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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Window Cookies

This recipe is really fun, and it happens to be a 2-in-1. They're part cookie, part candy. They definitely require a little patience, as there are several steps, but if you want to look like the next Martha Stewart at your holiday cookie swap, this is a pretty sure bet.

Yield: approx. 3 dozen

For the cookie: (this is a basic sugar cookie recipe, but can be swapped out with any dough well suited for cut out cookies...or if you were invited to a party, let's say tomorrow, just use refrigerated sugar cookie dough.)

  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • Lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • 1 C butter (preferably unsalted, but it won't ruin your cookies either way)
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • powdered sugar (... so much yummier than flour for rolling out the dough)

For the window:
  • 1 large bag of hard candy, like J.R. or L.S.

Sift together the first 5 ingredients. Set those aside, and grab a second bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar until they become a nice pale yellow. Add the egg and milk. Once combined, lower your mixer speed and gradually add the dry ingredients in stages. Only beat until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Divide the dough in two, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

While the dough is resting, separate the colors/flavors of your hard candies. Unwrap them and put each color into a plastic bag. Now, use a rolling pin to smash the daylights out of your candy. Wasn't that just a little too fun?

Anywho, preheat your oven to 350. Remove one portion of dough. Roll out on well dusted surface to about 1/4" thick.  Using about a 2" cookie cutter, cut out shapes. Take a 1" cutter and cut a "window" in each of your cookies. Transfer onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in fridge for about 10 min. (This helps the cookies keep their shape when baking.)

Right before putting your cookies in the oven, sprinkle a little mound of the crushed candies in the "window". Bake for 8-10 min until edges are just golden. Remove from oven and let cool for about 2 min. Slide cookies, parchment and all onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.

Now, devour... or, if you have WAY more restraint than me, these make a really pretty (and edible) ornament. Just use a toothpick to poke a hole in the dough before baking, then use a pretty ribbon to create a loop.

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