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Caramel Cashew Shortbread Squares

Cashew’s are the nicest nut, aren’t they?  Soft and mildly flavored, they are a welcome addition to our snacks, salads, and ice cream sundaes anytime.  But, I thought it was time we had more excuses to eat cashews, and so slathered them in a bit of caramel, poured them over a layer of shortbread, and created these beautiful, simple, and entirely crave-worthy Caramel Cashew Shortbread Squares.  Even my hubby, who isn’t so much of a baked good fanatic, leant over the kitchen countertops, forking pieces straight from the pan and into his mouth.  Yep, they are that good.  And, you won’t believe how quickly they come together.

Caramel Cashew Shortbread Squares

1 (17.5 oz.) packet Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
3/4 c. butter, melted
2 1/2 c. whole roasted, salted cashews
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. maple pancake syrup
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly coat the edges of a 7×11 inch glass baking dish, or 10″ round pie plate with cooking spray. In baking dish, use a fork to combine Betty Crocker Sugar cookie mix and 1/4 c. of melted butter. Press firmly into bottom of pan to create shortbread crust.

In a medium bowl, combine cashews, sugar, syrup, vanilla and remaining butter. Pour over prepared crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes, or until mixture is bubbling and edges begin to set. Remove from oven, allow to cool until completely set (about 1-3 hours).
Slice into squares to serve.

Use a pizza cutter to cut quick, perfect portions.

Got a craving for chocolate? Melt 1 c. of milk chocolate chips and drizzle atop cut, cooled squares. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

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