Makes 24
adjust servings:

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For the cookies:

For the royal icing:

  1. Whisk the flour, and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a handheld or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, and vanilla and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add another tbsp of flour.
  4. Lightly flour a surface. Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.
  6. Once chilled, preheat oven to 180c/160°c fan/gas mark 4. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an egg-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
  7. Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the icing sugar and vanilla. Once fully incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks shiny peaks form.
  9. Divide icing up between a few bowls. We used blue, yellow, purple, and pink, ensuring to leave some icing white. Fill a piping bag with your colours and cut a very small hold at the bottom. Outline and flood with your base colours. Allow icing to set. Add decorative designs in different colours like polka dots, flowers, marbling, or stripes. Icing will completely set in about 2 hours at room temperature.