The Mary and Me Undertaking: The Very Best Shortbread

Hello everyone,

I know I am waaaay behind on the blog, but I’m not too far behind on the recipes, I think… I have still been baking and stuff, I even ventured into “Mary Berry Everday” territory last week, but I’ve just been quite busy so I fell a bit behind.

Day 14: 12 Feb 2018

Recipe 11: The Very Best Shortbread

Book: Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, pg 231

Now I can’t say whether this is, in fact, the very best Shortbread because I have never made a stand-alone Shortbread before, I did make Millionaire Shortbread once and that was quite crumbly. Also, I don’t think you can compare homemade shortbread to the mass-produced type that you get in the supermarket. That stuff is so so smooth and melty in the mouth… AMAZING.

I was having a bit of a struggle to find semolina at the supermarkets, only to realise that it is not kept in the baking aisle. (Hi, my name is Simone and I don’t like asking people for help so I only ended up figuring this out at the 3rd supermarket.)

The dough is easy to bring together and only calls for 4 ingredients. Once your dough is formed you have the strangely satisfying task of smoothing it out in a traybake tin. I dunno if it’s just me or if other people would find this part satisfying, but it just felt so nice to get the surface perfectly smooth and even.

After you have a perfectly smooth top you poke holes into it with a fork. Make sure your holes are running in the same direction as you will be cutting the Shortbread fingers, down the length of the finger.

There are 2 tricks to a good Shortbread – 1 is to use real butter because it is delicious and will give your Shortbread a better flavour than margarine. 2 is to make sure you chill the Shortbread thoroughly before baking, this helps it stay firm and keeps your fork holes from disappearing, that’s my experience at least.

After the Shortbread had chilled for a bit I decided to pop it in the oven and baked until golden brown. Taking it out, sprinkling it with demerara sugar and cutting it into fingers while it was still warm.
The Mary and Me Undertaking, Very Best Shortbread
My fork holes disappeared during baking. I assume I did not chill it enough. I blame the late night baking and my longing for my bed.

Difficulty: I think this could be medium, I think the technique is pretty important in bringing the dough together.

The verdict

I enjoyed this bake, it was pretty quick to bring it all together, but that could be due to my lack of chilling haha. I did really like the crunch/texture that the semolina gave to the shortbread.

Will I make it again? And what will I do differently next time?

I will definitely be baking more shortbread, probably with some dark chocolate chunks thrown in the mix, oooh and there’s another shortbread recipe in Mary Berry Everyday that has lemon and pistachio which I’m v excited to try. Also as a side note, I had a piece of the shortbread yesterday and it has gone softer and more melt in the mouth, they are sooooo good. P.s. I have no idea how it lasted almost 2 weeks in the cookie tin, I think Riaan must have forgotten about them, but there is one piece left and it has my name on it.

11 down, 327 to go.

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