Irene’s mother makes these light buttery biscuits, preparing the dough in advance, and putting them in the oven half an hour before tea-time. They are very straightforward to make but somehow mine never taste quite as good as when they are eaten with Lapsang Souchong on the terrace in France.
2oz caster sugar
5oz S R flour
A little vanilla essence or lemon rind
Tiny pinch of salt
Cream the butter and sugar together. Work in the flour and a tiny pinch of salt and either vanilla essence (say 1/2 tsp) or some finely grated lemon rind. Form the dough into a log, wrap in cling film or foil and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour (but it will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks if you want to bake the biscuits in small batches).
Heat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. If you have a nice neat log, you can cut it into slices to make the biscuits. Otherwise, cut off small pieces and roll in your hands to form discs about 3 cm across, and put onto the baking sheet. Press the top of each one with a fork (see photo).
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden – and the whole house smells deliciously of butter biscuits.