Here’s the real deal about commuting in New York City.

Unless you have some sort of armpit fetish (no judgment) or are so abnormally tall that you are the armpit that someone else’s nose just happen to be at smell-level with (if so. DEODORANT. worthwhile investment.)…it’s really just not as fun as it looks on tv.  Or in this video my brother (he’s the one in the blue cardigan) and his colleagues made for a work competition.

They really unjustly glorified the whole situation for me, don’t you think?


You see, I commuted from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side for the first time EVER yesterday. Never mind that The.Boy. and I have been dating for almost six months and in this time I’ve stayed at his apartment on a weeknight more times than I can even remember let alone count on two hands.  I guess…somehow a cab has always magically appeared right outside his building at the exact moment that I was exiting.  Every time.  Funny how that happens.

But for some reason, this time, hopping in a taxi just seemed a little…dirty. Kind of walk of shame-esque.  And not quite as real and permanent and official as commuting.

Although I can now officially tell you that commuting is much much dirtier. In many ways.

Unfortunately, though, my credit card just can’t handle the $20 ride from his apartment to mine once a week (at least!) so I think riding the 4 train up the east side is going to be the new normal.  At least until I’m a millionaire.

It’s too bad that trading these bars as currency isn’t a thing because I was rolling in these babies a few weeks ago.  I made them for our lab picnic and ended up taking home a fair amount of them which The.Boy. proceeded to devour within 24 hours.

Seriously, though.  Layers of caramel, chocolate, and shortbread all topped with a sprinkling of sea salt?  Totally viable cab fare, in my opinion.  And at the least…perfect for emotionally eating after you’ve had your personal space and smell receptors invaded for 40 minutes at an hour of the morning that is far too early for such things.

Not that I know that from experience or anything.


Millionaire’s Bars
Makes about 3 dozen bars, adapted from Baked and Annie’s Eats

For the shortbread:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar

For the caramel:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate:

  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • fleur de sel or sea salt for sprinkling


  1. To make the shortbread, preheat the oven to 325.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mix until just incorporated.  Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. For the caramel, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Continue simmering and stirring until the mix turns an amber color and thickens a bit.  Pour over the shortbread layer as evenly as possible, and allow to cool completely and set by chilling in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  3. For the chocolate layer, in a double boiler, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter over simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth,  Pour evenly over the caramel layer and use an offset spatula to smooth it out.  Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle on the fleur de sel.  Chill, covered, until ready to slice or serve.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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96 Responses to Millionaire’s Bars (Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars)

  1. Oh my – these look so decadent and very, very delicious! Love salted caramel…. and chocolate… and shortbread!

  2. OohLookBel says:

    I’m waiting for the day when sweet baked goods are considered legal tender. We’ll be rich, I tell ya! Love the sprinkle of salt on these delicious bars.

  3. Cara says:

    Good thing he took care of those in such a short time – that would be dangerous for me!

  4. Holy moly these look absolutely stunning and delectable. The perfect combination of flavors!!

  5. Amy says:

    Omg. WANT. Want badly! And hey, don’t worry…once he’s a lawyer and you’re a doctor, you’ll both be making so much money, you can hire your own personal driver!

  6. Foodycat says:

    Oh wow – I’ve never seen such deep-filled or lavishly-topped ones before! How gorgeous!

  7. wow This is decadent! I wish I could have one now.

  8. Danielle says:

    I could eat these right now – for breakfast and maybe again for lunch and dinner.

  9. Ugh, I know, commuting in nyc is the worst. My trick is to wake up a little earlier and get on the local 6 instead of the crowded 4/5. I always get a seat (at least after a couple stops) and don’t have to deal with being smooshed next to someone with nasty odors emanating from them. I totally wish I could afford taking cabs everywhere! You know, you should really try to offer these to a cabbie as payment and see what he says…they look delicious enough that he just might accept!

  10. Johanna GGG says:

    oh this makes me feel a little guilty because I asked E what to bake and this was his answer – so you see he would accept these as currency if he was a cab driver but I suspect he would prefer to not have to drive a cab to earn them – guess I should make some!

  11. Ugh… That is gross… I sat next to a guy with awful awful body odor on a flight from Seattle to Newark once. To make things worse, the plane had to circle over the airport for about 15 minutes when we got there coz the runway was busy. I about died. These bars though I would love to circle on… So rich and generous! And yes, you will soon be a millionaire Joanne!

