Vanilla Petal Cookies
Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment. Put the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Whisk in the egg yolk and 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) Madagascan Vanilla Extract.
Sieve over the flour and Baking Powder and carefully mix together to make a mixture that resembles a crumble topping. Using your hands, bring the mixture together to form a firm dough. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and pliable.
Divide the mixture in half and roll out to a thickness no greater than 5mm (1/4 inch). Using a 6cm (3 ¼ inch) petal cutter stamp out approx. 20 cookies, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Arrange on one of the prepared baking trays, prick light with a fork and chill for 1 hr.
At this stage of the recipe you can either wrap and freeze the remaining dough for up to 6 months to use at a later time or roll it out as above and make a further 20 cookies. Place on the other baking tray, prick and chill.
Ten minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan, Gas Mark 4). Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until firm and very lightly golden round the edges. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cookies are cool, they are ready to ice. To make the Royal Icing, make up the Egg White Powder as directed on the packet. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the remaining Madagascan Vanilla Extract and the blended egg white.
Carefully combine the wet and dry ingredients together to make a soft, spreadable icing – if it is too stiff add a few drops of water, or if too dry, add some more sifted icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Beat until smooth and glossy.
Divide the icing between 3 bowls. Leaving one batch white, colour one with a few drops of Red Gel Food Colour to make a pastel pink shade, and the other with a few drops of Yellow Gel Food Colour to make a pale yellow icing.
Working with one batch at a time, spoon approx. 2 tbsp icing into a small piping bag fitted with a No. 2 size plain piping nozzle. Pipe a line approx. 1mm from the edge of one third of the cookies.
Next, spoon approx. 3.75ml (3/4 tsp) of the icing into the centre and gently spread it to fill the centre, tapping gently to make an even layer and release any air bubbles. Add a little more icing if necessary in order to achieve a smooth, well-covered surface. Place back on the wire rack whilst you ice the remaining cookies.
The icing will be firm enough to pipe on after about 1 hour, so if preferred, use any remaining icing left in your piping bags to give some extra detail to your cookies. For a firmer set, leave the icing to dry for 4 hours – this icing will not dry out to a crisp but will become more solid the longer it is left to dry .
To finish, use a small dot of any remaining icing to secure a wafer daisy in the centre of each cookie. Leave for a few more minutes until set in place before serving.