I made these cookies with my new Vanilla Cookie Recipe (below). This recipe differs from my usual Buttery Sugar Cookie Recipe as it is a little firmer and uses the seeds from real vanilla pods. This is now my favourite cookie recipe!
Makes 25 medium-sized cookies
200g unsalted soft butter
200g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
400g plain flour
The seeds from one vanilla pod
In the mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla seeds till well mixed and just creamy in texture. Do not overwork or cookies will spread during baking.
Beat in the egg till well combined.
Add the flour and mix on low speed until a dough forms. Cover with cling and place in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Place dough on floured surface and knead briefly.
Roll out to 5mm thick.
Cut out your shapes, then, using a palette knife, lay them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Chill again for about 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan and bake for 8-10 mins, depending on size, until golden brown at the edges.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool before decorating.
For lemon cookies, replace the vanilla with the finely grated zest of 1 lemon.
For chocolate cookies, replace 50g of the plain flour with 50g cocoa powder. Omit the vanilla!
To find out how to decorate the cookies with Royal Icing check out my Pretty Butterfly Cookies Tutorial.
Traditional royal icing is made with real egg white, however, because of the slight chance of salmonella poisoning, I now prefer to use dried egg white instead.
20g (3/4 oz) dried egg white
90ml (2.5fl oz) cold water
500g (1lb 2 0z) icing sugar
Mix egg white and water in a bowl until smooth.
Sieve the icing sugar into a grease free bowl.
Tip in the egg mixture and beat on the slowest speed for 5 mins until the icing stands up in peaks.