Christmas ginger biscuits

Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Put the butter, the caster sugar and the brown sugar in a bowl and cream them together using a wooden spoon - or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer - until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the beaten egg and the black treacle and continue to mix until they are combined. Sift in the plain flour, the ground ginger, the ground nutmeg, the ground cinnamon, the pinch of ground cloves, the baking soda, the pinch of salt and the icing sugar and stir together to form a dough. Dust your worktop with flour, then knead the dough for a few seconds until it comes together. Roll the dough out, dusting with more flour as necessary, to a thickness of about ½cm (less than ¼in).

Next, cut the dough into whatever Christmas shapes you like. Transfer the biscuits on to the baking trays and cook in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, until they are slightly firm, a little darker at the edges and slightly drier on top. Allow the shapes to firm up for a few minutes, then place them on a wire rack to cool. When they have cooled, they can be iced if you wish, though they are still delicious if they are left plain.