The Very Best Shortbread


By now you’ve probably heard of the Great British Baking Show (or Great British Bake Off if you’re in England).

It’s a fun, laid-back baking competition filled with beautiful bakes and some silly innuendoes. The two judges are two prominent British bakers/chefs, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.


In my opinion, Mary Berry is a British national treasure. I just love her. She’s funny and a little sassy and she and Paul Hollywood play off each other perfectly.

They’ve tried to recreate the show over here. It didn’t work. It was hard to watch.



I have a book of her’s filled with 100 recipes for bakes and cakes. I was looking for a killer shortbread recipe and I stumbled upon her recipe for “The Very Best Shortbread”.

I’m always skeptical when something is called “the very best…”. But this is Mary Berry, national treasure, and she has never steered me wrong before so I made her shortbread.


Best decision I’ve ever made.

These are perfectly buttery and have a little extra crunch because she uses a combination of flour and semolina.



The Very Best Shortbread:
A Mary Berry Recipe

 You’ll need a 12″ x 9″ roasting pan or two 8″ x 8″ cakes pans

  • 8 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz. semolina
  • 8 oz. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 4 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. raw sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 285°F. Lightly grease your pan(s).
  2. Mix together the flour and semolina in a bowl. Add the butter and sugar and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture is just beginning to bind together. Knead lightly until the mixture forms a smooth dough.
  3. Press the dough into the prepared pans and level with the back of a spatula or a palette life, making sure the mixture is evenly spread. Prick all over with a fork and chill until firm.
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a very pale golden brown. Sprinkle with the raw sugar and leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then cut into fingers. Carefully lift the fingers out of the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.


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