  12. Joanne, you know what the best alternative is? Biking! 🙂
    Glad to here things are going well with The.Boy. 🙂

  13. Sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. I once had the same problem! You know if I were a cab driver, I ‘d gladly take these as cab fare.

  14. Hotly Spiced says:

    I just can’t stand over-crowded trains with sweaty passengers. Not good. And why don’t people understand it’s not acceptable to lag behind with personal hygiene. And some of these people have partners! Their tolerance levels must be so much higher than mine. Speaking of ‘high’, I just love your slice. Chocolate caramel is my favourite xx

  15. Imma make it rain with these millionares bars… (but then you know about my love for salted caramel anything so I’ll keep a few for myself before making it rain)

  16. Beth says:

    What a decadent combination!

    I’ve done my share of commuting in Toronto and, although it had its moments, it wasn’t a bad way to get around. I never did earn that million dollars that would have let me take a daily cab to work.

  17. Gloria says:

    Ah Joanne this look stunnig and delicious!
    Please take care Im scare with this shooting in.NY really crazy:(

  18. the boy.
    you kill me.
    i often wonder if i hd to call my hubby a similiar term for “the boy”, what would it be?
    the inhaler, the fartinator? the messinator?
    nice looking bars btw 🙂

  19. Jenna says:

    I’d accept these as fare if I was a taxi driver. Yep.

  20. My commute is just sitting in traffic for 45 minutes to an hour to go 30 miles. Not fun! But to ride a train with your face in arm pits, not thank you! Thats just icky! But your millonair bars are not! Wow they are gorgeous and look fantastic! Yummy!!

  21. sandra says:

    WOW – these look so incredibly amazing, so richly satisfying, so, um, heavy on the hips? that I know I must never ever in a million years make them, or I, like the.boy. will devour them in a heart beat.

  22. Delicious! I would gobble these right up!

  23. Tandy says:

    I would pay cab fare prices for a plate of those!

  24. Megan says:

    I love millionaire’s bars… I think of them as a really, really good Twix bar. And now I really want some! (And commuting by T/train is the worst!)

  25. Pam says:

    Those would be lovely to come home to after a odorific ride home.

  26. These sound fabulous (and photograph quite well!)

  27. Yeah, I grew up in NYC and there’s really not much worse than the 456 at rush hour. Hopefully the second avenue subway will help decrease a lot f the traffic!

  28. Your commuting story reminds me of when I was commuting into London every day…I don’t miss that! Your Millionaire’s bars look wonderful – they are one of my favourite treats, and your recipe sounds delicious.

  29. Eileen says:

    Commuting from Brooklyn is horrible! I used to have to take the G to the A/C to the F every single day, and later the G to the E/V. FUN TIMES. Tasty treats definitely help–at least after you get out of the subway. 🙂

  30. Nelly says:

    Um. I’m gonna make a batch of these specifically on my cheat day because lord knows they’re not gonna last. Also, your brother is freaking cute!

    I’m so lucky to live a mile and a half from school AND two of my three workplaces. Now if only I could brave the ghetto and actually walk one of these days…

  31. Gross, thankfully in Ottawa there isn’t much commuting going on. It’s a weird city. I freaking love these bars though – beautiful!

  32. They look fantastic! Having one or two of those for the trip to the East Side might make the commute a little better. Maybe not, but they do look amazing!

  33. Sarah Caron says:

    Oh. My. Those are like sexy, cool, swoonworthy, fabulous and amazing all rolled up into one. They *should* totally be currency.

  34. Oh my god…I would TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY accept these as a form of payment. They’re insane. And I’m hooked – on the photos. I need to make these and I need to eat them. Soon.

  35. Erica says:

    $20…Wow!Those bars look amazing,Joanne!Your pictures look better every time I come to your blog! Drooling here!

  36. Kari says:

    I wonder if you could bribe your fellow commuters? I’ll give you a batch of these if you all just move that way and squish up against each other so I can have some personal space.

    Either that or use them to bribe your boy somewhere more conveniently located…:)

  37. Christine says:

    Commuting in LA is just the same. With a slight twist…one person alone in one car speeding along at 2-10 mph on a 10 lane freeway surrounded by about a gajillion other individuals in their cars, so still no personal space. But at least there’s no armpit odor involved unless it’s your own. I can’t believe you had any of those bars left after your lab picnic!

