Everyday Meals

Marry Berry five-ingredient shortbread is a cosy yet simple recipe for winter

Winter is now here which means most people are pulling on their favourite ugly Christmas jumper and staying comfy indoors rather than spending time in the chilly weather.

In December, no cosy night is complete without a toasty hot beverage and a sweet, making shortbread the perfect recipe to try out as it is super easy to bake. 

Shortbread is an uncomplicated yet delicious biscuit that is a quick recipe to prepare in around ten minutes and usually takes around 30 minutes in the oven.

Mary Berry, the cooking national treasure, has shared she has one simple ingredient to make the shortbread texture crunchier and sweeter, and that is to use semolina as part of the recipe.

In her book ‘My Kitchen Table’, Mary wrote: “For a really good shortbread it is essential to use butter. I like to use semolina as well as flour to give the shortbread crunch, but you can use cornflour or ground rice instead.”

How to make Mary Berry’s simple shortbread

Ingredients 

  • 225g of plain flour (8oz)
  • 225g of butter (8oz)
  • 100g of semolina (4oz)
  • 100g of caster sugar (4oz)
  • 25g of demerara sugar for dusting (1oz)

Kitchen equipment: 

  • 30 x 23cm (12 x 9 inches) traybake
  • Mixing bowl or food processor

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Instructions 

To begin, lightly grease your traybake with butter.

Mix both the flour and semolina together either using a mixing bowl or a food processor.

Add the butter and sugar to the mixture. Use your hands to rub the mixture together until it is beginning to come together. Continue to use your hands to lightly knead the shortbread mixture until a dough begins to form.

Press the dough into the prepared tray and use the back of a spoon or spatula to make sure it is evenly spread. Use a fork to prick the dough all over to help any trapped steam escape while the shortbread is baking.

Chill the shortbread in the fridge until it feels firm, which is essential to solidify the butter and stop the mixture from spreading too much in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 160C (320F) before placing the shortbread in the oven. Bake for around 35 minutes or until the shortbread is a pale golden brown colour.

Once ready, take out the oven, sprinkle with demerara sugar and leave to cool for a few minutes.

Use a knife to cut the shortbread into 30 fingers, and your crumbly yet buttery shortbread is now ready to serve. For storage, it is best placed in an airtight tin.

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