Save on Pinterest

Caramel Pecan Shortbread

My grandchildren look for Grandma's "candy bar cookies" every Christmas. I recommend doubling the recipe for these sweet treats because they go so fast. —Dorothy Buiter, Worth, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 4 dozen


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 28 caramels
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pecan halves


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in milk and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into 2x1-in. strips. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 325° for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For filling, combine caramels and milk in a large saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until caramels are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, sugar and pecans. Cool for 5 minutes. Spread 1 teaspoon over each cookie.
  • For icing, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips and milk; stir until smooth. Stir in the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • Spread 1 teaspoon icing on each cookie; top each with a pecan half. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 126 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 61mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • deannak723
    Dec 2, 2018

    This is a slightly changed version of a 1961 Pilbury Bake Off recipe winner! You can find the original on line by putting in Candy Bar Cookie in your search engine.

  • rpolen
    Jan 22, 2016

    I really tried to like these but the chocolate overpowered the taste of the caramel, which would not be a problem if it tasted good, but it didn't. This was also a very time consuming recipe and the end result was not worth it.

  • redcottagechronicles
    Oct 5, 2015

    Absolutely decadent! I made them exactly as the recipe called, but left the caramel mixture to cool a bit before spreading on each cookie. I placed a sheet of parchment below the cooling rack to catch any caramel that dripped off! I will be making these again, and again!

  • rroelse03
    Dec 23, 2011

    No comment left

  • dsullie12
    Dec 26, 2010

    No comment left

  • skb cooking
    Dec 22, 2010

    a new found christmas time treat. shortbread tastes better if slightly brown, don't under-bake

  • sheinemann
    Dec 18, 2010

    I really didn't like these. They're very putzy to make, which is fine when the end result is worth it. These weren't. The caramel mixture was thin and messy, and the chocolate icing was... well... bad. And the cookie overall just wasn't anything to get excited about. Not worth the time, the mess, or the calories!

  • FACSteacher
    Dec 13, 2010

    These are good but very time consuming to make, if you follow the recipe. I think they are worth it for special occasions but not a quick treat. I used caramel from the TOH Caramel Marshmallow Treat recipe b/c I had it leftover and really liked it. Not sure what the caramel from this one is like but the other is so smooth. The combination of caramel, shortbread, pecans, and chocolate is fabulous! I added chopped pecans to the caramel as the recipe says but also just put plain caramel on some to see the difference. I preferred it without the pecans in the caramel and with just one on top of the bar. Hoping my company will like them for dessert this week!

  • schaumann1
    Dec 13, 2010

    This is an excellent cookie and caramel recipe, but I should've taken others advice regarding the chocolate. Don't bother using the chocolate recipe provided! It seems extremely greasy and overpowering for the shortbread. I would definitely make these cookies again but use a simple chocolate glaze.

  • lindawenger
    Dec 9, 2010

    I made these yesterday and was disappointed with the chocolate frosting. Mine turned sludgy, and the butter would not incorporate. I tossed it out and made a chocolate glaze out of just some choclate chips and milk with a drop or two of vanilla. Fewer calories and a nice glossy appearance. The cookies tasted good, and I will make them again.Just a note: I had a little bit of the carmel mixture left over and we ate it with some apple slices. It makes a yummy apple dip.