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English Toffee Shortbread

Buttery shortbread becomes even more tempting when embellished with pecans and chocolate-covered toffee. Place on a platter of holiday cookies and treats, and serve with tea or coffee in the afternoon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into
      pieces
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) pecans
  • 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) finely chopped chocolate-covered English
      toffee
  • Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm) square or round cake pan.

In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt and process briefly until well mixed. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture, add the vanilla and, using rapid pulses, process until the mixture resembles fine meal. Add the pecans and process until finely chopped. Add the toffee and process just to incorporate.

Press the dough into the prepared pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until the shortbread just begins to color, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into 16 bars or wedges. Let cool completely before serving. Makes 16 cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013).