Prepare the egg wash one hour before you'll glaze the cookies so the foam settles.
Put flour, icing sugar, bicarb soda, spices and salt into a bowl and mix well. Add wet ingredients and knead into soft dough. Cover and let it rest at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes.
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and roll out 5 mil thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes.
Glaze the cookies with the egg wash prepared earlier and let them dry. Then repeat the glazing once again. It's important to leave the cookies to dry between glazing as it produces shinier look. On the top picture I've glazed rounds twice, but other shapes once thickly to save on time. The round cookies look nicer and shinier!
If using cookies as edible tree ornaments or gift tags, make a hole with a skewer or piping tip (see photo).
Once dry after second glazing, decorate the cookies by dragging lines across using fork or skewer. You can also use dry fruit or nuts to decorate gingerbread.
Bake cookies on greased and floured baking trays for about 18 minutes in moderately hot oven (160 C)
Cool on a wire rack before storing or threading ribbon.