• 100 g butter (chopped and softened)
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (beaten)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 225 g plain flour
  • pinch of salt


  • You'll need a 5cm/2inch round, fluted pastry cutter and 2 lightly oiled baking trays.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
  • Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla essence.
  • Sift the flour and salt into the mixture and mix until the dough is firm and smooth.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently with your hands.
  • Roll it out to a thickness of 0.5cm/a quarter inch and stamp out the biscuits with a 5cm/2 inch round, fluted pastry cutter.
  • Knead together any trimmings and re-roll and stamp out more biscuits.
  • Put them on 2 baking trays, lightly oiled. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are firm and pale golden.
  • Cool them on a wire rack.