Stained Glass Cookies

I took part in the Secret Santa for Pune this year. My Santee made it a little easy for me by asking for a tee I wasn’t willing to pay exorbitant shipping for or something off her Flipkart wishlist, which I got to without much difficulty. Her wishlist is AWESOME, for most part. I bought Asterios Polyp off of it, for myself. Teehee. And a collection of essays called You Do Not Talk About Fight Club: I Am Jack’s Completely Unauthorized Essay Collection. It has a foreword by Chuck Palahniuk, of course.

And then, I didn’t want to give her just the book. So I decided to bake her some cookies. And I wanted to bake something Christmas-y, so that’s what I did! I looked up a Stained Glass cookie recipe and voila! Happy Happy!

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Ingredients:
(Yields about four dozen, 2-inch sized cookies)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
30-40 hard candies (I used a mixture of Parle Poppins and Alpenliebe Mango somethings, for green, purple, yellow and red. You could use an assortment of Ravalgaon candies or any sugar boiled confectionery that comes in different colours and flavours.)

Method:
1. Crush the candies and keep them sorted by colour.
2. Pre-heat oven to 375°F (190 ºC) and line your baking tray with a baking sheet/foil. (I’ve been using foil very conveniently, of late, because I ran out of baking sheets a while ago.)
3. In a bowl, sift the flour, the salt and the baking powder and keep aside.
4. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add the molasses and the vanilla extract, to the above mixture, mixing well until fully incorporated.
6. Now add the egg and mix until light and smooth.
7. Fold the dry ingredients from (3) into the wet mixture and blend to a smooth dough.
8. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for anywhere between thirty minutes to up to a couple of hours (The original recipe says up to two days, but who’d let cookie dough stay that long in the refrigerator! One strong willed person, you!)
9. Roll the dough out until it is about a fourth of an inch thick.
10. Cut out the desired shape you like, using a cookie cutter. Then, using a smaller cookie cutter of the same shape, or using a knife, cut out the smaller shape within this cookie. Assuming you cookie is about 1 inches wide, you want to leave about half an inch on either side, and hollow out the inner one inch.
11. Re-use the centre, by adding it to the unrolled dough.
12. Pack the crushed candy into the hollowed centres, making sure you fill at the edges as well, or you may end up with stained glass cookies that look more like broken windows. Heh.
13. Also, make sure that there are no candy specks on the dough. They will “stain” your cookie. No pun intended, if there was ever meant to be one.
14. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown a little and the candy is molten and bubbling.
15. Let the cookies cool down, before you try picking them off the sheets. This will be about ten minutes. So, one batch out of the oven, the previous batch peeled off the cookie sheets. If you try taking the cookies off the sheets too soon, you might end up with the candy separating from the dough. I’m sure you won’t like that very much.

Here’s where I got the recipe from: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/stained_glass_cookies/

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