My mum first showed me this cookie in the December 2002 edition of Gourmet Magazine. I wasn’t much of a cookie baker back then but this caught my eye. I wanted to surprise the kids and so I set to making them one Saturday morning while they were out for activities. They looked great. I can’t remember the taste honestly, it was just a sugar cookie recipe and so nothing really memorable in terms of taste (remember, I’m not a big cookie person). But the look on the kids faces when I showed it to them, I will never forget. Nothing like they had seen before. I showed them how, and to this day, it still makes them (and me) marvel at the finished product. Few tips for this one, use hard clear candy that tastes good. Yup, that means you have to taste it so pop one in your mouth. Like the flavor? If not, don’t use it. Oh you could get the kids involved but why? Sorry, I’m something of a junk candy addict. This is my exception to a sweet tooth. I don’t have one for cookies and cakes, but give me junk candy, and I am like a kid in a candy store. I like my hard candy sweet and the kind you can bite and it crunches apart in your mouth as opposed to sticking your teeth (real or otherwise :)) together, and it doesn’t need to be expensive.

Also, make sure your cutters are big and that they have a proportionate smaller one for the cut out. If you don’t have this, don’t panic, just use a larger one and a smaller one. They don’t have to be the same shape – as you can see, I cut little snowmen, Christmas trees and other shapes from round and star shapes. There is no rule to this, it’s a cookie. You know my rules on any food product, make it tasty and that’s what people will remember. Baking is no different – a good cookie melded with a sweet candy – I’m happy. Dip your cutters in flour – especially the smaller ones. Re-roll/refrigerate the scraps as necessary until you are done. Bake for minimum times less a few minutes, then check every minute or so after that. Put the hard candies in a baggie and with a hammer (I tried a rolling pin, it didn’t work), give a light tap to smash the sweets up. It doesn’t have to be powdery, the heat of the oven melts it all together anyway. Use a teaspoon with a bit of a pointed edge to fill in the centers of the cookies. Fill to the top – I like the stained glass thinner not too thick. What else… oh yes, as always – have fun making these – have more fun enjoying them with family and friends. I’ve left the recipe in tact, in other words, no embellishments of my own. One note of change – I have Silpat sheets, but much prefer parchment paper and that’s what I used. Everything came off as soon as the cookies were cooled.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 to 8 oz individually wrapped assorted fruit-flavored hard candies such as sour balls

Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 minutes with a handheld, then beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until just combined
Form dough into 3 (5-inch) disks and chill, each disk wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours
While dough chills, unwrap candies and separate by color in small heavy-duty sealable plastic bags. Seal bags, forcing out air, then coarsely crush candies by wrapping each bag in a kitchen towel and pounding bags with a rolling pin
Preheat oven to 350°F
Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 9-inch round (1/8 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with floured rolling pin (keep remaining dough chilled). Cut out as many cookies as possible from dough with large cutter and transfer to a Silpat-lined (parchment)baking sheet, arranging about 1 inch apart. Cut out centers from cookies with small cutter and add to scraps. Spoon about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed candy (depending on size of cutout) in center of each cookie. (If you want to use these cookies as tree ornaments, make a hole with a drinking straw in each for hanging.)
Bake in middle of oven until edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes, then cool cookies completely on baking sheet on a rack, about 10 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a plate or an airtight container. Gather scraps and chill until firm enough to reroll, 10 to 15 minutes. Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (reroll once) in same manner on cooled baking sheet.

Stained Glass 6F

Stained Glass 22F

Stained Glass 4f