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Sticky Almond and Date Shortbread

You know we have a bit of a sweet tooth, and these little morsels combine two of our all-time favorite sweets: shortbread and sticky toffee pudding. The contrasting textures of crisp, crumbly shortbread and sticky caramel topping are divine. Take care not to overwork the shortbread dough as this will make the cookie base soggy — and we want no soggy bottoms here, please!!

Sticky Almond and Date Shortbread

7 tbs. butter, at room temperature
scant ½ cup caster sugar
1½ cups plus 2 tbs. all-purpose flour

For the topping:

4 tbs. butter
2 tbs. golden syrup
½ cup lightly packed light muscovado sugar
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup pitted dates (about 9) finely chopped

Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease an 8″ square pan, then line with parchment paper so it hangs over the edges.

in a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it just comes together but is still crumbly. Pat evenly and firmly into the prepared pan and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes.

For the topping, melt the butter, golden syrup, and sugar in a small sauce pan, Add the flour and stir until smooth, then add the almonds and dates. Spoon the mixture over the shortbread as uniformly as possible — it will even itself out in the oven — then bake for an additional 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes. Using the overhanging parchment, lift the shortbread out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into slices with a sharp knife, then leave to cool.

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