Make the ingredients into a paste as for ordinary short paste; knead twice, roll into a ball and keep in a cool place covered with a cloth for at least 1 hour.
Roll out the paste 1 cm (⅖ in) thick and cut out into various fancy shapes using special pastry cutters. Place on a baking tray and brush with beaten egg. Decorate with halves of almonds, halves of glacé cherries, diamonds of angelica, crystallised orange peel, currants etc. then bake in a hot oven.
Brush with gum as soon as they come from the oven.