2) Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl, then fold in the pepper and set aside.
3) Cream the butter and sugar with a handheld mixer for about 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
4) Add the treacle and ginger juice and whisk for about 2 minutes more until evenly incorporated or stir together by hand with a spatula.
5) Gradually blend in the dry ingredients on low speed into the butter mixture until you have a crumbly mixture.
6)Bring the dough together by hand pressing and kneading lightly until moist, but not tacky. Divide into 2 equal portions, press into disks about 1.5cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
7) Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 180C/Gas 4.
8) Dust the dough and a work surface with flour. Roll the dough about ¾-cm thick. Cut out biscuits in desired shapes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the biscuits are a rich tawny brown. Cool on a rack.
9) For icing: Whisk the water and egg white powder in a medium bowl until foamy and smooth. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar to make a smooth icing. For multiple colours divide the icing into small bowls and add a food colouring as desired. Spread or pipe the icing onto the biscuits. Finish with hundreds and thousands, or candies.
10) Set aside on a rack for about 30 minutes to allow icing to set.
Cook's Note: For a chewier cookie, roll them ¾-cm to 1 ¼-cm thick and bake for 16 to 20 minutes.
Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.