Thursday, November 3, 2011

Traditions, Part One: Stained Glass Cookies

I *really* wanted to save this blog. I really did. I have a whole line up of traditions-centered blogs for November and December, and this one is really meant for mid to late November. However, I left my camera on the other side of the state. This has realllyyyyy cramped my blogging style. I can't do anything new! So, clearly it has been too long since I posted a blog (because of the lack of a camera) and I broke down and decided to post these.
These are called Stained Glass Cookies. My mom has made them every fall for as long as I can remember. They don't last very long, I usually eat the entire batch within a day or two :) I went to my mom's house to capture her making them, and we were in a rush so they turned out a littleee bit messier than usual, but just as delicious.
They're super easy to make and so pretty.
All you will need is...

Hard candy (jolly ranchers, dum dums, etc.) in green, yellow, red, orange and brown. My mom uses butterscotch, root beer hard candy, green jolly ranchers, cinnamon disks and orange jolly ranchers.

Gingerbread dough. I won't go through how she made hers in THIS blog. It would take too long :)

Nesting cookie cutters

A cookie sheet

Aluminum foil


STEP ONE:
Crush the candy!

The hammer method

There are a couple of ways to do that. First, place your (unwrapped) candy in a ziplock, one color at a time. Then, start crushing. My mom uses either a hammer or a rolling pin on top of a cutting board. The hammer is quicker and easier. As you finish crushing the candy, pour it into

 it's own bowl and then start another color. Once all of ypictures in order to save room... but I'm thinking about 20 pieces of each color per batch of our candy is crushed and into separate bowls, it's time to move on to the next step. I didn't use all of our cookies is sufficient. My mom gets hers out of the bulk candy section so that she doesn't have any left over. My parents were never into candy... sooo... clearly they didn't want it laying around. If you like spare candy, then go for it! Get the big bags, baby!

STEP TWO:

On the cookie sheets
Roll out your gingerbread and start cutting shapes. You will need nesting cookie cutters for this if you want it to be simple. First, cut out the big shape, then transfer it to your aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and cut out the inside shape. This ensures that your frail silhouette holds it's shape. Transferring it after you cut the inside out is much trickier. You won't need much dough since we cut the insides of the cookies out. You can keep adding the discarded dough back into the ball, rolling it out and cutting the shapes. You'll have a lot more dough, too, if your twenty-something daughter isn't hanging around and snitching bits of it each time you turn your back :) No shame.
STEP THREE:
Add the crushed candy. This is where the glass becomes stained. I only like the butterscotch, so much to my mother's chagrin, I was refusing to mix the colors. The only way to make the cookies look like stained glass is to combine 2-5 colors. I did it for a few cookies (reluctantly), but not all of them. This is the hardest part. You want to really fill the hole in, and you want the line of crushed candy to be higher than the dough, but you don't want any of the crushed candy to be on the dough. If it is, it will look messy once it is melted. We didn't have time to clear the candy crumbs off of the dough, but it helps them to look really pretty and clean. Just dust off the edges before you put the cookies in the oven.

STEP FOUR:
Bake the cookies! Follow the specifications of the dough and then just make sure the crushed candy has melted before removing them from the oven. Allow them to cool and then devour! I always eat them straight away, but it will probably burn your tongue :) for me, it's worth it! I'd post more pictures, but blogger isn't doing so well today and I've gotta get moving! I need to clean the house and do laundry before ballet. Plus, I got a call that I need to pick up another shift at work today, too. YAY! That's my second this week! Though I do feel bad for my co-worker, she is SO sick!
Enjoy your day! The past two days have been SO beautiful. I can hardly believe it's November in Michigan. However, the 2 week countdown has begun for us... the Christmas tree goes up in mid-November! No shame. That tree takes FOREVER and I am not going through all of that work just to take it down in a month :) Thanks for reading!

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