After several failed attempts over the years, I usually ended up with smashed candies running all over the cookie sheet in a sticky, layered mess.
Either the gods were with me this time, or I finally found a recipe that works. Don’t be intimated by this recipe; it’s really pretty easy if you remember to keep your oven at 325, and not 350, and to chill the dough first.
The idea is to use a straw to make a hole in the top, and to tie the cookies with string as ornaments; especially for Christmas-themed cookies. Except, I’m much more realistic now that I have four boys. What’s the point when the boys will eat them five minutes after I hang them anyway?
The ingredients were pretty simple, and came from a Martha Stewart cookie magazine that I ended up buying because we couldn’t find the magazine in time to return it when it was due. Here’s the recipe:
- Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until smooth, 1 minute.
- Mix together flour and dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and slowly add to butter mixture.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Place mixing bowl in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. Don’t skip this step. The cold dough will not “melt” on the cookie sheet.
- Meanwhile, unwrap the candies, and place candies in a plastic bag, and begin hammering it with a meat tenderizer. You’ll need to cover the bag with a towel; but be careful. We ended up making holes in the towel.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Remove cookie dough from refrigerator, and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking.
- Use the large hearts to cut the cookies.
- Using a spatula, move the cut cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
- Once the cookies are on the baking sheet, use the smaller heart to cut out the space for the candies.
- Sprinkle broken candies into centers, being careful not to let the candies lay on top of your cookies.
- You can either cook the baby hearts, or use them to roll out more dough for cookies.
- Martha says to put the baking sheet into the refrigerator to chill the dough for about 15 minutes. I don’t have that kind of space in my refrigerator; so don’t worry if you can’t.
- Place baking sheet in oven, and cook for about 6-8 minutes. The trick is not to let the cookies brown, as the stained glass windows will turn out bubbly and not clear.
- There were a few cookies that did not have enough candy to reach the edges of the cookies; it’s hard to know just how much the melted candy will spread. When that happened, I just added a few more peices of candy to the centers, and they melted very fast with the rest of the candy.
I am definitely making a green batch of shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe, I’ll have them done before Easter.