To Make the Shortbread:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch square pan with a thin layer of butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add the flour and stir until well mixed. Press the batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
To Make the Toffee:
1. In a small, heavy-bottom sauce pan, melt the 1/2 cup of butter. Add the brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring continually.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour toffee mixture over the cooled shortbread.
To Make the Topping:
1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Pour over the cooled toffee and sprinkle toasted almonds across the top.
2. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes approximately 16 squares.