December 20, 2013

Stained Glass Cookies

S
tained Glass Cookies are incredibly pretty looking and many who make them, hang them on their Christmas trees. It’s a nice thought to have edible Christmas decorations, a sort of really fun tradition I’d say. We don’t celebrate Christmas or decorate a tree, but I have planning to make these cookies for years now ever since I saw a recipe for them in a Cookie book I have.
I finally decided to make them this year, but I couldn’t find that Cookie book nor could I find any decent boiled sweets at the 3 stores I looked in! So I settled for a sugar cookie recipe I had written down in one of my old note books.
 
 
 


 “What are those? They’re so pretty.” my daughter said, when she saw me looking through various recipes.
“Stained Glass Cookies”, I told her.
“They’re tree decorations, aren’t they? Are you sure they’re edible?” she asked eyeing me doubtfully.
“Of course, you can eat them. I wouldn’t be making them otherwise!” I said.
“How do you get those colourful centres?” she wanted to know. I explained one had to fill the cut out centres with crushed hard boiled sweets/ candy which would melt when baked.
“Great! I’ll help you fill the centres, but are you sure those Poppins will look nice in these cookies?” she echoed my thoughts.
“Maybe we can start with making our own boiled sweets/ candy……” she exclaimed her eyes lighting up at the thought.
I put paid to those dreams as there was no way I was turning what was supposed to be an easy hour of making cookies into a full-fledged half day experiment in the kitchen.





So I ended up using some Poppins (a local brand of fruit flavoured boiled sweets/ candy) which weren’t exactly great when it came to colour or taste! I wonder what ever happened to those delicious boiled sweets in orange, lemon, cherry and grapefruit flavours that we used to get in stores when we were children.
But one has to make do with one gets and so that’s what I did, and I wasn’t really happy about the colours of the “Stained Glass” part of my Cookies!



 
You can make them just as cookies and you can use any shape cookie cutter you have on hand, not necessarily Christmas themed ones. If you want to make them Christmassy and hang them on your tree, then make small holes to thread ribbon or cord by making a hole on the top of each cookie. You can do this using a cocktail skewer, or a straw or the tip of a plain icing nozzle before baking them.
Stained Glass Cookies
 

Ingredients:

100gm butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp date syrup (or molasses)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
20 to 30 boiled sweets/ hard candies in different colours and flavours
 

Method:

First crush the sweets/ candy. Separate the sweets/ candy by colour. Put the sweets/ candy into a ziplock bag and using a metal rolling pin (or hammer) crush them as fine as you can. If you use a wooden rolling pin, it can spoil the surface. Repeat will all the colours and keep aside.
Now cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, using a hand held electric mixer. Then add the date syrup/ molasses and vanilla and beat till mixed. Now add the egg and beat for a minute or so until smooth.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and add to the bowl. Beat, on slow speed, until the flour is incorporated. Shape the dough into 2 equal disks, wrap well in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This makes the dough easy to work with.
Working with one disk of dough at a time, place a disk between two large sheets of parchment and roll it out to between 1/4” to 1/8”thickness. This prevents using excess flour and also makes rolling out the dough easier.
Cut out shapes of choice with a cookie cutter about 1/2" apart, making sure you do not cut through the parchment.  If you use parchment cut to the size required to line your baking sheets, then transferring the cut-out cookies to the baking sheets becomes easier. Cut out the centres of each cookie with a smaller cutter. You can use any shape you want but a round shape is easier to fill with crushed sweets/ candy.
You can bake the cut-outs as small cookies or all them to the scraps, re-roll and cut out more cookies from it.
 
 
Now transfer the parchment with the cut-out cookies to your baking tray. Using a teaspoon, sprinkle a little of the crushed sweets/ candy into the centre of each cookie (enough to fill the centre but not too much tor it will bubble out and look messy). You can mix colours in a single cookie for a mottled/ marbled effect.
If you’re planning to use the cookies as decoration on your tree, poke a small hole at the top of each cookie for stringing ribbon or cord through.
Bake the cookies at  Bake at 180 C (350F) for 12 to 14 minutes till the candy melts and the cookies are firm to touch and a light golden brown.  Let the cookies cool on the sheets for about 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cookies off the parchment or the centres will still be soft and separate.
Then cool them completely and store in an airtight container or use to decorate. This recipe makes about 4 to 5 dozen medium sized Stained Glass Cookies.

This is a reminder, just in case you haven’t seen my previous post. I’m hosting a giveaway of a copy of Around The World With The Tadka Girls by Ruchira Ramanujam & Ranjini Rao. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to check that post for further details and try your luck by leaving a comment there.

 

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