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Easy and Impressive: Stained Glass Cookies

stained-glass-cookies-Stained glass cookies, these beautiful things with windows of translucent candy in their centers, are simply magical. They’re so festive and perfect for the holidays. I’ve always wanted to make them, and have actually tried a few times, but I had never had much success until now.

Perhaps I never had a good recipe, or perhaps I had only attempted them on my own without referring to any instructions—I’m not sure. The fact was, I had given up on them until the December issue of Martha Stewart Living came out this year. They have a recipe for one dough that makes several different types of cookies. I could see from the pictures that the dough for the cookies was true to form even after it baked. And the instructions for making them with the stained glass in the center were clear and specific, so I mustered up some baking courage and tried them again. I think they were pretty successful.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2010

Stained Glass Cookies

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon of table salt)
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
several Jolly Rancher candies, cut into 1/4″ pieces, and separated into colors

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in egg and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl, if necessary. Add in vanilla and almond extract. And beat until smooth. With mixer on low, add in salt, flour, and baking powder, and mix until completely incorporated and dough is uniform. Pull dough together into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 25 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, pound dough several times with a rolling pin to soften it, then roll it to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on a silpat (silicone baking sheet liner) or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a shape in the center of the cookie. Bake for 4 minutes. Pull cookies from oven, and fill cutout shapes with candy pieces (it should look like you’re overfilling it). Bake for 4 minutes more. Let cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet before removing.

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