Looking for a holiday project to do with your children that’s lots of fun? How about stained glass cookies? It’s not as difficult as it may look and the results are both decorative and edible! They’re basically sugar cookies with a cutout filled with crushed hard candy that take on a beautiful stained glass appearance when baked. For the upcoming holidays, you might choose two sizes of star-shaped cutters, snowflakes, bells, or a small triangle-shaped cutter could be used for the center cutout. You get the idea. And for other holidays such as Easter, you might select flower cutters.
Here’s what you need:
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 T molasses
½ t pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 t salt
¾ t baking powder
About 20-30 brightly colored hard candies such as life savers, Jolly Rogers, or sour balls
Using an electric mixer, cream together sugars and butter about two minutes until fluffy. Add vanilla and molasses until incorporated. Then add the egg and mix one minute on medium speed.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and fold into wet mixture. Blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and pat each into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Place the hard candies, separated by color, into plastic bags. Use a mallet or meat pounder to crush candies.
Set one disk of dough between two sheets of waxed paper. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Place on baking sheet. about 1 inch apart. Use a smaller cutter to out centers. Save cutouts to add into extra dough. Use a piece of paper folded into a cone shape and fill with the crushed candy. Use this to carefully fill in the hollowed out centers. This works better than a spoon or your fingers. Avoid candy on the cookie tops as this will color the cookies. Mound the candy slightly so that when it melts it will be level with the cookie. If the cookies are to be hung as decorations, make a hole with a drinking straw.
Bake about 10-15 minutes or until candy is melted and bubbling and cookies are just starting to brown. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, centers might separate from cookies. When cookies have cooled completely, they may be stored in an airtight container or hung by ribbons. Happy holidays!.