I really love baking with other people – sharing the process with a friend or family member can be very therapeutic and fun. These stars look great, and are perfect for making with children. They are also awesome as presents! For a harmonious black and white design, line up all of the centres carefully before they are baked.
Using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl, until the mixture is lighter and fluffier. Add the vanilla and beat in the egg. Divide the mixture into two separate bowls. Add the cocoa powder into one of the bowls and mix until well combined, and then add 150g of the flour to each bowl and briskly stir until well combined.
Using your hands, bring each mixture together into a dough. I sort of squidge the mixture on the side of the bowl to do this. Wrap each dough in cling film and chill for 10–30 minutes to firm up and make the dough easier to handle.
Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the plain cookie dough until it is 5mm thick. Using the 9cm cutter, stamp out twelve large stars, placing each cookie on a lined baking sheet as you go. When you have cut out all of the stars you can, scrunch up the dough and re-roll it to the same thickness, then stamp out more stars. Using the 3cm cutter, stamp out a small star from the centre of each large star, and place these small stars on a sheet of baking parchment and set aside.
Roll out the chocolate dough between two sheets of baking parchment until it is 5mm thick. If it sticks, sprinkle over a little cocoa powder (this helps to keep the colour dark). Using the 9cm cutter, stamp out twelve large stars, putting them on the second lined baking sheet as you go. Stamp out a small star from the centre of each one, and place them on a sheet of baking parchment.
Slot the smaller chocolate stars into the centres of the large vanilla stars. Repeat the process with the large chocolate stars and smaller vanilla stars, and then place the twenty-four black and white cookies in the fridge to firm up for 15 minutes.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.