• 125g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 80g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 115g (3/4 cup) self-raising flour
  • 100g (2/3 cup) plain flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper or use non-stick trays. Use an electric beater to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a medium bowl, scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary, until just combined.
  • Sift the self-raising and plain flours together into a bowl. Add half the sifted flours to the butter mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix until combined. Add the milk and mix well.
  • Add the remaining sifted flours and, when the mixture becomes difficult to mix with the wooden spoon, use your hand. Mix with your hand until the mixture forms a soft dough that leaves the side of the bowl and doesn't stick to your hand. If the mixture is a little dry, add an extra 1 tbsp of milk. (There should be no dry bits of dough in the bottom of the bowl.)
  • Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and then place the balls about 4cm apart on the lined trays.
  • Use a floured fork to flatten the biscuits slightly. Dip the fork in a little flour every second or third ball. (You can also flatten the balls with a lightly floured hand or fingers, the base of a glass or the side of a grater. Any decorative edge can be used to press a pattern into the top of them.) Place the trays in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160°C. Bake the biscuits, swapping the trays halfway through, cooking for 18-20 minutes or until the biscuits rise, are slightly cracked on top and are light golden underneath. Remove the biscuits from the oven and set aside to cool for about 3 minutes before using a spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.