Friday, December 16, 2011
"12 Days of Christmas" Day 4, "Stained Glass Cookies"
It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, “God Bless Us, Every One! by Charles Dickens
Today is Day 4 of “The 12 Days of Christmas” and my recipe for you is “Stained Glass Cookies.” This brings back sweet memories of the magic of Christmases past with these fancy jewel-colored cookies. These cookies are pretty enough to hang on your tree or on a beautiful holiday plate to adorn your Christmas table. You can make these sweet cookies in a variety of seasonal shapes and sizes, and then add hard candy centers with creamy icing for detailed beauty. I found this recipe from a book which I own called; “The Country Woman.” I suggest using Jolly Rancher candies, which proved to be more translucent and shiny looking. These colorful cookies are much easier than you might imagine. They can be a fun family project or a tradition to create in years to come. My niece Lauren and I made these cookies a few years ago and we had a fun day of baking. So, gather your family and let’s bake a batch of beautiful and fancy Stained Glass Cookies.
By Taste of Home
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of salt
Assorted colors of Jolly Rancher hard candies
1 tablespoon meringue powder
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon of water
2 2/3 cups of confectioners sugar
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tarter and salt, gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide dough into three portions; cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until east to handle.
Line baking sheets with foil and grease the foil; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with floured 2 1/2 inch ornament shaped cookie cutters. Cut out centers with a floured 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Place larger cutouts 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a plastic straw, poke a small hole near the top of each cookie for hanging. Repeat with remaining dough. Re-roll small cutouts if desired.
Place the same color of hard candies in small re-sealable plastic bags; crush candies. Sprinkle in center of cookies. Bake at 350° F. for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Use a straw to reopen hanging holes. Cool for 2-3 minutes or until candies are set before carefully removing to wire racks. For icing, in a small mixing bowl, beat meringue powder and water until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar. Decorate cookies; let dry. Thread string through holes to hang cookies on Christmas tree.
Yield: about 7 dozen, depending on the size of your cookies
Cutting Tips: Cut out the centers of the cookies using mini cookie cutters in shapes similar or different to those of the larger cutouts.
Crushing Tips: Place hard candies in heavy re-sealable plastic bag. Close bag tightly. Using a meat mallet, pound candy until finely crushed. (I would also recommend using a dish towel to cover over the plastic bag. This way if you crush the candy with the mallet, and the plastic bag breaks, the candy will not go all over the kitchen. This happened to me, you learn something everyday.)
Coloring Tips: With the cookies on foil lined baking sheets, carefully sprinkle a small spoonful of crushed candy to fill center of each cutout.) Be careful not to get the candy on the dough part of the cookies, as it will bake with that color on it, and it will not look good. Another thing I learned.)
Frosting Tips: Decorate cookies like a pro with decorating tips and pastry or re-sealable plastic bags. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and insert a decorating tip. Reinforce the seal between the bag and tip with tape. For a very simple decoration or outlining, just cut the corner off a heavy duty re-sealable plastic bag.
To fill a pastry or re-sealable plastic bag with frosting, insert a decorating tip if desired and place the bag in a measuring cup to hold it. Roll down the top edge to make a cuff. Fill about half full with frosting, insert a decorating tip if desired and place the bag in a measuring cup to hold it. Roll down the top edge to make a cuff. Fill about half full with frosting. Roll up cuff. Smooth filling down toward trip to remove air bubbles, which will cause breaks in the design when piping. Twist top of bag shut and have fun.
Till Next Time…….
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Posted by Dottie at 12:58 AM