Using a toothpick, feather the icing using a toothpick and drawing the toothpick from the centre dot outwards towards the edge of the cookie.  Baking Notes:  You will need to be organised with colour pastes, piping bottles and cocktail sticks. You can use piping bags but piping bottles tend to make the whole process easier and cleaner! When chilling the dough, I usually divide mine into 2 balls and wrap them in clingfilm as I find this makes it easier to manage the dough when rolling. 
When rolling out your cookies aim to roll out the dough as few times as possible.

When not using the royal icing, cover it with a damp cloth or cling film to prevent it drying out. If the icing does dry out, add a teaspoon of water and beat it again in your mixer.

Colour pastes tend to give a better colour than liquid colouring.
Use a tooth pick to spread the icing all over the top of the cookie. Using your coloured bottles of icing, pipe a dot in the centre and then circle on co-centric circles around the dot. 

Pattaka (Firework) Cookies

It's funny how Diwali and Bonfire Night usually fall around the same time every year - This year Diwali is on 3 November and Bonfire Night on 5th November. So what could be a more fitting celebratory cookie to mark these occasions than these pattaka (which means firework in hindi) cookies? Simple vanilla sugar cookies topped and decorated with royal icing. These cookies do  involve a little more work than other cookies in that they do have to be refrigerated once the dough has been made and then chilled again once the shapes have been cut out. Not to mention the icing and decorating! However, the results are definitely worth it - delicious firm but soft vanilla cookies. These cookies are also wonderful without any icing and this recipe should yield approximately 30 cookies.

Recipe adapted from


10oz plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8oz unsalted butter

7oz caster sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 large egg (at room temperature)

11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a free standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for about 3 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest speed setting and slowly add in the flour mixture.

Bring the mixture to a dough and wrap in cling film. Chill the dough for at least one hour. You can chill the dough for longer than this - chilling the dough for up to 2 days will not do it any harm!

When you are ready to roll out your cookies, take the dough out of the fridge and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes to come to room temperature.  This will make the dough much easier to roll. Line your baking trays with parchment.

Sprinkle some icing sugar onto your surface and roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and taking a round cookie cutter (or any other cookie cutter of you choice), cut out your shapes and place them onto your prepared baking trays. The cookies may spread slightly  whilst baking so allow 6 cookies per tray.

Preheat your oven to 190C and whilst the oven is preheating, place the cookie trays back in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes before placing them in the oven.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 9 minutes until golden around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the trays for 5 minutes before moving onto cooling racks.

Allow the cookies to completely cool and then set about making the icing.

You will need 75ml cool boiled water (but do keep a little extra to hand as you may need it to thin down your icing).

Place the water in the bowl of your free standing mixer and add 450g royal icing sugar to it. Begin beating the sugar mixture on a low speed and then increase the speed and beat for at least another 5 minutes.  You may need to add a little extra cool boiled water to get the right consistency. (I needed to add another 10 teaspoons of cool boiled water to mine)  It needs to be a liquid glue consistency. To test whether the icing is the right consistency, take a spoonful of icing and let it drizzle back into the bowl. If the icing disappears back into the bowl in 10 seconds you have the correct consistency!

Place half of the icing in your piping bottle. Divide the remaining icing into 2 bowls and add food colouring of your choice to each bowl. Use a cocktail stick to add spots of colour and mix in. Add more spots as necessary to achieve your desired colour. If you add too much colur paste, add more white icing to reduce the colour intensity. Place the coloured icing into your bottles.

To ice the cookies you will need to work quickly!

Begin icing the cookies by piping the edges of all of the cookies with the white icing to make a barrier. Allow the edges to harden.

Once the edges have hardenned, flood the centre of the cookie with the white icing.