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Mincemeat and Shortbread Squares

For some, mincemeat has a bad rap. However, it’s not what it use to be: current-day versions are made without using suet, so just think of it as a lovely concoction of spiced raisins. Here it is used to perfection, nestled between layers of flakey shortbread. These squares will grace your holiday table delightfully, and all who nibble will be coming back for more — we promise!

Mincemeat and Shortbread Squares

8.5 oz. butter, softened (17 tbs.)
4 oz. golden caster sugar (½ cup plus 1½ tbs.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1¼ tsp. cinnamon, divided
½ tsp. cloves
9 oz. all-purpose flour (2 cups minus 1 tbs.)
5 oz. rice flour (1 cup)
12 oz. good quality mincemeat (or make your own)
2 tbs. granulated sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8″ square tin and line the bottom and one side with parchment.

Beat the butter, caster sugar, vanilla, 1 tsp. of the cinnamon, and the cloves together until light and fluffy. Halve the dough and press firmly in the prepared tin. Spread the mincemeat over the top, leaving a ¼” border. Pat the remaining dough into pancake-like pieces and place on top, joining together as you go. Seal around the edges with your fingers and prick all over with a fork.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the granulated sure and sprinkle over the top. Leave in the tin to cool before cutting into squares.

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