Stained-Glass Cookies

Category: Cookies & Candies


2 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter, unsalted
2 tsp beaten egg (about half a large egg, lightly beaten)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp lemon extract
1 cup sour balls


Equipment: cookie sheets lines with aluminum foil, then sprayed with nonstick vegetable cooking spray or greased; rolling pin; 3-inch round cookie cutters.

Food Processor Method: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a food processor with the metal blade, process the sugar until it is very fine. Cut the butter into a few pieces and add it with the motor running. Process until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and extracts and process until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse in, just until the dough begins to clump together.

Electric Mixer Method: Soften the butter. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the egg and extracts and beat until blended. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. On low speed, gradually add them to the butter mixture and mix just until the dough can be gathered into a ball.

For Both Methods: Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the wrap, not your fingers, to press the dough together to form a thick flat disk. Wrap it well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably no longer than 3 hours. Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate the sour balls into individual colors and pulverize them separately in a blender or food processor. Place each color in a small container and set aside.

Using about a quarter of the dough at a time, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured counter. Cut out cookies with a 3-inch cookie cutter, spraying or greasing the cutter as needed to prevent sticking. With a small, angled metal spatula or pancake turner, transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets. If you are planning to hang the cookies, make small holes with a blunt end of a wooden skewer. Cut out shapes for the stained glass in each cookie with small cutters or with a small sharp knife. Use the tip of a small sharp knife to fill the holes with candy pieces, filling just to the top of the dough.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned and the candy has melted completely. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period. Watch carefully toward the end of baking to see that the candy does not start to caramelize and turn brown.

Allow cookies to cool completely on the sheets. Carefully peel off the aluminum foil. Store in and airtight container, between sheets of wax paper, at room temperature. Keeps several weeks. Makes 4 dozen.

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