Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 - 40 mins
Serves: Makes approx 30 biscuits
Adapted from Mary Berry's 'Simple Cakes' book in attempt to copy the delicious Marks & Spencer choc chunk shortbread cookies.
- 8 oz (225g) plain flour
- 4 oz (100g) caster sugar
- 8 oz (225g) butter, at room temperature, cut into small chunks
- 4 oz (100g) semolina
- 2 oz (50g) chocolate chunks/drops
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- an additional 1 oz (25g) caster sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 160°C / Gas Mark 3. Line a baking tray with parchment.
Mix the flour, sugar and semolina in a large bowl (with the chocolate chunks and salt if using). Then add the butter (and vanilla essence if using) and mix it into the dry ingredients, using your hands to bring the mixture together to form a crumbly dough.
Tip the dough into the tip and press it down to a 1cm thickness with the back of a spoon. Ensure the mixture is spread in a thick even layer. Sprinkle the top with the additional caster sugar.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until pale golden. Check it after 20 minutes to make sure it doesn’t go too brown. Allow to cool in the tray for 5 minutes.
Cut the shortbread into squares. Lift them out and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Butter or better quality margarine both work. Butter spreads (Clover, Flora Buttery etc) work the best - a good flavour and easy to mix in. Butter is more solid than marg so it results in more robust biscuits.
- If you don’t have semolina, use cornflour or just more plain flour. I’ve tried it with both coarse and fine semolina and both work fine. The biscuits are slightly crunchier with the coarse semolina.
- The salt and vanilla essence are added to boost the flavour but can be omitted.
- Cadbury’s Chocolate Chunks work very well in this shortbread - Morrison’s sell them in the ‘Home Baking’ aisle.
- If the mixture doesn’t fill the baking sheet, press it down as directed and square off the end.
- Alternatively you can form the mixture into a stickier dough by adding milk or water, and then roll out and cut into shapes (see image showing the dough cut into shortbread rounds).
- The biscuits last for a week or so in an airtight tin.