Any time you want to play supermummy in the kitchen, here is where you start - Nigella Lawson
Unusual or substituted ingredients: None. You should have everything you need in your pantry. Except perhaps a range of food colouring, which is why I've got pink, blue and white (not because I like girl and boy biscuits or anything like that. In fact, kill me if I ever make blue biscuits for a boy's party, or pink ones for a girl).
Special utensils or cookware: A range of cookie cutters is probably a good idea. That way, you won't be forced to use your Christmas shapes and the overly large gingerbread person shape, rather than, say, numbers as Nigella uses in the book, or animal shapes or whatever. Must remember to buy some new shapes next time I'm in the homewares store.
Otherwise, you just wizz it all up in the kitchenaid or with a handbeater, whatever takes your fancy.Repeatability: The mix makes a lot of biscuits - Nigella says around 50-60 and for once I think I pretty much got the number she suggested, or at least I would have except for giganto ginge! You can also freeze the dough ("it makes sense - in a smug, domestic kind of way - to wrap half of this in clingfilm and stash it in the deep freeze until next needed" - thanks Nigella!)
Sauciness: The rolling out of the dough and cutting the shapes is pretty darn messy. You refrigerate the dough for an hour before rolling/cutting. If the weather is warm, keep it in the fridge a bit longer (eg 1.5 hours) and make sure you roll and cut quickly.
Overall pleasure level: Not only pretty, but pretty darn good, although it's the icing that really makes them! I'm giving them a 7.5.