Introduction: Stained Glass Holiday Cookies
These unique treats are the perfect combination of sugar cookie with a hard candy center! Jolly Rancher candies are what I prefer for this recipe, but other hard candies may be used as well. These are great to serve at get togethers or to put in clear bags and tie up with a bow to give as holiday or thank you gifts for teachers, postal workers, neighbors, etc. They are enjoyed by everyone!
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon soda
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
18 individually wrapped red (cherry flavored) Jolly Rancher candies, unwrapped
18 individually wrapped green (green apple flavored) Jolly Rancher candies, unwrapped
18 individually wrapped blue (blue raspberry flavored) Jolly Rancher candies, unwrapped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 quart-size resealable freezer bags
Parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheets
Large and medium holiday cookie cutters
Small (about ½-inch) round cutter or plastic lid
1-inch round cutter
Candy sprinkles/nonpareils (optional)
Step 1: Butter and Sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
Step 2: Adding Additional Ingredients
Add egg, extracts, salt, and soda. Beat on low speed until smooth.
Step 3: Adding Flour
Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until evenly mixed and scraping down bowl as needed.
Step 4: Chilling Dough
Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Step 5: Preparing Candies
Place each color of candies in separate resealable bags. Seal tops. Use a hammer to crush the candies then pour each color of candy into small separate bowls.
Step 6: Rolling Dough and Cutting Cookies
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Lightly sprinkle a rolling mat with powdered sugar. Place half of dough at a time on mat, then lightly sprinkle additional powdered sugar on top of dough. Use a rolling pin to roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out dough as desired using large and medium cutters. Place cookies 1-inch apart on parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Cut out a circle in center of each using the appropriate size of round cutter to allow a perimeter of at least ¼-inch of dough. Carefully remove center circles of dough. Chill cookies on baking sheets in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Step 7: Filling and Baking Cookies
Remove baking sheets from refrigerator. Add ½ - 1 teaspoon of crushed candies in each circle. Bake for 5 minutes. Carefully add a small amount of the same color of additional crushed candy in each circle, being careful not to overfill. Bake for 6-7 additional minutes until edges of cookies are barely golden.
Step 8: Finishing Cookies
Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle the melted candy centers with sprinkles if desired. Cool completely. Carefully remove cookies from baking sheet. Arrange cookies on a plate and serve. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cutters. Enjoy!
Step 9: Notes:
Any cookie cutters may be used, depending on the season, holiday, or special occasion. By the same token, any flavor/color of candies may be used as desired.
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