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These cookies are almost too pretty to eat... almost.
If you're baking cookies to give as a gift, we thing these are about as good as you get. They are decorated in beautiful different coloured ready-to-roll icing and topped with piped royal icing flowers. This makes them easier to make than traditionally iced biscuits, which use the flood icing method. But they look just as good. Present them in cellophane bags of two or three, or layer them up in boxes, with a piece of greaseproof paper between each layer. They look so professional, but they're really not difficult to create.
For the cookies:
- 25g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 medium egg
- 250g plain flour
- Few drops of vanilla extract
For the decoration:
- Approx 500g sugarpaste in assorted colours, eg, pink, blue, yellow and orange
- 500g packet royal icing sugar
- Paste food colourings in blue, yellow, pink and orange
- Sugar-coated chocolates, eg, Smarties
You will also need:
- Baking sheets lined with baking parchment
- Blossom-shaped cookie cutters
- Piping bags and plain writing piping tubes, eg, No 2
- Set the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
- Cream together the butter, sugar and salt, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg with a spoonful of flour. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the rest of the flour, until the mixture binds together to form a dough. If the dough is very soft, put it in a plastic bag and chill until it’s firm enough to roll out.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick and use the cutters to cut out an assortment of sizes. Place them on lined baking sheets.
- Bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes, or until the cookies start to turn golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and slide the cookies on to a wire rack. Decorate immediately, so that the sugarpaste will stick to them from the heat of the biscuits.
- Knead the sugarpaste to soften it and roll out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Use the cutters to cut out shapes and press on to the hot biscuits.
- Colour the royal icing with food paste colourings and fill piping bags with the writing tubes. Pipe petal shapes on the cookies and place a sweet in the centre of each flower before the royal icing dries.
- Leave the icing to dry and set before serving. Once dry, store cookies in an airtight container, with baking parchment between layers, for up to 5 days.
Top tips for making flower cookies:
You can flavour your cookies with other extracts instead like almond, orange or caramel.
You might also like:
Chocolate chip cookies (opens in new tab)
Sugar cookies recipe (opens in new tab)
Peanut butter cookies
Sue McMahon is a former Food and Recipes Writer at GoodTo and Cooking Editor at Woman's Weekly. Her primary passion is cakes and Sue regularly travels the world teaching cake decorating. Her biggest achievement to date was winning the Prix d’honneur at La Salon Culinaire International de Londres beating over 1,200 other entries.
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