Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

ByAlyson R. Briggs

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As soon as I saw these bars in Desiree’s cookbook Good For Your Gut, I knew I needed to make these ASAP. They are dairy free, gluten free, vegan, low FODMAP and totally delicious!

These bars are a decadent, satisfying treat inspired by millionaire’s bars, but made with wholesome ingredients. Even with the three different layers, these bars are simple to make and well worth the little bit of effort. Desiree proves once again that low-FODMAP/vegan/dairy free/gluten free treats can be zero compromise. Huge shout out to my dietitian friend Desiree for sharing this beauty from her new book! Everyone needs this one in their kitchen.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars cut into squares and stacked

About a month ago Desiree and I hopped on IG live to talk about bloating (read her amazing blog and tips here) and make these bars. These bars were a HUGE hit and swiftly devoured by my team and family. I am so excited to share this recipe and my glowing review of her new book, Good for Your Gut.

What are Millionaire’s Bars? 

This recipe is inspired by ‘millionaire’ shortbread or bars. If you haven’t heard this term before it refers a rich multilayer treat with shortbread, caramel and chocolate! Sprinkle these bars with a touch of flaky sea salt and you have a decadent treat that lives up to every cent of it’s name (lol). The best part here? This recipe is healthier than its traditional counterparts and incorporates protein-packed almond flour.

ingredients to make Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars in little bowls

Peanut Butter Desserts

It’s really no wonder I loved this recipe so much. Peanut butter and chocolate is a to-die-for combo in my world. From Peanut Butter Cookies, to Peanut Butter Pie and Chickpea Peanut Butter Blondies, I have created my fair share of recipes in honour of these match-made-in-heaven ingredients.

a bowl of peanut butter beside Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

How to Make Shortbread Bars

Desiree’s recipe is so easy to follow: I had blast making these bars with a couple simple steps.

Step 1: Make the shortbread base. 

Step 2: Make the caramel layer.

Making shortbread layer in square baking dish for Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

Step 3: Make the chocolate layer.

pouring chocolate layer onto Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars in a baking dish

Step 4: Place in fridge until firm! This is where the magic happened. I love how firm these bars got out of the fridge, and those pretty layers are so satisfying! Also the sea salt (optional) is chef’s kiss!

Good For Your Gut Cookbook

All of the recipes in this cookbook are wholesome, plant-based, packed with flavour, and nourishing for those with or without gut issues. Along with expert advice backed by the latest research, Good for Your Gut is jammed full of 100+ pages of information on the best foods to improve your digestion and the most effective ways to support your gut health throughout your lifetime. You should be so proud of this labour of love Desiree!

Good for Your Gut cookbook by Desiree Bielson beside Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

As soon as I saw these bars in Desiree’s cookbook Good For Your Gut, I knew I needed to make them ASAP. They are dairy free, gluten free, vegan, low FODMAP and totally delicious!


Shortbread Base

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup refined coconut oil*
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Caramel Layer

  • 1 cup natural smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Layer

  • ¾ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cocoa)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • flaky sea salt (optional)


Make the Shortbread Base

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°F). Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (2 L) square baking pan with coconut oil. Cut a length of parchment paper long enough to line the bottom of the pan with extra hanging over the sides.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Evenly press the mixture into the baking pan and lightly prick the base all over with a fork. Bake until the edges start to firm up and turn golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the caramel layer.

Make the Caramel Layer

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Spread the caramel mixture over the shortbread base, then place the baking pan in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate layer.

Make the Chocolate Layer

  1. In a small pot, bring 2 inches (5 cm) of water to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the chocolate chips with the coconut oil in a small heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the simmering water. Ensure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.

  2. Gently and continuously stir until the chocolate and coconut oil are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to thicken slightly. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the caramel layer. Sprinkle some flaky sea salt over the chocolate, if using. Place the pan in the fridge until firm, at least 30 minutes.

  3. Remove from the pan using the parchment paper overhang. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

*refined coconut oil is coconut oil that is hard at room temperature but has the coconut flavour removed. You can find it in most grocery stores. Substituting unrefined coconut oil will just give your bars more coconut flavour!


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