Three more Monday Munchies after this. I can't believe the year is so close to being over. Where did it go???
Continuing on with the Starry Christmas theme, today: Stained Glass Window biscuits. These can be decorations, made with a hole in the top and a ribbon threaded through, and the biscuit hangs on the tree. Not in my house though, in Summer I worry about flies and, well, Labradors who might make mighty leaps to achieve a biscuit!!! Also, we don't put up a tree. I think I would prefer to enclose the biscuit in a cellophane bag and then tie that to the branches.
I used Nigella's Cut-Out Biscuit recipe and I found some fruit drops, clear hard sugar lollies, in Coles. Boiled lollies can be used but some won't give the window effect. I used one quarter of the dough and made three 7cm and four 5.5cm biscuits and the little centre star cut out was 2.5cm cutter. I think the full batch would be about 25 7cm stars or 36 5.5cm ones. (I measured the cutters from point to point to decide what to call them)
Oops, I accidentally clicked Publish instead of preview. Damn, somewhere out there will be a poorly typed, half photo-ed post!!!
Stained Glass Window Biscuits makes between 25 and 36
- 175g softened butter, I used low salt
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 400g plain flour
- 1 tspn baking powder
- coloured clear boiled lollies/fruit drops
- large and smaller biscuit cutters
The dough must rest in the fridge for an hour, or overnight, so this is not really a recipe to make on the spur of the moment. Cream the butter and sugar until they are pale and creamy, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat again till well combined. My eggs were only medium size so I added another yolk. Sift the dry ingredients.
Add the creamed mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together gently by hand. Form into a disc and wrap tightly in clingwrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. The dough will also freeze well, and can be defrosted in the fridge when needed.
While the dough chills, crush the lollies. I experimented a little and found the method that worked best for me. I unwrapped the lollies and then put them in a little cellophane bag, or a ziplock, and then wrapped that in a clean teatowel/kitchen cloth and hammered them gently. I unwrapped the little parcel frequently to make sure I was hitting the right spot. The lollies shouldn't all be crushed to oblivion, some small chunks are fine.
Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper. This is very important as the melted lollies will stick like glue to an unprotected tray. Roll the dough out to 5mm thickness between two sheets of clingwrap or baking paper. This means less flour is used and the dough is the same consistency from start to finish. Dip the cutter in flour and cut out the large shape. Lift it onto the tray with a knife and then cut out the smaller centre shape. It's easier to lift a whole shape than an unstable one with the centre missing.
Fill the centres with the crushed lollies. I filled the small shapes to be level with the biscuit top, and I overfilled the larger ones, to see what would happen. Bake for 10 minutes, turning the trays half way through. Cool for 10 minutes on the tray and then cool on a rack. Overfilling the centres makes the 'stained glass' thicker, the thinner 'glass' is just as good.