Begin by creaming the butter and sugar in a freestanding mixer. You can do this by hand but be prepared for a workout.
Scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod and add these to the mix.
Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
Add the flour and beat until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Remove the dough from your mixer and wrap tightly in clingfilm. This will need to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before you use it.
You can make your dough up to 1 week in advance.
When you are ready to bake your cookies, roll out your cold dough on a floured surface, using marzipan spacers to give you an even thickness.
Do not be tempted to knead your dough to warm it up – you will need to work hard to flatten this cold dough but it needs to be cold for the cookies to hold their shape.
Cut out your cookies and lay these on a baking sheet, prepared with baking paper, and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool. This helps them to hold their shape.
These cookies will take around 10 minutes to bake, in a 180°C oven, and are ready when they are golden brown and firm. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
Mix your royal icing in a freestanding mixer to ‘stiff peaks’ stage and add a teaspoon of Red Extra food colouring paste (enough to turn your icing a vivid scarlet). Spoon a quarter of this icing into your piping bag with a small round piping tip.
Pipe a line of icing around the edge of your heart cookies and press your silver dragees into this line. Leave to dry for a few minutes.
Add enough water to your remaining red icing to make a consistency that is runny enough to leave no ripples in it when the beater is removed from the bowl.
Pour this icing into a squeezy bottle – trust me, you will thank me for the convenience of the squeezy bottle!
Squeeze your runny red icing onto the top of your cookie. Fill the top surface but don’t go all the way to the edges. Instead, use a cocktail stick to tease the icing to the edges of the cookie.
Once the top of your cookie is completely covered, sprinkle with red edible glitter and leave to dry for at least an hour before eating!
Recipe courtesy of Charlotte White at Restoration Cake.