Sunday, 25 January 2009

Vanilla butter biscuits

Sometimes the simplicity of a biscuit or cake is what makes it so special. That’s the case here. These little vanilla biscuits are heavenly. You could dress them up if you wanted to – you could pipe the biscuit dough and then, when baked, dip the ends in melted chocolate; one day I will probably do that. But for now, I just wanted a lovely plain biscuit that was crumbly and buttery and had a hint of vanilla.

I used vanilla to flavour these but the basic butter biscuit recipe would suit any flavour. You could use any flavoured sugars instead of plain caster sugar, and when baked there are infinite ways you could decorate these. You could even make a buttercream and sandwich two of the biscuits together.

The biscuits are crumbly and buttery like shortbread, but unlike some shortbreads they are not gritty.

As the recipe included quantities in cups, I have set them out in the ingredients list below.

115g (1.5 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons icing sugar
150g (1.25 cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To sprinkle on top before baking: 4 teaspoons vanilla sugar

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes so don’t skimp!
- Beat in the flour and vanilla and mix until you have a dough.
- Take teaspoons of the dough and roll into balls. Put a maximum of 12 balls on each baking sheet as the biscuits expand a little when baking.
- Using a fork, gently press down onto the biscuit balls to flatten. Don’t press too hard.
- Sprinkle the vanilla sugar over the biscuits making sure that some settles into the grooves left by the fork.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Mine took 18 minutes.
- Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving onto a wire rack to cool completely. This is because biscuits are always fragile straight from the oven and need to harden up.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


glamah16 said...

Simplicity is best. Perfect to eat with coffee or tea.

Rhiannon said...

They look lovely :D I think piping them out and dipping in chocolate would work well but at the same time kill me as I wouldn't be able to stop myself from eating the whole batch!

Sarah said...

Have I mentioned lately that you are my hero?

Rosie said...

What little beauties - simplicity is all that is required at times like these biscuits, perfect!

Rosie x