Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stained Glass Cookies

A crowd pleasing favorite; stained glass cookies.  These are amazing cookies to look at and even better to taste.  The only limit to the design of stained glass cookies is your own imagination and patience with a sharp knife, they can even be made as lollipops. These are the perfect cookies any time of the year whether it's Christmas ornaments, valentine hearts, spring flowers or fall pumpkins they make a gorgeous treat to see and a tasty one to eat.  

These can be made from many different cookie types as long as they bake quickly at a maximum temperature of 350˚.  That being said I prefer to use sugar cookies for several reasons.  They contrast really nicely with the bright candy colours, it's a cookie that doesn't seem out of place during other seasons, they are simple and never fail to turn out as well as being one of the easiest doughs to work with.  

This is a fairly large recipe and can be made in a half batch with out ill effects, but really who wants less cookies?  I do seperate the dough into two sections however and bake one section as regular sugar cookies and the other as stained glass.  There is no real reason for this other than I tend to run out of patience since I don't have many cookie cutters in multiple sizes and cut most of the windows out by hand.   

Stained Glass Cookies

Ingredients
2 cups softened unsalted butter
stained-glass-3.jpg2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
6 cups flour
About 40 hard candies (I prefer life savers)
In a large bowl cream sugar and butter together until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Sprinkle with salt and slowly add the flour to the mixture one cup at a time.
Separate the dough into two flattened disks, wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill minimum one hour (I tend to leave them overnight).
Preheat oven to 350˚
Roll out dough on a flat surface lightly dusted with flour to about 3-4mm. Cut out shapes remembering to cut out and area for the “window” and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. An extra hint; if you plan on hanging any of the ornaments use a straw to make a small hole at the top of the cookie.  
Separate hard candies into separate plastic bags by flavour.  Crush with a rolling pin.
Fill the open spaces in the cookies with one flavor of hard candy each.   
 Bake for about 10 minutes until cookies are fluffy or just beginning to brown.
Allow cookies to cool for at least ten minutes before removing from the parchment paper and enjoy.

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