This recipe is so easy – you just make the dough and roll it out, then cut out any shape you wish. I use this to make lovely cookies for treats, presents, party or wedding favours, as well as cake decorations.
You can also use this recipe to create cookie ‘lollipops’ by baking with a stick embedded into the dough. I give these as gifts and treats.
If you want to spice things up a bit, you can change the flavourings in this mixture. For example, if you want orange or lemon cookies, instead of vanilla, you can use the grated zest of two oranges or two lemons.
To make them chocolatey, replace 25g of the plain flour with 25g cocoa powder.
Once you have mastered this recipe, it will be a loyal friend to you in your cake-decorating quest. We use it every day at my cake boutique Fancy Nancy, for piping messages, trims, borders and patterns, covering cakes or making run-out decorations to go on cakes and cookies. We also use it for sticking cake tiers together, attaching decorations and images, filling gaps and even for covering up mistakes. It’s invaluable.
This recipe makes enough royal icing to decorate around 20 cookies if you are using several colours for the designs. In each icing bag you will need at least 100g (any smaller and it’s tricky to pipe with), so you will probably have some left over. If so, it can be stored in an airtight container or food bag for up to a week. You can also multiply this recipe to make larger amounts if you are making more than 20 cookies or creating larger cakes. You can also buy ready-made royal-icing mix from most supermarkets; you just add water to it.
For the cookies
- softened butter 200g
- golden caster sugar 150g (51/2oz)
- soft light brown sugar 50g
- seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
- medium egg 1, lightly beaten
- Plain flour 200g, plus extra for dusting
- Ice cream cookie cutter
- 20 lolly/cookie sticks optional
For the royal icing
- icing sugar 500g, sifted
- medium egg whites 2
- juice of 2 lemons
For the icing