Vanilla Shortbread with Added Crunch


I frequently bake for my colleagues, we are SharePoint experts and although I’m just the marketing manager I’m encouraged to get used to it and understand it. One of the ways they get me excited about SharePoint is by setting me up a baking page, where I run polls for my colleagues to pick my next bake and a ratings box for them to rate my bakes! This Shortbread won the latest poll.


This recipe has a surprise ingredient, polenta. It adds a crunch which I find particularly pleasing in the shortbread. Don’t tell when you feed it to people, see if they guess or simply say ‘mmmm, it’s different, but mmmm’ !



Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Number of servings: 20

See Detailed Nutrition Info on


  • 100g Vanilla Sugar or caster sugar
  • A vanilla pod (I use Pinnilla, use the empty pod to make vanilla sugar for next time)
  • 225g softened unsalted butter
  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g polenta
  • 25g sugar, for dusting
  • Apparatus

  • One swiss roll, tray bake or roasting tin about 30cm by 23cm


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease the tin, I use the wrapper from the butter to do this, saves waste.
  2. Mix together the flour and polenta in a bowl. Add the butter, sugar and scrape out the insides from your vanilla pod. Rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs, it should start to come together as you rub. Knead lightly until the mixture forms a smoothish dough. It doesn't matter if some bits are a little loose.
  3. Press the mixture into your tin and make it flat across the top with a spatuala or knife making sure the mixture is evenly spread. If your tin is a little big and one end seems thinner, push it up so there is a gap in the tin but the shortbread is all level. The mixture is tough enough that it will hold up to a little gap. This also helps you to get the out at the end.
  4. Prick all over the shortbread with a fork and then bake for about 35 minutes or until a very pale golden brown. If you have oven troubles like me keep an eye on it from 30mins onwards.
  5. Sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then cut into 25-30 fingers with a sharp knife. I didn't get my ruler out, but if you want them neat and even, do.
  6. Use a spatula or fish slice to get your shortbread fingers out and leave them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

They will last in an airtight container for a week.

Let me know what you think of my added crunch!


  1. mevscake says:

    Yum. I usually use a little cornflour in my shortbread, but crunch sounds good too! I’ll have to add this to my ever growing list of things I want to bake :o)

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