  38. This is an awesome post Joanne and reminds me of my NYC living days. I kind of sorta miss stinky cab drivers now. Oh, and I really want some of these millionaire bars and some millions too 😉

  39. I’ve been wanting to make these forEVER. I’ve pinned them, saved multiple recipes, and just never get around to it. I know why. I’d gorge myself on them. By myself. I’m a caramel lover. You’ve inspired me to just make them.

  40. That Girl says:

    commuting will make you a real city resident AND a stronger, better, more tolerant person.

  41. Jenn Kendall says:

    i totally believe that these should be accepted as legal tender in this country.

  42. Mary says:

    I loved the video 🙂 and I really love your millionaire bars. They look delicious. The combination of chocolate and caramel is really hard to resist. Have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  43. There has to be some cab driver who would take a batch of these for a ride, at least halfway. 🙂

  44. I’m totally digging this version of millionaire bars! The thick softer layer of chocolate is such a better idea than the hard chocolate I did when I made mine way back when. Saved! Sorry about your smell receptors being invaded. 😉

  45. Elizabeth says:

    I LOVE millionaire’s shortbread. PS, we seriously need to meet up. I’m in orientation for another week, but hopefully when things settle down, let’s do it.

  46. These are always a delicious thing to eat. Your look generous and beautifully baked

  47. Dining Alone says:

    I have never been on a subway, have ridden trains, but no subway. Doesn’t sound fun to me at all 🙂 Those bars look freakin delicious, I would gladly drive you around for some 😉

  48. Leau says:

    Hi, I come to this blog repeatedly for great recipes and inspiration, you have such fun with food. I do have a question for you…I am allergic to coconut…like really, really, really…stop breathing kind of allergic and must read every label, ask in every restaurant, etc. So… what can I use as a substitute for it? I have just avoided any of the recipes that include it, but I would love to make some of these that sound so amazing….and still kept doing that annoying breathing!

  49. oh my goodness Joanne!!! Look at all those layers of goodness!! Shortbread, caramel and chocolate!! What more can one ask for?!

  50. I seriously hate NYC subway commuting but it wins every time on price. These = perfection!

  51. Guru Uru says:

    That shortbread slice is perfection my friend, stunning 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  52. Katie says:

    The layers on those bars are really, really beautiful! And the train gets better the more you ride it, I think. I like the subway card swipe way more than paying for cab fares. I rarely bring myself to pay for a cab–I’d always rather go out to eat with the money!

  53. MM says:

    I’m thinking these babies could by just about anything.

  54. Roz says:

    Oh my gosh, Joanne, if I make these (and I will) my nutrition focus is done with! But I love you for it anyway! :-)!

  55. Lori says:

    These look so good. I mean . so so so good!

    I havent visited your blog in so long. I have lots to catch up on.

  56. kyleen says:

    I LOLed at that video. Your brother and his colleagues are awesome. And those bars look. So. Amazing. Chocolate, caramel and shortbread–you can’t go wrong.

  57. If only bars = currency. You’d seriously be a billionaire because I’d buy them all! 🙂

  58. Lora says:

    These are gorgeous!

  59. That is absolutely horrible!! I can’t stand it when things like that happen…although I have encountered it quite a few times. 🙁 Your bars are awesome, makes up for the bad ride I’m sure. 😉

  60. Kristina says:

    Ooo I’ve been eyeing that recipe in Baked for so long now, these look SO. GOOD. !!

    Haha and you are too funny – commuting is definitely not a glamourous sport. The L in chicago is dis-gusting too! Better than dropping $20 for a cab though! You should still try to trade one of those bars for a free cab ride…if you get a hungry cabbie at like 2 am I swear he’ll go for it… 🙂

  61. That commute is what makes me afraid of NY. It’s like another world to me that I am afraid to step into! Way to go. If I were a cab driver, I’d let you pay me in millionaire’s bars.

  62. Mary says:

    I would have exactly no self-control with these bars in the house. They sound divine!

  63. I only heard of millionaire’s bars a year or so ago and have been wanting to try them ever since, but I always think they’re too much work to make .. I wish I could reach through the screen and grab one of yours instead!

  64. Cathleen says:

    Well maybe everything seems better on a friday, even commuting :p
    I would definitely accept these as currency, these look like heaven in a bar!

  65. teresa says:

    first of all, that video was priceless. second, wouldn’t the world honestly be a better place if we really COULD pay with delicious treats. i think we’d all be in such a better moods, and our homes would forever smell of baked cookies.

    these are fantastic! a homemade candy bar, yum!

