Vanilla pod butter biscuits
Recipe from my book, BISCUIT published by Ebury Press.
These biscuits taste delicious yet remain firm making them ideal for icing and decorating.
They will last well in an airtight container or tightly sealed cellophane bag, iced or un-iced, and will still taste fresh a week after making.
For a citrussy biscuit, you could swap the vanilla seeds for lemon or orange zest, but be aware that they will soften more quickly.
MAKES ABOUT 24
200 g unsalted butter, softened
200 g caster sugar seeds from 2 vanilla pods or finely grated
zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange
1 large egg, lightly beaten
400 g plain flour, preferably superfine 00
YOU WILL ALSO NEED
6 cm cutters (to make 24 biscuits)
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds or zest in a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then add the flour and mix on a low speed until a dough forms. If not using a mixer, bring the dough together with your hands. Shape into two flat discs, wrap tightly in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. (or you can freeze at this point)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Mark 4 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out each disc of chilled dough between two sheets of cling film, and cut into your chosen shapes. Place them on the prepared trays, spacing them about 3 cm apart, and chill for at least 15 minutes.
Bake for about 9 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. Allow to cool on the trays for about 5 minutes, then use a palette knife to transfer them carefully to a wire rack.
Leave until cold before decorating.