Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Stained-Glass Cookies

Whether you leave cookies out for Santa or just like the excuse to indulge in the sweets this time of year, it’s time to stop making the slice-and-bake BS and get a little fancy.

Stained Glass cookies are super adorable and totally versatile: you can hang these on a wreath, on your tree, by the window…or just eat them. That last option is definitely #1 for me. I’m not wasting perfectly good baked goods on a tree or, worse, a fat man with a beard.

They may seem difficult to make, but they’re super easy. And a fun activity on a cold Saturday with the roomies. Oh, and did I mention they’re only 90 calories each? YES. Because there should never be a positive correlation between holiday season and your waistline.

Materials:
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup margarine, or 1 stick of butter, softened
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 package (10 to 12 ounces) of hard candy, such as jolly ranchers
* Festive-colored ribbon
* Plastic wrap
* Hand mixer
* Ziploc bags
* Cookie cutters, regular and mini-sized
* Nonstick baking pan
* Drinking straw
* Rolling pin

Steps:
(Note: If you really don’t wanna spend so much time and energy making the dough, you could get a pre-maid sugar cookie roll, eat a little raw [we won’t judge], then skip on down to step #6.)

1. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the sugar, margarine/butter, and shortening until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until blended.
2. Slowly pour the flour mixture in while beating, stopping just before fully blended.
3. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. While dough is chilling, separate the hard candies by color into each Ziploc bag. Use a rolling pin (or a hammer) to gently crush the candy into small pieces.
5. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
6. Take the dough out and place on a well-floured surface. Roll each piece of dough until 1/8 inch thick.
7. Use regular-sized cookie cutters and cut the dough into 3-4 inch shapes. Now take the mini-sized cookie cutters (or a knife) and make another shape in the middle of each cookie. Place the cookies on the cookie sheet.(Note: the cookie sheet MUST BE nonstick so the candy doesn’t get stuck!)
8. Take some crushed candy and sprinkle it in the hole in the middle of the cookie.
9. If you plan on using these as decorations, use the straw and poke a hole into the top of each cookie. If you just plan on eating them, don’t worry about it.
10. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
11. Let the cookies cool and frost those bad-boys (props if you can make cute designs)

If you wanna hang ’em, loop some ribbon through the hole. If you wanna eat ’em, let the frosting harden before shoving them down your throat.

[Recipe inspired by Fancy Flours Bakery.]

Life After College: My World (or Blog) is Crashing!
Life After College: My World (or Blog) is Crashing!
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