Spiced Date and Almond Shortbread

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Shortbread Date

-Makes 24 medium cookies
-Prep time: 1 hour
-Baking time: 7-10 minutes

Ingredients
3/4 cup chopped dates*
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 cup butter (230g), room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate (optional)

TIP: Coat the dates in some flour before chopping, and then again after chopping. This makes them easier to handle.

Method

Cream the butter until smooth, then add the icing sugar until well combined and fluffy.
Add the vanilla essence, mixed spice, and pinch of salt. Mix well.
Stir in the nuts and dates.
Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing slowly until a soft dough is formed. If you feel like your dough is too soft, add flour 1 tbsp at a time until it’s easy to handle and not sticky.
Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Once your dough is cold, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare a baking sheet.
Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes, gathering the dough and cutting shapes until you have used all the dough.
Place them on the baking sheet and bake in your preheated oven for 7-10 minutes.
The tops should not brown and they will harden as they cool.

For a fancy topping, melt the dark chocolate and half-dip the cookies and allow to harden.


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