# vanilla pod, halved lengthways
# 100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
# 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
# 300g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
Takes 15 minutes to make, 15 minutes in the oven, plus chilling and cooling
1. Using a knife, scrape along the cut side of the vanilla pod to remove the seeds. Place the seeds in a large bowl with the sugar and mix well (store the vanilla pod in a jar of sugar to flavour the sugar). Add the butter and mix with a wooden spoon until lightly creamed. Add the flour and a pinch of salt, then mix to a soft dough. Turn out, wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until about 5mm thick. Use an 8cm round fluted cutter to cut out the biscuits, re-rolling the trimmings to make 24. Transfer to 2 large, greased baking trays. Sprinkle with sugar, then chill for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway, until pale golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and crisp up. Place the shortbread in a large storage jar ready to take to the picnic.
Store the shortbread in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days.
7.2g fat (4.6g saturated)