Shortbread is a great recipe to start with if you are not too confident with desserts. It is a staple in most restaurant kitchens, where it's used to next to a panna cotta or a tart, but it's just as good dunked in a nice cup of tea! This recipe will make buttery, crumbly, delicious fingers of shortbread, but, if you're feeling adventurous, why not try adding some orange or lemon zest, or, my favorite, a bit of lavender to your dough?
Servings: Makes 12 crunchy fingers
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 1/2 cup and 1 Tbsp. superfine sugar , sifted, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 cups (scant) all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 2/3 cup semolina or 1 cup (scant) cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 300°. Butter a 9-inch square pan. Cream your butter and sugar together with a whisk or wooden spoon until pale, light and fluffy. Add the flour and semolina or cornstarch. Mix very lightly with a wooden spoon and then with your hands until you have a smooth dough.

Transfer your dough to a floured surface and roll it out until it's an even 1-inch thick all over. Press the rolled-out dough into your pan, poking it into the corners with your fingers–don't worry about it looking perfect. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then pop it in the preheated oven for 50 minutes until lightly golden.

While it's still warm, sprinkle with a generous dusting of sugar. Allow the shortbread to cool slightly, then cut into 12 chunky finger-size pieces.