I'm sorry I can't remember when I found this recipe, but it is simple to make and the variations are endless. I have been working through a few different recipes to test drive them prior to putting together my Christmas hampers. (Part of this years Christmas gifts).
1 cup (250g) butter or margarine
1&1/2 cups caster sugar
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time, then flour and vanilla. Roll into 3 long snakes. (I ended up making 4 as mine were about the thickness of a 20c piece). Wrap each in alfoil (I prefer to use cling wrap) and then freeze.They will keep in the freezer for about a month.
To use: Still frozen, slice cookies off the snake onto a greased tray; bake till very pale gold @ 200C. Remove from try while still warm. Store in a sealed container when cool.
A few flavourings:
Chocolate: add 2 tbs melted chocolate to the mix.
Orange or lemon: omit the vanilla and add 2 tbs grated lemon or orange zest.
Ginger: add 1 tbs ground ginger
Jam: put a splodge of jam in the centre of each cookie
Nut: add chopped nuts - about 3/4 cup tot eh mix. They must be chopped or the mix will crumble when you are trying to slice it.
Oatmeal: substitute 1 cup rolled oats for 1 cup of flour (ginger with this variation is apparently nice too!)
Choc chip: add 1/2 cup coarsely grated chocolate - must be grated not choc chips as mix will crumble.
Coconut: add 1/2 cup of coconut; this is also good with orange zest or the jam splodge or both instead of the vanilla.
From what I have read about these types of recipes if you only refrigerate, but don't freeze the mix you can add chunkier ingredients. This would also work for the jam drop type ones as you could make the little indents int he top to make then look more like jam drops.
The longer these biscuits are in the oven, the harder they get. I found about 12 minutes was enough in my oven - keep an eye on your first batch and go from there. If you only refrigerate but don't freeze maybe try then at 180C. I'll be interested to read your feedback :)
Back to my regular blogging soon I promise!