  66. These are so gorgeous! I wanted to reach in the screen and grab one so badly!

  67. Ooooeee! These look so good, Joanne, and that sprinkling of sea salt is divine. 🙂 Public transportation is such an adventure, isn’t it? And I totally agree, deodorant should be a requirement for such ventures!!

  68. Reeni Pisano says:

    If I were a cab driver these would be perfectly acceptable payment! They are utterly divine.

  69. Katerina says:

    Well if I was in New York and had a car, I would have been more than happy to drive you in exchange for these cute little treats!

  70. Shannon says:

    these should TOTALLY be currency 😛 over the top, indeed!

  71. goodie gumdrops…what beauties!
    i’d like to come over now.

  72. Elizabeth says:

    I might have to make these for my next work party. Because I guarantee you that if I make them for home, they will be devoured in less than 24 hrs.

  73. Natalie says:

    just ventured to Brooklyn for the first time on Saturday when I was in NYC for the weekend!! I was too tired on the way home at the end of the night to even notice the commute 🙂

    these bars are AMAZING–when I made them I only did half of the caramel filling, I can’t even imagine how rich these are!

  74. These look so good!! I mean so good that I probably would eat way to many of them!!

  75. Wow darling, these would make anyone feel better after a grungy train ride.

  76. grace says:

    those are some pretty perfect slices, joanne! and for the record, i could never live in a heavily-populated place–having lots of people in tight spaces makes me SO antsy and uncomfortable!

  77. vianney says:

    insane delish Joanne!! i was in NYC for three days and WOW, communting is major!!

  78. Esi says:

    I’ve been wanting to make these for ages. Such a delicious treat.

  79. Nicole says:

    oh my frickin god – i need to go make these, like right now!

    I don’t have any unsalted butter, really only margaine, but i’m going to give it a go!

  80. Chris says:

    Wow, those are some beauties! I’m not big on sweets but I couldn’t take my eyes off of these, fabulous. No calories, right? 🙂

  81. Your story reminds me of when I briefly tried to make a go of it in Chicago right after college. I am from Mississippi. We don’t have subways. So here I am riding the subway to a temp job downtown and a homeless guy falls asleep on my shoulder! Talk about freaked out. Maybe I could have tempted him with some of these bars to please move to another seat?

  82. Candace says:

    I’ll take one of these for dessert right now. Wow! They look amazing!

  83. Caroline says:

    Can’t wait to make this….and eat it!!!

  84. Anonymous says:

    I am 2/3 of the way through making these- just poured the caramel. Just a note- the caramel developed a sort of film on top while I was waiting for it to boil and I couldn’t tell if it was actually boiling or just bubbling around the sides. I decided to give it a stir and it was REALLY boiling. I’m lucky it didn’t overflow. a little burned along the bottom, so my caramel isn’t spotless or anything, but it still tastes awesome. If you want perfect caramel that looks like the stuff in the pictures, begin stirring as soon as there are constant bubbles around the edges of the pan. Also, if you experience what I did- pull the pan from the heat IMMEDIATELY. They’re still going to be delicious thank goodness.

  85. These look stunning and sound fabulous. Once some of the sweets die down around here, I must try them!

  86. […] One year ago…Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars […]

  87. sandra says:

    These have been haunting me… I just made my first batch of caramels and I think I have found my calling. Granted they were Smitten Kitchen Apple Cider caramels, but still they were the best things that have come out of my kitchen in a very long time. I think I might try a version of this with them…

    And, (squeal) how did I miss that video the first time around – hilarious!

  88. […] many recipes online that are like this one (practically verbatim) but I’ll toss the credit to eatswellwithothers. My daughter Jill and I found a few minor problems which we fixed, and I’ve mentioned them […]

  89. […] Aptly named for “The Wolf’s” millions, these bars from Eats Well With Others are so good , you might feel like you’re doing something illegal. Recipe here. […]

  90. […] via […]

  91. I made these. This is the recipe I’ve been dreaming of. I’ve made Millionaire’s Shortbread many times and I’ll come back to this recipe. Thank you!
    I cooked the caramel to 220 *f and it was a little soft at room temperature and perfect cold.

  92. Kay says:

    First, I LOVE this recipe and make it every year!! This is the best recipe around! THANK YOU!!

    Second, I have never attempted to freeze these. Does anyone know if they would freeze well?? I’d love to be able to make them ahead of time.

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