Among the many goodies I made this holiday season to give away was these stained glass cookies. I came across these cookies on Elise's blog at the end of the holiday season last year, and only now just got around to making them :)
These cookies are just as easy to make as your standard sugar cookie. They have a small amount of molasses in them for a little extra color (and flavor). Just use your favorite cookie cutters and then fill the middle of these cookies with crushed candies to achieve the beautiful stained glass appearance.
You can simply serve them as is, and they will brighten up any platter... or, you can make a small hole at the top of each one and string a ribbon through the cookie to make the most delicious Christmas ornaments. (They're almost too cute to eat!)
If you've got kids, this is a great way to get them involved with the holiday baking. But rest assured, these will be gobbled up by kids and grown ups alike.
These cookies are being submitted to "Eat Christmas Cookies, Season 2," hosted by Susan of Food Blogga. Click on the logo below to find out more about this event and click here to see the round-up of all the other wonderful cookies being submitted!
Stained Glass Cookies
from Simply Recipes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
30-40 hard candies (such as Life Savers), preferably in several flavors/colors (I used about 20 Jolly Ranchers)
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 2 days. (You can also freeze the dough up to 2 months before baking.)
Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Using a mallet to crush candies.
Place one disk between two large sheets of waxed paper and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies, reserving these center bits to add into extra dough.
Use a spoon to sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. Try to keep the candy within the centers. Any candy specks that fall on the cookie will color the cookie. (I found it easier to use a piece of paper, rolled up, to pour the crushed candy into the centers. I also found that you need to add the candy until it is slightly domed, otherwise there won't be enough candy in the middle after it melts.)
If cookies will be hung as ornaments or decorations, poke a small hole in the top of each cookie before baking. (I used a toothpick to do this. If your cookies are larger, you can use a straw. Remember that as the cookie bakes, it will expand slightly, making your hole a bit smaller - so you'll need to take this into account when creating your holes.)
Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely beginning to brown. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool. Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes; otherwise, the candy centers may separate from the dough. When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container. String with ribbon if you want to hang as an ornament.
Yield: 2 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.