Put about half the flour in a food processor with the butter. Whizz until you can’t see any lumps of butter remaining (if you don’t have a food processor, rub the butter into all of the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles fine crumbs). Tip the buttery flour into your largest mixing bowl and mix in the remaining flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt. Stir in the sugar.
Whisk the eggs with the golden syrup and stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Using your hands, knead together into a smooth dough.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the dough to the thickness of two £1 coins. Stamp out the biscuits using a bat-shaped biscuit cutter. Arrange on baking parchment-lined baking sheets and bake on a high shelf in the oven for 8-12 mins, until rich brown and firm to the touch.
As you lift each tray from the oven, use a skewer to wiggle one or two holes into each biscuit – depending on whether you want to string them up individually or hang them like bunting.
Leave the biscuits to cool completely, then decorate with black icing. For a really professional finish, use the flooding technique from Edd Kimber’s fancy iced biscuits (see the Goes well with box, right).