Photo by Patricia Niven

An outer coating of sumac-sugar gives these slice-and-bake cookies a bright pop of flavor that balances the rich, buttery shortbread.

Makes 24–28 shortbreads


  1. For the shortbread:
    • 240g (8 ½ oz) butter, at room temperature
    • 120g (4 1⁄4 oz/1 cup) confectioners' sugar
    • 360g (12 ¾ oz/2 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
    • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
    • ½ tsp flaky sea salt
  2. For the coating:
    • 2 tbsp sumac
    • 2 tbsp granulated sugar


    1. Use a food processor or an electric mixer with a paddle attachment to work the butter, icing sugar, flour, vanilla seeds and salt until themixture just forms a ball of dough. It takes a while to come together, so don’t lose faith. Once it has formed, turn the dough out onto the work surface. Divide into two pieces and shape each one into a log – I prefer to make it rectangular but it is tasty in any shape.
    2. Mix the sumac and sugar on the work surface. Roll the log in the sumac-sugar to coat all over, then place in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour (or freeze it until you want to bake them).
    3. Heat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/gas mark 5. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Use a sharp knife to cut each log into 12–14 slices and place them flat on the trays.
    4. Bake for 10–12 minutes until light golden, then remove from the oven. Leave to cool on the tray before eating.

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