Chocolate + Caramel Toffee Shortbread Hearts are the quintessential Valentine’s Day treat! Who wouldn’t love layers of toffee studded cookie, salted caramel and dark chocolate? Makes a great gift, too!
Heart-Shaped Millionaire Bars with Toffee and Salted Caramel
You typically see millionaire’s shortbread in bar form. I’ve made them a time or two, but this just won’t do for Valentine’s day!
Instead, we’re starting with an easy shortbread cookie recipe, studded with toffee chips and cut into heart shapes to give your sweetheart that little extra they deserve.
To keep things simple, salted caramel candies get a zip in the microwave before topping the cookies. And finally, the whole little nugget gets a dunk in melted chocolate to create a delicious treat!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Granulated sugar — I use golden sugar. It’s a little less refined than white sugar.
- Unsalted butter — at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract
- Kosher salt — add a pinch to the cookie dough to balance all that sweetness.
- Toffee chips — because, why not? They add another layer of sweet-saltiness to the cookie.
- All-purpose flour
- Salted caramel candies — no need to make caramel from scratch!
- Dark chocolate — I love bittersweet chocolate, but choose your favorite…in chips, chunks, or bar.
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How to Make Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies
Make the Shortbread Hearts
Using a stand or electric hand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter for 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and a generous pinch of salt and mix in.
Next, add the toffee chips and 1/3 of the flour. Fold them in with a spatula or wooden spoon. Continue folding in the flour, a third at a time. Toward the end, get your clean hands into the bowl and knead the dough until it just comes together, being careful not to overwork it.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Flour your rolling pin, too, and roll out to about 1/4” thick.
Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (mine is 2” across), cut out as many cookies as you can. Place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Re-roll any remaining dough and cut out another round. (Roll what’s left of the dough into two or three round cookies — the baker’s share!)
Put the entire cookie sheet in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven while the cookies chill.
Bake for 15 minutes (or up to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies). Let them cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a rack to cool completely.
Spread with Salted Caramel
Place the unwrapped caramels into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute and give it a stir. If it’s not completely melted, cook again in 30 second bursts just until melted. Stir after each burst.
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes until it’s thick enough to spread. Use a spoon or small knife to spread caramel on each cookie. Place them on a sheet pan to set up at room temperature. This won’t take too long.
Cover in Chocolate
Place the chocolate pieces into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring after each burst until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Let it sit at room temperature to allow the remaining bits to melt.
After 5 minutes…using a fork, lower a caramel covered cookie into the chocolate. Use the fork to help ‘spoon’ chocolate over the top of the cookie. Lift it out and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place the cookies on a wire rack until they are set.
Helpful Tips for Working with Melted Caramel + Chocolate
- The caramel will be very hot after melting. Don’t touch it with bare hands! Let it cool for a few minutes before working with it and use a utensil to spread.
- At any time the caramel or the chocolate cools too much that it’s hard to work with, microwave the bowl in 15 to 30 second increments until it’s a workable consistency.
- When lifting the cookies out of the chocolate, I find that it helps to drag the bottom of the fork across the edge of the bowl. This will help remove any extra globs of chocolate that didn’t drip off.
Serving Ideas for Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
These are adorbs just as they are, but feel free to amp them up with some embellishments:
- While the chocolate is still wet, add sprinkles, decorator’s sugar, coarse sea salt or more toffee chips (my personal favorite!).
- After the chocolate sets up, pipe a design with melted white or tinted chocolate.
Serve on a Valentine’s grazing board — as part of a dessert board or as a sweet treat with cheese + charcuterie.
Package a few, or a lot, to give as an edible gift to your favorite people!
Store cookies in an air tight container in a cool, dry place. Best NOT to refrigerate them.
But, Wait! Here’s More Valentine Inspiration…
- Valentine’s Day Indoor Picnic
- Cast Iron Skillet Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (heart shaped meatballs!)
- Red Velvet Pop Tarts
- Winter Sunset on The Seine Cocktail
- Baked Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze (get out those heart sprinkles!)
Chocolate + Caramel Toffee Shortbread Hearts
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter 1 stick
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup toffee chips
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 8 oz caramel candies
- 10 oz dark chocolate chunks / chips, or chopped up bar
- Cream together the sugar and butter. Add vanilla and a generous pinch of salt and mix in.
- Fold in the toffee chips and about 1/3 of the flour. Continue folding in the flour, a third at a time. Using clean hands, knead the dough in the bowl until it just comes together. Don't overwork it.
- Place the dough on a floured work surface. Flour your rolling pin, too. Roll out to about 1/4” thick.
- Cut heart shapes. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Put the whole cookie sheet in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a rack to cool completely.
- Melt caramels in a microwave safe bowl on high for 1 minute. Stir. If not completely melted, cook again in 30 second bursts until just melted. Stir after each burst. (One minute was all I needed.) Allow to cool for a few minutes until it’s thick enough to spread on the cookies.
- Use a spoon or small knife to spread caramel on each cookie. Place on a sheet pan and allow to set at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments and stir. When the chocolate is almost entirely melted, let it it sit for a minute or two and give it a final stir. The last solid bits will melt from the residual heat.
- Using a fork, lower a caramel covered cookie into the chocolate until it’s completely submerged. Lift it out and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place on a wire rack until set.
- If you want, add sprinkles, coarse sugar or salt to the tops while the chocolate is still wet. You can wait until the chocolate has set up a bit, then pipe a design with another type of melted chocolate.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.