Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug
Stained Glass Cookies
This is always a fun holiday treat and a tradition in our family. We have made these for our own family Christmas cookie exchanges.
My kids love to make them because they really turn into a work of art. And they get to smash the hard candy that will turn into stained glass, which they love.
Prep time: about 40 min Makes 3 dozen cookies
What’s needed: Cookie cutters: 1 large and 1 small
Use the large for making the cookie shape
Use the small for the stained glass hole in the center of the cookie.
This hole should be large enough to make a nice visible “window”, but not too large. There needs to be a good cookie dough border or it will fall apart.
Really, any basic sugar cookie recipe will work for the cookie dough.
Here’s one that works for me:
• 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
• 2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Very finely crushed clear hard candy, such as Jolly Rancher or clear life savers, in various colors (1 cup total after crushed) about 6 rolls of colored candies
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes.
Add egg yolks all at the same time and vanilla and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours or over night.
Meanwhile, prepare the stained glass mixture:
Here is the fun part: crush candy:
Place the unwrapped candy in a thick zip lock bag or other durable bag. Keep colors separate – crush red and store, then crush green and store separately and so on. Place on a cutting board or on hard concrete and pound with a mallot or small cast iron frying pan.
When ready to make cookies:
Have crushed candy ready
Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
Roll out dough on floured surface.
The rolled dough should be about 1/8 thickness – thinner and it will burn and break, thicker and it will not be stiff enough to support the sugary glass.
Use large cookie cutters to make shapes and then place cookies, 1 inch apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
Once on the cookie sheet, use smaller cookie cutter to make a hole in the center of each cookie.
Bake until cookies are pale but set, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from the oven and quickly. Fill cutouts of each cookie with the crushed candy. Keep it simple, use 1-3 colors depending on the size of the cutout hole. Don’t mix all the colors together or it will turn into a dark gray matter. Put back in oven and bake just a little more until candy has melted and cooie edges are browned, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
When storing – stack cookies between waxed paper or they will stick to eachother.
Save the cut out cookie dough for another batch of stained glass cookies, or keep the shapes as is and decorate.