Mix the butter, sugar and seeds from the vanilla pods together until thoroughly incorporated, but do not cream the mixture. You don't want to add extra air to the dough.
Add the beaten egg to the butter and sugar mixture along with a tablespoonful of the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined.
Add half of the flour mixture. With a hand mixer set on the lowest setting, mix until the flour is incorporated. As soon as the flour is mixed in add the rest and mix well, stopping as soon as you can't see any more flour and the dough clumps together. Over mixing will create tough and flaky cookies.
Form the dough into a ball and cut into half, forming two discs. Place each half in a grip seal bag and leave in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
Roll out each of the discs to 1/4 inch thickness inside the grip seal bags and place in the freezer, keeping them flat. An ice bank drawer is the perfect size to keep them flat, if you have one. This can be done well in advance.
Preheat a fan oven to 155 C and cut circle shapes from the frozen dough. If your cookie cutters are weaker plastic ones, or 3D printed ones, allow the dough to soften for ten minutes before cutting the dough. Place the cut shapes back into the freezer for at least ten minutes to firm up again before baking.
Bake the tray of frozen cookies for 15-20 minutes, depending on their size. Mine were 5 cm circles and took 20 minutes. They cookies are ready when their edges turn lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To decorate, find a Volkswagen logo online and print off a copy the same size as your cookies. Using a sharp knife (I used a Stanley knife), cut out the inner pieces of the logo so that you can trace the template onto the top of the cookie.
Mix the Royal icing powder with a little water to reach a smooth, thick consistency. You don't want it too runny or it won't hold the shape of the logo, but you don't want it too thick either or it won't smooth out enough.
Place a few spoonfuls of the white Royal icing into the piping bag fitted with the #2 nozzle and carefully trace out the Volkswagen logo design onto the cookies, following the black edible ink pen template.
Add a few more spoonfuls of the white icing to the bag, and set aside.
Divide the remaining Royal icing into small bowls depending on the number of colours you want to use.
Using a cocktail stick, add the gel food colouring a drop at a time to the Royal icing until the desired colour is reached. Cover each bowl in clingfilm so the icing won't dry out while you work with the rest.
Place the colour you are working with into a disposable plastic piping bag and snip off the end leaving a 2 mm sized hole (alternatively, fit with a clean #2 nozzle) and fill the centre pieces of the Volkswagen logo with your desired colour. Pipe a line on the outside of the logo too. Leave to dry for half an hour.
Repeat the white Volkswagen logo layer, so it pops out from the cookie. Using a cocktail stick you can make the corners and edges of the logo sharp.
Leave overnight to harden completely before gifting.
Mum of three, daydream adventurer, OU Life Sciences graduate, occasional crafter, ex-pat Canadian & quite possibly Britain's most northerly food blogger.