaire bars recipe—or another recipe at AmericanPecan.com/PledgePecans! These pecan butter millionaire bars are perfect for Thanksgiving as an alternative to pecan pie, as a Christmas cookie, and as a sophisticated New Year’s Eve recipe.

caramelized pecans | maple pecan bars
easy vegan dessert recipes

Tips for making these millionaire bars

The origin of the name millionaire bars is hard to prove: most sources claim it’s because of the rich ingredients inside! For this version, we’ve transformed these millionaire bars into an easy dessert recipe that’s a bit lighter than the original. And the best part is that instead of a caramel layer, it’s got pecan butter instead! The filling is so tasty, and it makes for a sort of cross between pecan bars and shortbread millionaire bars. Whatever the case, it’s an incredibly crowd pleasing dessert.

A few tips for these pecan butter millionaire bars.

  • You can use either butter and sugar, or maple syrup and coconut oil. Either works! The second option makes these into vegan millionaire bars.
  • Make homemade nut butter or sub store-bought! You can use any type of nut butter. We made homemade pecan butter, which requires a food processor. Or opt for store-bought peanut butter!
  • It takes a while to press the shortbread crust. Just keep pressing until it fills the entire bottom: we used a shot glass to roll the dough out into the pan.
  • You can cut these into any size you’d like! We found we liked the 1 inch by 2.25 inch rectangle. This makes 36 small millionaire bars: the perfect size for us!

This recipe was updated…

We updated this millionaire bars recipe in December 2020 to address consistencies with homemade pecan butter across kitchens all over the world.

Pecan butter millionaire bars | caramelized pecans | maple pecan shortbread millionaire bars | maple pecan bars | easy vegan dessert recipes

Looking for pecan recipes?

Outside of these pecan butter millionaire bars, here are a few of our favorite pecan recipes:

Pecan butter millionaire bars | caramelized pecans | maple pecan shortbread millionaire bars | maple pecan bars | easy vegan dessert recipes
caramelized pecans

This millionaire bars recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant based, dairy free and naturally sweet.

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Pecan butter millionaire bars | caramelized pecans | maple pecan shortbread millionaire bars | maple pecan bars | easy vegan dessert recipes

Pecan Butter Millionaire Bars


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 4.61 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 36 1x

Description

These pecan butter millionaire bars have 3 layers: shortbread, nut butter, and chocolate! This easy dessert recipe couldn’t be tastier. Recipe revised December 2020.


Ingredients

Scale

For the shortbread layer

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter (or room temperature coconut oil)

For the nut butter layer

  • 3/4 cup homemade pecan butter or creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the chocolate layer

  • 4 ounces or 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (vegan if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 9×9 inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Make the shortbread: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and kosher salt. Add the melted butter (or room temperature coconut oil) and sugar or maple syrup and stir it together with a spoon. When it starts to come together, use your hands to knead it into a dough. Use your fingers to squeeze out any lumps in the coconut oil and knead until it comes together into a playdough-like texture. Press the dough into the pan in an even layer that covers the entire bottom; you can use a small glass to help roll it out (we used a shot glass!). Bake about 15 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes until room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pecan butter (optional): Go to Easy Pecan Butter for instructions. Measure out 3/4 cup pecan butter for the recipe. 
  4. Make the nut butter layer: In a saucepan, melt the butter (or coconut oil), sugar (or maple syrup) and vanilla over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pecan or peanut butter and salt and stir until combined. Pour onto the cooled crust, shaking the pan as necessary to get an even layer. Freeze for 10 minutes. 
  5. Make the chocolate layer: Place the butter (or coconut oil) in a small saucepan over low heat and melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips, stirring until fully incorporated and liquid. Immediately pour the chocolate layer onto the top of the nut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
  6. Cut the bars: Remove the bars from the refrigerator, loosen them from the edges of the pan with a sharp knife, and remove them from the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into 1 inch by 2.25 inch rectangles, to make 36 rectangles in all. (If there is any cracking, allow the chocolate to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to warm) Eat immediately or refrigerate until serving (the chocolate hardens more after a few hours, but it’s delicious immediately too).

Notes

*We don’t recommend using gluten free flour in this recipe; it’s a bit too dry!

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: Millionaire Bars

Looking for easy vegan dessert recipes?

Here are a few of our favorite easy vegan dessert recipes in addition to these pecan butter millionaire bars:

Updated: December 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Erica S
    December 2, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Hello! Wondering if the coconut oil for the crust should be melted first before added? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 3, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      Nope, not melted — just room temperature coconut oil! I’ll add that note to the recipe. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Alex
    December 27, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    We made this for Christmas eve’s dinner and it was a total hit! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Oh we are so glad to hear this!!! Thank you so much for making them!

  • Reply
    Susan
    April 25, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Can the coconut oil be replaced with something else?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 25, 2020 at 9:01 am

      Butter will work!

  • Reply
    Jan
    August 15, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Love your recipes and love the taste of these bars! My pecan butter turned out really crumbly though. Do you know why? Is there such a thing as over processing? It also separates from the shortbread.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      August 20, 2020 at 9:57 am

      Thank you so much for letting us know. The pecan butter should come to a creamy consistency — you can drizzle in more oil and continue processing if it is too crumbly. I added a note about this to the recipe to help with troubleshooting. We are so sorry that it turned out too crumbly!

  • Reply
    Samantha
    September 10, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    I am about to make this recipe with my boys, it looks amazing. Just wondering if you an freeze this?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      September 14, 2020 at 9:30 pm

      We don’t recommend freezing since the bars can separate, but if you’re ok with the risk you can go for it!

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