Merry Christmas everyone! this really is the most magical time of the year, everywhere you look there are twinkling lights and the promise of indulgence. I think this season, above all others is one where homemade treats and gifts are most appreciated.
These fun stained glass cookies are nothing like the mass produced snacks in stores, and look absolutely beautiful hidden among branches of a Christmas tree, ready for excited guests to discover and claim. I like to make the dough in advance and stash it in the fridge (for up to 3 days) or freezer, ready to whip up a quick batch of these when I’m expecting guests. The whole house is filled with the gorgeous scent of spices, and the from defrosted takes less than an hour to go from fridge to tree.
Serve with milk or mulled wine for a fantastic ice breaker for any gathering.
Stained Glass Gingerbread Recipe
Adapted from Delia Smith | Makes approximately 18 medium sized cookies
75g light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup/corn syrup
1 tbsp treacle/molasses
1 tbsp water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of grated nutmeg
finely grated zest of half an orange
95g butter cut at room temperature cut into cubes
½ baking soda
225g plain flour plus more if needed (I added about an extra 4 tbsp)
approx 12 fruit flavoured hard candy bashed into crumbs (keep each colour separate)
In a saucepan on a medium high heat combine the sugar, syrup, molasses, water, spices and zest and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
Stir in the butter until it melts and is well combined, and then mix in the baking soda.
Using a wooden spoon gradually sift in the flour stirring well between each addition until it forms a manageable dough.
Leave to covered in a cool place for about 30 minutes to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line baking sheets with baking paper
On a floured work surface roll out the dough and cut into shapes.
Cut a circle out of the middle of each shape – I used the large end of a piping nozzle, but a shot glass or other cutter would work just as well.
Using a smaller tool cut a small hole in the top of the cookie to create a place to tie the ribbon – I used a chopstick for this.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet allowing about half an inch gap around them.
Fill the large hole in the cookies with the crushed candy.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes until the cookies are slightly firm and brown.
Allow to cool on the baking sheet until the candy centre has solidified then move to a cooling rack until at room temperature.
Tie ribbon loops through the small holes at the top of the cookies and hang on your christmas tree for your guests to enjoy.
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