With just a dash of icing, you can achieve superb cookies
What you need...
- For the cookies
- 300g plain flour
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g butter, chilled and diced
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Cookie cutters, two sizes
- For the icing
- 400g royal icing sugar
- 3 limes, freshly squeezed
- Colour paste: pink, blue, yellow, green
- Piping bags, four
- Cocktail stick
Fairy Rings - 1 Preheat the oven to 160°C. Mix the flour, sugar and butter until they are combined and crumbly. Add the egg and vanilla, then mix again until a large ball of cookie dough is formed. Remove from the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2 Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment to a thickness of 5mm. Remove the top sheet and carefully place the bottom, with the dough on it, onto a baking sheet.
3 Push out the centres using a small round cookie cutter, then remove and save. Press out the outer rings using a large cutter, then remove the excess dough and save. Roll out the leftover dough and cut another batch of cookies while the first ones are baking. Place in the oven for 10–12 minutes, until they are just starting to turn golden.
4 Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then place them onto a wire rack to cool completely. When the first batch are cooling, roll, shape and bake the second in the same way. Mix the royal icing sugar with enough of the lime juice to allow it to just flow.
5 Divide the icing into four small bowls and add enough colour paste to each portion to make the following colours: pink, blue, yellow, green. Stir until each colour is thoroughly mixed in and the icing is smooth. Spoon into the small piping bags and snip off the ends.
6 Ice the base colour first, piping enough to cover the cookie and give a smooth surface. When it is just starting to dry, decorate with the other colours. Pipe dots and stripes, then use a toothpick to make designs.
Try some more delightful bakes in Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99). Photography by Steve Painter. rylandpeters.com