Thursday, December 28, 2023

MAKE IT: Stained Glass Cookies

A woman posing with a dog with stained glass in the window

Both of my grandmothers loved stained glass, and gazing at the sunlight that shone through the colors, bringing rainbows into their homes. It probably is no surprise, then, that I also love stained glass, and have several pieces from my grandmothers hanging in my windows. In the still-short daylight hours of the winter months in January and February, when the extra lights of the holiday season are put away until the end of the year, I find myself craving more beauty through light. When my children were little, we would make stained glass cookies, to eat and to hang in the window. These simple treats were always lovely to look at, but even more lovely when sunlight shone through the candy glass panes. I hope that you enjoy these cookies, and the beauty they bring!

Ingredients:

 2 ¼ – 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
 ½ teaspoon baking powder
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 ¾ cup granulated sugar
 ¾ cups butter (OR vegan butter), softened (at room temperature)
 1 large egg (OR 1 flax egg – 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed and 2.5 Tbsp water)
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 ~20 hard candies (lollipops, jolly ranchers, and other hard, clear candies work well)

 

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 ¼ cup of the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl (or using a mixer), mix the butter and sugar, until thoroughly combined and creamy-looking.
3. * OPTIONAL – If using a flax egg, combine flax and water.
4. Add egg (or flax egg) and vanilla extract to sugar/butter mixture, and stir.
5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Dough will be a little sticky, but if it’s too sticky, add the remaining flour a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
6. Cover bowl of cookie dough and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour (up to 2 days) to chill prior to rolling dough (it helps to firm the dough).
7. On a lightly-floured surface, roll dough to around ¼ inch thick.
8. Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the dough. Use a smaller cutter to cut the middle portion out (this is where the candy “glass” will go). Middle dough pieces can either be baked as separate small cookies or rolled out for more cookies.
9. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

10. Place cookies around 3 inches apart on baking trays lined with parchment paper (I typically use silicone baking sheets, but this gets a wee bit messy with the candy, so I stick to parchment paper for this cookie).
11. Unwrap candies, and place in plastic bags (I separate candies by color, and put only one color in each bag). Using a rolling pin or other hefty kitchen implement to smash candies until they are the size of small pebbles (you don’t want to smash to powder). *A note here that I try to not use plastic, but I have tried using paper bags, cloth bags, towels, and other environmentally-friendly containers and have had a nasty, sticky mess on my hands. For this recipe, I will use plastic.
12. Using the crushed candy, fill each cookie around 2/3 – ¾ full (candy will expand as it melts).
13. Bake for around 12 minutes, or until the candies are melted and the edges of the cookies are lightly browned. *Another note here that my oven bakes unevenly (or maybe it’s just the cook), so I rotate the trays about halfway through.
14. Remove from oven, and place baking trays on trivets or pot holders. Allow to cool for around 15 minutes, so that the candy can firm. When candy has set, move cookies to a wire rack and allow to completely cool. *Another note here that kiddos (and grown kiddos) may like to try to touch the candy “glass” while it’s not yet cooled. Bad idea – make sure to keep all fingers away from the candy “glass” until fully cooled!
15. Place cookies in an air-tight container and store for up to a week at room temperature (and a week and a half in the refrigerator.) *And yet another note that if you want to hang them in your window, that is a great idea! (Just make sure that those cookies are not eaten afterwards.)
16. Enjoy!

 

Photo at top: MB Mitcham with her hiking buddy, Belladonna. Photo provided by MB Mitcham.

Editor’s Note: We are rerunning this recipe with the complete instructions. We apologize for the error. 

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MB, an ADK 46-R, is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Online MPH Program at George Mason University. In her free time, she can usually be found scampering up and over mountains whilst munching on eggplant bacon, writing odd things, or doing zoomies with Sig and Bella, the shollie and entledoodle dynamic duo who own me. She can also be found at: dr.mb.mitcham@gmail.com




5 Responses

  1. Mel says:

    Is this meant to be a cliff hanger? Recipe ends before telling us how to make the candies into the stained glass filling or how long to bake.

    • MB says:

      Hi! Not sure what happened (sorry about that!). Here are the missing instructions:
      1. Place cookies around 3 inches apart on baking trays lined with parchment paper (I typically use silicone baking sheets, but this gets a wee bit messy with the candy, so I stick to parchment paper for this cookie).
      2. Unwrap candies, and place in plastic bags (I separate candies by color, and put only one color in each bag). Using a rolling pin or other hefty kitchen implement to smash candies until they are the size of small pebbles (you don’t want to smash to powder). *A note here that I try to not use plastic, but I have tried using paper bags, cloth bags, towels, and other environmentally-friendly containers and have had a nasty, sticky mess on my hands. For this recipe, I will use plastic.
      3. Using the crushed candy, fill each cookie around 2/3 – ¾ full (candy will expand as it melts).
      4. Bake for around 12 minutes, or until the candies are melted and the edges of the cookies are lightly browned. *Another note here that my oven bakes unevenly (or maybe it’s just the cook), so I rotate the trays about halfway through.
      5. Remove from oven, and place baking trays on trivets or pot holders. Allow to cool for around 15 minutes, so that the candy can firm. When candy has set, move cookies to a wire rack and allow to completely cool. *Another note here that kiddos (and grown kiddos) may like to try to touch the candy “glass” while it’s not yet cooled. Bad idea – make sure to keep all fingers away from the candy “glass” until fully cooled!
      6. Place cookies in an air-tight container and store for up to a week at room temperature and a week and a half in the refrigerator. *And yet another note that if you want to hang them in your window, that is a great idea! Just make sure that those cookies are not eaten afterwards 
      7. Enjoy!

      • Bill Ott says:

        Concerning Item Number 5:
        How can you expect a healthy grown man to quote, “keep all fingers away from the candy”? Should the comma go there or somewhere else?
        Bill Hot
        Lakewood, OH

  2. Kathryn Reinhardt says:

    I’m eager to know the answer to Mel’s questions, too. What temp for the oven?

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