Stained-glass cookies are something I have been wanting to do for an age. I was never quite sure what theme I would go for, however. The one time I had seen them done was as targets. Covered in hundreds and thousands, which, I felt, completely cheapened the whole thing. No, my theme would be better.
Cue mind blank.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is just store the idea away and wait for inspiration to hit.
Or just a massive excuse to bake. Like Christmas.
Santa delivered me the perfect excuse. So I greedily unwrapped it and set to work.
I was warned at some stage that the hardest part was getting the melting process right. But this was blissfully easy. Maybe I was lucky? Or maybe it really is just a cinch. Maybe you should try it and tell me!
The lemon and almond flavoured cookie dough I used was not a combination I would have thought would work so well, but it did. It’s perfectly balanced, neither flavour being so strong as to dominate your taste buds; just enough to flirt with them and leave them wondering what exactly that flavour is. Had I not made it, I wouldn’t have been able to pick it, and no one guessed it right. But either way, it was delicious and I will be using that dough again!
The trickiest part is not making the stained-glass portion so thick it’s hard to bite through; no one wants broken teeth for Christmas!
There were far too many deserts already, so these were among those saved for the goody bags
As always, here’s how you can try it yourself:
125g butter, softened
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
½ tsp almond essence
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour
Sugar-free fruit drops
1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Beat in rind, essence and egg until well combined.
3. Stir in sifted flour in two batches
4. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth
5. Roll dough between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, crush fruit drops, ensuring to keep colours separate.
7. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease oven trays; line with baking paper.
8. Using a round cutter, cut out cookies. Then cut out novelty shapes from centre of cookies. Place 5cm apart on baking trays.
9. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just beginning to darken in colour (baking time will depend on the size of your cookie cutter).
10. Remove trays from oven, fill gaps with crushed lollies.
11. Bake for further 5 minutes. Cool on trays.
NB: For complicated shapes, lollies may not melt into corners/thin spots. You can remedy this either by adding more lollies during baking (it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on them during the lolly-melting process to see how they’re faring) or you can use a toothpick to smooth the melted lollies into corners prior to cooling.