500groyal icing sugar(or icing sugar and three sachets of egg white powder)
gel food colouringleaf colours and black
For the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Then line one large or three medium baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in large bowl, then using your hands rub in the cold butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl, mix the egg and maple syrup together then pour into the butter mixture. Using your hands, knead until a dough forms.
Liberally flour your work surface, and tip your dough out. Then using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until roughly 1/2inch thick. Then using your leaf cookie cutters, cut out leaf shapes and place onto the baking trays with a little room around each. Try to only re-roll the dough once if needed. Then place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes,
Tear a few scraps of baking paper off and scrunch into small balls. Then remove the chilled baking trays from the fridge and place the paper balls under around half of the biscuits. Place some directly underneath the leaf, some under one edge or side. Then bend the leaves slightly around the paper balls.
Bake the biscuits for 16mins until lightly golden. Leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes, before removing the paper balls and placing the biscuits on a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the biscuits have been baked.
For the icing: Mix the warm water with the royal icing sugar in a large bowl, until you reach 'flood' consitency. Check this by holding the whisk up above the bowl and letting the icing drizzle back in. You want the icing to dissolve back into the surface in 10 seconds. If it takes less time than this, add more sugar. If it takes more time than this, add a little more water.
(If you're making your own royal icing, place the egg white powder into a bowl and mix in 2tbsp of the warm water. It will be slightly lumpy at this stage, then add the remaining 4tbsp warm water and whisk until the mixture is frothy like egg whites. Finally add icing sugar in and whisk again until smooth and at flood consistency.)
Divide the icing into four bowls and mix in your chosen leaf food colourings to each. Then place each colour icing into a piping bag and snip the very end to create a small opening.
To decorate: Pipe the outline of your cooled biscuit with one of the coloured icings, then 'flood' liberally and using a scribe (or toothpick) coax the icing to spread evenly, Then place on a cooling rack to dry and harden. Repeat with all biscuits.
Finally, in a small bowl mix a little black food colouring with a dash of water. Then using a paintbrush, paint veins onto the dry and hard icing. Then leave to set again.
Biscuits will last at least a week in an air-tight container.