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Peanut toffee shortbread

Makes about 16 bars


300g (11oz) butter, at room temperature,

plus extra for greasing

125g (4½oz) caster sugar

1 egg

175g (6oz) plain flour

175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar

2 tbsps golden syrup

½ tsp lemon juice

400g (14oz) roasted, unsalted peanuts


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, lightly grease a 18 x 27cm (7 x 11in) baking tin and then line the base and sides with nonstick parchment paper that is hanging over the sides.

Using an electric beater, cream 100g (4oz) of the butter with the caster sugar in a bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well to combine. Sift the flour into a separate bowl, then fold into the butter mixture using a large metal spoon, until just combined.

Press into the lined tin and bake for 15 minutes, or until firm, and very lightly browned. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Place the remaining butter in a heavybased pan with the muscovado sugar, golden syrup and lemon juice. Cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes, until the sugar has dissolved, stirring continuously. Increase the heat slightly and simmer for another five minutes, still stirring.

Remove the toffee from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Using two spoons, spread evenly over the shortbread base (the mixture is extremely hot). Return to the oven for another five minutes, to help the toffee to set.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out and cut into squares or small bars. To serve, arrange on plates or wrap in greaseproof paper to take on picnics, or in packed lunches.