Makes 48 squares
To heighten the toffee flavor, substitute toffee baking bits for half of the chopped almonds.
Cookie Exchange Tip
This is another of those always-popular cookie-exchange selections: Toffee-laced squares appeal to just about everyone. Dress them up a little by weaving lengths of gold metallic ribbon through the stacked cookies.
Today's busy bakers want to make a gorgeous variety of delicious Christmas cookies without spending days upon flour-smudged days mixing, rolling, and baking. This is your guide to the Christmas cookie exchange, where everyone shows up with a few batches of homemade cookies to swap. It's all the variety without the fuss! Red-and-white striped edges make this adorable book look like a Christmas present, with 120 recipes to choose from, plus tips for decorating, planning, and throwing the party.© 2013 Virginia Van Vynckt / Chronicle Books · Reproduced with permission.
Preheat the oven to 350Â°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment.
Prepare the crust. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. The dough will be stiff. Pat the dough evenly over the bottom of the baking pan.
Bake in the center of the oven until pale gold on top, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and scatter the chocolate pieces evenly over the crust. Return the pan to the oven for 1 minute. Remove the pan again and, using a knife, spread the chocolate evenly over the crust. Sprinkle evenly with the almonds.
Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, cut into small squares, then carefully remove from the pan with a small offset spatula or an icing spatula.