Sift sugar and self raising flour together in a medium-large bowl. Add butter and vanilla essence. Mix with hands until soft dough forms. Refrigerate for one hour. Preheat oven to 150°C / 300°F/Gas Mark 2. Cover a baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Gently roll out so that the dough is about 1 cm thick.
Using a 5 cm heart shaped cutter or other favoured shape cut out and place about 5cm apart onto the lined baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
All biscuits are perfect for freezing, you can even freeze the dough and bake your biscuits fresh.
Cookie dough makes a lovely gift too. Package your biscuits carefully when they are completely cold. They can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week – After a week they will not be as crisp and the flavour and overall texture won’t be as good, but they are still edible for a day or 2.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.
Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving.
If you wish to add icing or decoration, add it after the baked goods have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.