This is one of those family traditions that you continue just because, well, it’s a family tradition. My sister and I loved making these cookies as kids, even though they look a lot better than they taste. I can still see my mom’s recipe, stained and torn over the years, that she’d sent away for with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. This was before the invention of the silicone baking mat, and the cookies stuck so mercilessly that each bite contained a bit of waxed paper that inevitably became a chewy wad in your mouth. Now, with the internet and Silpats, I reprint the recipe every year and the cookies don’t stick, but they still look way better than they taste, and so, the tradition lives on. I’ve adapted the recipe here.
Stained Glass Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
30-40 hard candies (such as Life Savers), preferably in several flavors/colors
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with a Silpat.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add corn syrup and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed.
3. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 2 days.
4. Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color.
8. Sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. Try to keep the candy within the centers. Any candy specks that fall on the cookie will color the cookie.