Beat together the softened butter and icing sugar in a bowl until pale and light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and gradually add the beaten egg, mixing well until smooth. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix again.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and mix until smooth but do not over-mix. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for a couple of hours or until firm.
Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 2–3mm/1/8in thick. Stamp out as many star shapes as you can. Use the small round cutter to stamp out as many rounds as you have stars. Gather any dough scraps into a ball and re-roll to stamp out more shapes. Arrange the shapes on the baking trays. Refridgerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3.
Bake the biscuits in batches for 10–12 minutes, or until firm and starting to turn golden at the edges. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack until cold. Repeat until all biscuits are cooked.
To make the icing, combine the icing sugar with 3–4 tablespoons of cold water and beat until smooth – the icing should be thick enough to leave a very firm trail when the spoon is lifted, so add the water a little at a time. Scoop 3–4 tablespoons of the icing into a smaller bowl and use a cocktail stick to add tiny amounts of yellow and orange food colouring paste, mixing until the icing is an apricot colour. Add yellow food colouring to the remaining icing, cover and set aside until needed.
Using a piping bag with a small end or nozzle, carefully pipe the apricot-coloured icing around the edge of each star cookie in a continuous line to form an outline. Repeat with the small round cookies. Set the cookies aside for 20–30 minutes, or until the icing has completely set.
Add a drop more water to the yellow icing – it should be slightly runnier than before. Place a small teaspoon of yellow icing into the middle of each biscuit and use the back of the spoon to gently push the icing to fill the shape, meeting the outline. Leave to set for 30 minutes.
Pipe apricot-coloured dots and / or frills around the edge of each little round biscuit and petal details onto each flower shape. Leave to set for 30 minutes.
Pipe a small dot of icing on the underside of each round biscuit and place one in the middle of each flower shape.