…little hand-painted tiles of sugar biscuit…
You will need:
For the sugar biscuits (makes 20 biscuits 7cm square)
110g unsalted butter at room temperature
220g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
300g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
For the royal icing
330g icing sugar, sifted
2 medium egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
To make your biscuits: Preheat oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Roll into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for an hour.
Remove your dough from the fridge and leave to stand for ten minutes roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of 5mm, dusting your dough with flour as needed. Cut a 21cm x 14cm rectangle and transfer to your baking tray. Press the scraps together and cut a further two rectangles the same size, then finally use the remainder of the dough to make a 14cm x 7cm rectangles.
Bake for 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven. Turn the trays halfway through to ensure they bake evenly. Use a ruler to trim the edges and cut 7cm squares as quickly as you can before the biscuit hardens. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before icing.
To ice your biscuits: use an electric mixer to combine all the icing ingredients. Then place the icing in a piping bag, fitted with a small plain tip, and pipe firstly around the edges of each biscuit, and then fill in the central area. The icing should be runny enough to find its own level. Let it dry completely before using the blue gel to paint images on your biscuits.