First bake: cherry and almond shortbread

Cherry and almond shortbread

Has it really been nearly a month since my last post? Rest assured that I have been baking during that time – I’ve just found it very difficult to blog recently, what with my laptop permanently being away being fixed, a busy time at work, my boyfriend returning from a tour and a rather wonderful holiday in the Lake District earlier in the week.

One of the things I made was this lovely cherry and almond shortbread, adapted from a Mary Berry recipe for cranberry and white chocolate shortbread. I only changed the flavours because, as always, I was restricted by what I had in (and I also really love cherry and almond together, as is well documented on this very blog).

Cherry and almond shortbread 2

The shortbread was fairly easy to make. I used ground almonds as it was all I had in, and that seemed to lend the dough a rather crumbly texture. However, it looked firmer after a stint in the fridge and then the oven.

I had a bit of trouble forming the dough into a circle on the baking tray pre-chilling, and on reflection, I probably should have used a cake tin instead to make things much easier. Learn from my mistake!

Cherry and almond shortbread 4

I did have to bake the shortbread for longer than the recipe said – I’m beginning to think that my oven isn’t as hot as I think it is! However, it could also be down to my penchant for not following recipes.

The shortbread did turn out beautifully, in the end – just the right texture and very moreish. It wasn’t quite as almondy as I would have liked, but a drop of almond extract and/or some flaked almonds should help with that next time!

Cherry and almond shortbread 1

The recipe

Adapted from a recipe in the May 2014 issue of BBC Good Food magazine.

Makes 8-10 wedges

  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g fine semolina
  • 80g caster sugar, plus extra to finish
  • 50g glace cherries, chopped
  • 50g ground or flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp almond extract


  1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas 2/150C/130C and grease a baking tray or round 20″ cake tin.
  2. Stir together the flour and semolina, then rub in the butter and almond extract with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the ground/flaked almonds, cherries and sugar. Press together to form a dough and either shape into a circle on the baking tray or press into the base of the cake tin (don’t worry if this is a bit crumbly at this point).
  4. Crimp the edges with a fork if you can, prick all over and score into wedges lightly. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until pale golden. Re-score the wedges, sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool before cutting into wedges.