175g soft unsalted butter or Stork
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp good vanilla essence
400g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
You also need biscuit cutters and baking sheets. I usually line mine with baking parchment, but you can bake these on pizza stones if you have one.
Preheat the oven to 180C gas mark 4
Cream the butter and sugar together by hand or in a processor until they're moussy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
Add the dry ingredients gradually to the mixture and combine well but gently. Do not beat too hard.
Halve the dough and form it into fat discs and wrap into cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
If you only want to use half the dough this is the time to freeze it.
Dust your surface with a little flour. Not too much as this will make the dough far too tough and roll it out to about a couple of millimetres thickness. A thicker biscuit will be more spongy, a thinner one will be crisp.
Cut out whatever shapes you want, and place on the baking tray
Bake for around 10-12 minutes, they should be light golden brown around the edges.
When they're cold you can ice then or decorate them anyway you want.
You can use other flavourings instead of Christmas spices, such as orange zest, lemon, or ginger. But they are also great just as plain vanilla biscuits.
Taken from 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' by Nigella Lawson