• 200 g (7 oz) chilled unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 275 g (9 oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100 g (3½ oz) icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 quantity Royal Icing (see page 15)
  • few drops of pink or lilac liquid or paste food colouring
  • selection of tiny pink sweets or cake decorations

Grease 2 baking sheets. Cut out simple pictures of a shoe and a bag from a magazine. Put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla bean paste and blend to a smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Lay the templates over the dough and, using a small, sharp knife cut around them. Place on the baking sheets, spaced slightly apart. Reroll the trimmings for extras. Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 15 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Place a little icing in a piping bag fitted with a fine plain nozzle. Pipe an outline around each cookie, slightly away from the edges, adding lines of piping for heels, soles and boot tops.

Divide the remaining icing between 2 bowls. Add the food colouring to 1 bowl. Stir a few drops of water into each bowl until the icing forms a flat surface when left to stand for 15 seconds. Use a small teaspoon to drizzle a little of the coloured icing onto a cookie, easing it to the edges and into the corners. Repeat on the remaining cookies so some are covered in coloured icing, while others are white. Before the icing dries, gently press the sweets or decorations into them. Leave in a cool place for about 1 hour. Use the remaining icing in the bag to pipe decorations such as flowers and borders on the purses and at the tops of the shoes.

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