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Stress-Busting Shortbread Recipe

If you’re anything like me, you’ll do anything to postpone revision.  Procrastination becomes an art, and if you took an exam in it, it’d be firsts all round.  There is no better form of procrastination than baking.  Not only do you avoid revision, you create a delicious treat for when you eventually force yourself to do it.  Shortbread is quick and easy, and the reward far outweighs the effort!   


225g plain flour: £0.55p for 1.5kg Tesco’s

100g dried semolina: £1.00 for 500g Sainsbury’s (currently unavailable at Tesco’s)

225g butter: £1.18 for 250g Tesco’s

100g caster sugar: £1.60 for 1kg Tesco’s

Useful Tips

  1. If correctly sized tin is unavailable, any other tin will do.  Make sure the dough isn’t too thin or thick.
  2. Use a fork to mix, otherwise the mixture sticks to the back of the spoon
  3. Don’t handle the dough too much.
  4. To check if cooked, press it gently in the centre.  If it springs back, it’s cooked.
  5. Remember, it keeps cooking once out of the oven.  Light golden brown means light golden brown!
  6. Store in an airtight container if you manage to save some for later. Be warned, it is best eaten within 24 hours.


  1. Preheat oven to 160°/140° fan.  Lightly grease a 30cm x23cm tin.
  2. Mix flour and semolina together, either with a fork, or in a food processor.
  3. Add the butter and caster sugar, and rub together with fingertips until the mixture starts to bind together.
  4. Knead lightly until a smooth dough forms.
  5. Press the dough into the tray, level off with a spoon, and prick with a fork.
  6. Place in the fridge and chill until firm.
  7. Mark out the segments or fingers before baking. Biscuit cutters can be used instead, but who has those at uni!
  8. Bake for 35 minutes or until light golden brown.
  9. Once out of the oven, cut while still warm, but do not separate. Obviously not necessary if you have used a biscuit cutter.
  10. Sprinkle with sugar while still warm. cut into wedges, or fingers, or you can use biscuit cutters. Any shape you fancy goes!

If you should be revising, but will do anything not to, then shortbread is the way to go.  Bake until you’re sick of it…and then bake some more.  We all know it’s key to have sugary snacks during exams, so really, you’re doing yourself a favour.  If you want to go the extra mile, you can always dip your shortbread in chocolate.  Go wild and enjoy!

Edited by Susan Akyeampong






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