Put all your dry ingredients in the bowl of food processor and give them a quick mix.
Add butter, egg and golden syrup and start pulsing gently until you get a ball of nice silky dough. Turn out onto the kitchen counter, divide dough in half and shape into two flat disks. Wrap them in cling film and put in the fridge for approx. 1 hr. The longer the dough stays in the fridge the easier it will be to work with.
If you don't have food processor simply sieve your flour, cocoa and spices into a large bowl. Add brown sugar and give everything a good mix. Add cold and cubed butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers until you get breadcrumbs like consistency. Add egg and golden syrup and mix them in with your hand, kneading gently until you get smooth and silky dough. Proceed further as per instructions above.
After the dough has had time to chill, take it out of the fridge and onto the floured kitchen surface. Roll it out to the thickness of pound coin and cut the shapes using the cutter of your choice. Re-roll the remaining dough and repeat until you've used up all the dough.
Bake your biscuits on the baking sheet lined with baking parchment in the oven preheated to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for approx 10-12 min.
Transfer baked biscuits onto cooling rack and repeat with the remaining ones. Wait for them to cool completely before icing! Enjoy!
Sieve icing sugar into a bowl and add your vanilla extract (if using). Slowly add some water a teaspoon at a time and whisk it in judging the thickness of your icing. You don't want it to be too runny or too thick but somewhere in the middle. It needs to be thin enough for you to be able to squeeze it onto a biscuit. Remember you can always add more water or more icing sugar if you make your icing too thin. Feel free to trial it out on some baking paper.
Pipe your icing onto the cooled biscuits using piping bag with its end snipped to create tiny opening or use a simple plastic squeeze bottle which is what I prefer to use when decorating as you have more control over your icing.
Once you've finished decorating your biscuits leave them on the cooling rack for the icing to set. Pop them into your biscuit tin and enjoy responsibly ;) !
Nutritional information is approximate, per serving and meant as a guideline only.This recipe yields approximately 50 biscuits of different shapes and sizes. The amount of biscuits will differ depending on the size of the cutters you use.Feel free to omit cacao/cocoa powder which will result in regular gingerbread biscuits.Feel free not to use vanilla extract in your icing and use simply icing sugar and water. Store your biscuits in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks. For details regarding freezing see the post.