From chestnuts roasting, candy canes (not a favourite in our house) and corns for popping, Christmas is synonymous with food. We’ve been watching a lot of Disney recently and ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol‘ from 1983 is firmly on our watchlist, with the wicked Scrooge McDuck and Willie the Giant as the Ghost of Christmas Present.
It’s a running joke here at Beagle HQ that you can tell when Mama is cooking because the smoke alarm is ringing. Whilst there’s a little more truth in that joke than I’d like, I do enjoy baking and making treats at Christmas. Previously I’ve made chocolate truffles, fudge and the VERY alcoholic Christmas cake (one small slice gave you a hangover for a week!) I baked one year is still discussed over our Christmas dinner!
One thing I wanted to try was ‘stained glass‘ cookies. They keep popping up on my Pinterest and look stunning, especially those which have been created as edible tree decorations. I like biscuits a little more than I probably should but this seemed like a good excuse to mix up a batch of biscuits and use the last of the Lamb’s Halloween sweets (shh don’t tell her!).
I’ve been pretty successful with this biscuit recipe from BBC GoodFood. Instead of vanilla flavouring, I use freshly ground vanilla: it’s a bit of a luxury but lasts FOREVER, I don’t need to worry about the different types of vanilla, plus the Lamb enjoys grinding the pods.
I used my trusty Christmas tree cutter and found a small heart cutter to cut the small ‘window’. I had planned to use a star, but my star cookie cutter is currently MIA having been used in a different craft. Still, I think the hearts look lovely and definitely shows these biscuits are made with love!
Now, I have a small confession: I was pressed for time when making these so didn’t chill them for as long as I should have, which is why I think the trees ‘splodged’ a bit whilst baking. If I make them again, I’ll definitely be thoroughly chilling for an hour before baking and will hopefully get a better-defined shape.
Reading different blogs, the advice others have given is to make sure you use lots of crushed hard-boiled sweets to ensure the ‘glass’ fills the space. I was surprised that it took nearly a whole sweet for each heart and they could probably have used more!
I’ll be looking at packaging on Day 7 of the 12 Days of Giftmas but in the meantime, I had bought these cookie bags in the sales last year. I like the snowflake patterns and the small cellophane window, which shows off the cookies really well.
So, officially I suppose this could be classed as a Pinterest Fail as they’re not as delicate or defined as the ones I’d seen online but, as always, the proof is in the tasting. They tasted lovely and we all really liked the additional flavours that the stained glass brought. Happy baking!
Do you give gifts of food for Christmas? Share your favourite recipes below.