Bring back sweet memories of the magic of Christmases past for your family and friends with these fancy jewel-colored cookie ornaments.
Pretty enough to hang on a Christmas tree or up against a frosted window where they can catch the light, these cookies are certain to take your guests’ breath away!
Or you might display them on a stand, as shown in the photo above, in the center of your Christmas table for a showstopping holiday centerpiece.
You can make the cookies in a variety of seasonal shapes and sizes, then add melted hard-candy centers and a creamy icing for extra detail. (The Country Woman Test Kitchen found that the Jolly Ranchers provided a much more translucent and shiny looking center than Lifesavers.)
Best of all, these colorful stunners are much easier to make than you might imagine. They could even become a fun family project or tradition.
This article has easy-to-follow instructions, with handy tips on everything from crushing the hard candy to applying the frosting, as well as how-to photos.
So bake a batch of beautiful trims (or quick gifts) with these fancy and fanciful cookie ornaments.
To order the Ornament Tree (in the photo) by mail, send payment of $19.99 (plus $3.95 shipping and handling for one, $4.50 for two or more) to Country Store, Suite 7657, P.O. Box 990, Greendale WI 53129-0990. To order with a credit card, call tollfree 1-800/558-1013. Or you can order on-line at www.countrystorecatalog.com. Either way, refer to Suite 7657. Please be sure to specify item 27145 for the Ornament Tree. Wisconsin residents, add 5% sales tax. Orders from outside the United States, please pay in U.S. funds only.
Stained Glass Cookie Recipe
[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”50 min” cook_time=”10 min” serves=”” details=”” ]
[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]
- 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Assorted colors of Jolly Rancher hard candies
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon water
- 2-2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it ” time=”1 hour”]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide dough into three portions; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Line baking sheets with foil and grease the foil; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. ornament-shaped
cookie cutters. Cut out centers with a floured 1/2-in. cookie cutter. Place larger cutouts 2 in. apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a plastic straw, poke a small hole near the top of each cookie for hanging. Repeat with remaining dough. Reroll small cutouts if desired.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Place the same color of hard candies in small resealable plastic bags; crush candies. Sprinkle in center of cookies. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Use straw to reopen hanging holes. Cool for 2-3 minutes or until candies are set before carefully removing to wire racks.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]For icing, in a small mixing bowl, beat meringue powder and water until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Decorate cookies; let dry. Thread string through holes to hang cookies.[/step-item]
Yield: about 7 dozen.
Editor’s Note: To order meringue powder from Wilton Industries, Inc., call 1-800/794-5866 or visit their Web site, www.wilton.com.
[step-list-wrapper title=”Instructions” time=””]
[step-item number=”” image_url=”http://media.rd.com/rd/images/rdc/books/country-woman-christmas/stained-glass-ornament-cookie-recipe-3-ch.jpg” title=”” ]CUTTING. Cut out the centers of the cookies using mini cookie cutters in shapes similar or different to those of the larger cutouts.[/step-item]
[step-item number=” image_url=”http://media.rd.com/rd/images/rdc/books/country-woman-christmas/stained-glass-ornament-cookie-recipe-4-ch.jpg” title=”” ]CRUSHING. Place hard candies in heavy resealable plastic bag. Close bag tightly. Using a meat mallet, pound candy until finely crushed.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”” image_url=”http://media.rd.com/rd/images/rdc/books/country-woman-christmas/stained-glass-ornament-cookie-recipe-5-ch.jpg” title=”” ]COLORING. With the cookies on foil-lined baking sheets, carefully sprinkle a small spoonful of crushed candy to fill center of each cutout.[/step-item]
- Decorate cookies like a pro with decorating tips and pastry or resealable plastic bags. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and insert a decorating tip. Reinforce the seal between the bag and tip with tape.For very simple decorations or outlining, just cut the corner off a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
- To fill a pastry or resealable plastic bag with frosting, insert a decorating tip if desired and place the bag in a measuring cup. Roll down top edge to make a cuff. Fill about half full with frosting. Roll up cuff.Smooth filling down toward tip to remove air bubbles, which will cause breaks in the design when piping. Twist top of bag shut.