This is the only picture of I took of the shortbread, just before it went into the oven! I baked it a few hours before the great big hail storm, so I got distracted and did not take any photos of the finished product. And then I gave most of it away to my neighbors to snack on since we were up late dealing with the hail storm damage.
I have to say very few recipes really live up to their names, but this one was really awesome, so I agree with Jamie Oliver, it’s The Best Shortbread in the World. I copied this recipe out of his book when I checked it out from the library several months ago and just now got around to making it this week. I don’t recommend you wait so long!
The Best Shortbread In the World
by Jamie Oliver in Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar (I used regular white sugar)
2 scant cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
2/3 cup semolina or 1 scant cup cornstarch (I used semolina)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 9 inch square pan. Cream 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 the dough to a floured surface and roll it out until it’s and even 1 inch thick all over. Pressed the rolled-out dough into your pan, poking it into the corners with your fingers – don’t worry about it having to look perfect. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven until slightly golden – about 50 minutes.
While it’s still warm, sprinkle with a generous dusting of sugar. Allow the shortbread to cool slightly, then cut into chunky fingers.
They way I made it: I recommend using semolina flour as I think it gave this shortbread a great texture, I found mine in the bulk bins near the other flours. I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer to mix all the ingredients, I just watched it carefully and made sure not to over mix the dough. After the ingredients were all mixed well but the mixture was still a bit crumbly, I dumped it out on a sheet of plastic wrap and kneaded it just a bit. Then I pressed it down evenly into the pan with my fingers and a flexible rubber spatula before poking it all over with a fork.
After baking, I generously sprinkled it with more white sugar and then after it cooled a bit, cut it apart using a serrated knife.