Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C, 325°F/Gas Mark 3.
Place the plain flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a hollow in the centre and pour in the beaten egg, golden syrup and vanilla extract. Mix together into a dough.
Halve the dough. To one half add a few drops black colouring to the dough and knead until well distributed. This will give you a murky, sinister look to your dough – ideal for gravestone and bat cookies.
To the other half of dough, add a few drops of yellow and a few drops red and knead until a light orange colour has been achieved. This colour is ideal for pumpkin lantern cookies.
Place the dough in separate plastic bag and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick and stamp out the cookies, using your chosen cutters. If you are using a template, cut around the template with a knife for each cookie. If you going to hang your cookies, make a small hole in the top of each hole using a skewer before cooking.
Lightly knead and re-roll the trimmings together again to use up all the dough. Place the biscuits on baking sheets.
Bake biscuits for 12-15 minutes until lightly coloured and firm but not crisp. Leave on the tray for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you want to cover your cookies. Colour about a quarter of the ready to roll icing in your required colour. Use black for gravestones and bats and witches. Red and yellow for lanterns and pumpkins. To do this, add a few drops of food colour at a time to the icing, knead the colour through the icing until you get you desired colour. If you want a marbled effect for gravestones or tombstones, do not over-knead the colour so you get a more random distribution of colour. Cut the icing slightly smaller than the cookie. Dot a few spots of writing icing onto the cookie and cover with the coloured rolled icing. Decorate using sprinkles and writing icing.
For the pumpkin eyes. When the cookies are about 5 minutes away from being ready, push a orange or yellow jelly drop into the eye sections and return to the oven. The jelly drops will melt.
Tips: If you are making a variety of cookie shapes, try and cook similar size ones together.