Shortbread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven
rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm)
square baking pan with aluminum foil.
In a bowl whisk the
flour with the salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer
(or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3
minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and
then add the flour mixture, mixing only until incorporated.
shortbread evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 20
minutes or until the shortbread is golden brown.
Remove from oven
and immediately scatter the chocolate chips over the hot shortbread. Return
the shortbread to the oven for a minute or just until the chocolate
softens. Remove from oven and, with an offset spatula or back of a spoon, evenly
spread the chocolate. Sprinkle the toffee bits or chopped nuts over the chocolate. Place the
pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the chocolate
has set, lift the shortbread from the pan using the edges of the foil. Place on
a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares.
Store in an
airtight container. These will keep for a couple of weeks at room temperature or in
the refrigerator. They can also be frozen.
Note: To toast the nuts. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake in a
350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Let the nuts cool completely and then finely chop.