From sifting the snowy white icing sugar onto soft butter, beating it til it transforms to a creamy cloud; not even the dark amber of the vanilla sullies its white purity. The powdery cornflour makes it even silkier; you'll find no resistance as you fold the flour with your wooden spoon, only smoothness. These are not biscuits that you 'bash' up - rather, they invite sleek, dreamy caresses.
Then, somehow, there is enough mass to roll this buttery, palest dough - a word too heavy for this mix - into blonde balls. Even pressing the tines of a fork into each biscuit, flattening them down gently, is a remarkable visual joy. I defy you to make these and not see the beauty in the process.
And of course, in the final product - a tenderly melting biscuit, defiantly pale, and elegant in their spareness.
From the Australian Women's Weekly 'Biscuits, brownies and biscotti'. I halved the recipe, and I did not sandwich them together with a cream as is the norm.
- Preheat oven to 170 and prepare a couple of baking trays.
- Cream 125 gms soft butter with 1/4 cup icing sugar (sifted in) and 1/2 tspn vanilla - all til smooth and fluffy.
- Sift in 3/4 cup plain flour and 1/4 cup cornflour, then fold thru til combined.
- Working briskly (especially if the weather is warm), take up a small spoonful of mixture - equivalent roughly to 2 tspns - and roll into a ball. Place on your baking trays and flatten gently with a fork dipped in flour.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stand on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to racks to cool.