In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla essence and salt, and mix.
Sift the flour, add to the creamed butter and sugar, and mix with a wooden spoon, util well combined.
Turn out the mixture on to a bench. Lightly knead together the crumbly mixture, until a soft dough forms.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C, and prepare a baking tray with butter, spray oil or a dusting of flour.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll out to a uniform consistency, about 1cm thick.
Cut dough into shapes, place on baking tray, and bake at 180°C for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Yep, that’s the bones. Everything else is a matter of flavourings, shapes and interesting coatings.