75g/3oz/6 tbsp butter, softened
100g/3½oz/7 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
1 medium (US large) egg, beaten
grated zest of 1 orange
250g/9oz/2⅓ cups plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra to dust
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
coloured ready-to-roll fondant icings, royal icing, food colourings and edible
1 Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the egg and orange zest. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix in with the spices.
2 On a lightly floured surface, knead gently to a soft dough. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.
3 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
4 Roll out the dough until 5mm/¼in thick. Use Christmas cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Arrange them on two non-stick baking trays.
5 Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes until pale golden and risen. Leave to harden on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6 When the cookies are cold, decorate with coloured fondant or royal icing and edible decorations.