100g softened butter
100g golden caster sugar or light soft brown sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
1 large free-range egg
240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
20g cocoa powder
20-25 lolly sticks (optional)
Smarties, to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Put the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon or an electric hand whisk to mix together until pale and fluffy. This is called ‘creaming’. Add the egg and keep beating the mixture until well mixed. Sift over the flour and cocoa powder and mix everything together with a metal spoon. Wrap the dough in cling film and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
2. Sprinkle a little flour over a work surface. Cut the dough into 4 and roll each piece to 3-4mm thick.
3. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters, re-rolling any trimmings, then carefully lift onto the baking tray. If you want to make them into lolly cookies, carefully push a lolly stick into the bottom of each cookie. Decorate with Smarties.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, until golden and cooked. Cool completely on a wire rack.