December 18, 2015

Stained Glass Cookies

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Dear readers, in this Christmas season, I'm going to have to admit that I've got cookies on the brain, a veritable cookie fever, if you will.  Cookies, cookies, cookies everywhere!  What can one do, though, with Christmas parties coming up one after another and a little girl at home that loves her cookies and milk?  

Our latest discovery of fun cookies to make and bake for the holiday season are these wonderfully fun and amazingly beautiful Stained Glass Cookies.  I can't believe that I had never seen these cookies before!  Where the heck have I been?  Who would have thought that one could make cookies that let light in through a colorful candy window?!  Amazing cookiness, if you ask me.  And you can even hang them on your Christmas tree!

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As those of you with cookie cutter habits will appreciate, it's hard to stop collecting cookie cutters of all types once you get started.  There's always another cute and absolutely darling cookie cutter that you must have in your collection.  

So it is that I have stashed, in a large and bumpy bag under the sink in my stamped sized hole of a kitchen, a mass of delightful cookie cutters that makes my 老公 roll his eyes whenever he sees it.  "Not another one," he'll mutter under his breath.  But guess who also loves to eat freshly baked cookies?

For these stained glass cookies, you will have an excuse to get more cutters (as I did!) as you must have really small sized cookie cutters that fit well inside your other, larger, cutters.  Uh, oh...time to go shopping!

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What makes the stained glass window in the cookie is simply melted down brightly colored hard candies.  You remember, the ones you used to have as a child, before the new fangled gummy candies and whatnot got popular.  I actually had to search around a bit for these, would you believe.  It's not easy to find hard candies here in Hong Kong.  

And if you're lucky enough to live in certain countries you can also use lifesavers and jolly rancher hard candies (yum...I miss these...the watermelon flavor is my fav!).

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Next step is the stress relieving, take it out on the candy part of the fun.  You've got to crush the candies to smithereens.  At first I tried banging away with my trusty wooden rolling pin, um, not a good thing.  For one, it sounded like I was taking a wall down.  For two, my rolling pin (I used the end, and not the rolling surface) was not going to last long under such demolition work.  

So I got out my hammer, which was perfect and made short and much quieter work of crushing the candies.  Just don't hammer your fingers, like I did...ouch!

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The crushed candies are then carefully sprinkled into the center cut out shape.  Be sure to fill the shape with more candies rather then less or you may find that the candy, once melted and lying flat, is not enough to fill the whole cut out shape.  

You can make these Stained Glass Cookies to decorate your Christmas tree by using a straw to punch a hole at the top of the cookies before baking.  Once baked and cooled, just slide through some pretty ribbon through the hole and you can tie these sparkling beauties right on to your tree! 

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With these Stained Glass Cookies, you have the best of both worlds.  You've got buttery sweet sugar cookie goodness and you've got sweet and tangy, lickable and crunchable candy goodness.  Hope that you and yours enjoy this fun and beautiful cookie as much as we did!  
Stained Glass Cookies Recipe
(30 cookies)  Prep:  12 mins  Chill: 2 hrs   Bake: 12 mins



Separate the different colored candies into little plastic zip bags.  Use hammer or the bottom of a heavy skillet to crush the candies into small pieces.

Cream together butter, sugar, nutmeg, salt, baking soda and vanilla.  Add in half the flour and beat in until incorporated.  Add in half the egg white and beat in.  Repeat with remaining flour and egg white.  Should not stick to sides of bowl, add 1-2 tbsp flour if still sticking.  Press into a ball, cover and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F (176C).  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

On your working surface, spread out your silicone baking mat (recommended for rolling out cookie dough, makes lifting cookies much easier as they don't stick), lightly flour the surface and then roll out cookie dough to a bit less than 1/4" thickness.  

Use cookie cutters (dust them lightly with flour first) to cut out desired shapes and the center cutouts.  Punch hole with a straw at cookie top if you want to hang the cookies.  Carefully remove the cutouts, then, using an offset spatula, lift the cookies to the parchment lined baking sheet.  Fill the cookie cutouts level with crushed candy.  

Bake 12 mins or until just brown at the edges of cookies. The candy centers should be melted and flat.  Let cool in pan at least 10 mins before removing.  

String through with pretty ribbon if hanging the cookies.  Store all other cookies in an air tight cookie tin.  Enjoy!



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