I've decided I'm going to try to be more dedicated about this whole keeping a blog and writing about life thing. I've always been someone who tends to have one defining element taking over a large portion of my time and life, except not so much since I've stopped teaching. I feel that, to a certain extent, I've just stopped learning new things and stopped thinking critically about much of anything and I've just felt very not myself for a while. Take into account it's the busiest time of year for tedious, urgent, beyond-deadline, all due at the same time, and that time is last week, except you don't have everything you need to finish them type work projects.
That said (and I promise I'm getting to the cookies here soon) I've decided I need to create my own project to learn. So I'm going to learn more about how to make my blog better and how to actually take pictures and do photo editing and all sorts of things I've never done before. I got a fancy new camera and I've made a list of 100ish (I actually have no idea how many are on there, but 100 sounds great for a list, right?) things I want to make or perfect. So, in the midst of a night I spent doing work at home, I also put together this batch of rose-colored glasses cookies. With the usual help...
Look who's big enough to get to the counters? And she loves butter.
Little Ember is a girl after my own heart.
I didn't love the way the sugar cookie element of these turned out. They were a little tough and not particularly flavorful, so I'm going to leave off the recipe and just show the process.
Step one: Mix up a sugar cookie recipe that's tastier than mine. Chill it. While it's chilling, dig around until you find some cookie cutters that are either the same shape in different sizes or a shape that fits inside of another. I had some biscuit cutters that worked well and borrowed some hearts from my cousin.
Then roll it out and cut them so they create a frame for your stained glass 'window.' I feel like this is probably pretty intuitive.
Did I mention I got a new camera? You can probably tell, now my pictures are much nicer!
Once your have your frames, you'll need to chop up some hard candy. I used Jolly Ranchers because I like how vibrant they are, and if there is one thing you need in the winter, it's colors and cookies!
Aren't they so pretty? They look like gems!
You can leave the chunks pretty big, and they will still melt down nicely. It took 14 ounces of Ranchers for about 4 dozen stained glass cookies. I chopped them into about 4-5 pieces per Rancher. The dogs were so helpful in cleaning up the pieces that landed on the floor. I'm not sure what it says that my dogs are as excited about sugar and butter as they are about chicken and steak....
Anyway, enough about the pups, put the rancher chunks into the cookie frames, not too much or they'll go over the sides when they get bubbly, and not too little or you'll have holes in your window.
Then, you'll need to bake them on a parchment paper-lined sheet. I baked them about 10-11 minutes at 325. I wouldn't go much longer, or you'll have burned sugar. I know because I forgot a batch, and they did not taste very good. Don't worry though, I still ate them. When they come out, the middles will be bubbly and need to cool for about 5 minutes on the sheet.
The cookies are actually really beautiful. Not the tastiest, but the light comes through and they are like a sparkly present.