Baking - Cookies, Ingredient Insights

Stained Glass Cookies: Sugar vs. Hard Candies

I remember making stained glass window cookies as a kid; the sugar cookie that you cut shapes out of, then fill with crushed hard candies, which then melt as the cookies bake to make a stained glass look. Candy and cookie combined, it’s a child’s (and my) dream!

I volunteered to make dessert for our Easter dinner this year, and seeing as I have a big egg shaped cookie cutter I thought this would be a good opportunity to try the stained glass cookies I remembered.

I have tried to make them in the last few years, and I had the brilliant idea that I could use coloured sugar instead of crushing up hard candies. This idea failed in a most disappointing way. Then I left the idea for a long time, and eventually I thought again how fun it would be to make them. I remembered trying the coloured sugar, but then I couldn’t remember if it had worked or not. So I did it again. Disappointment again, not only with the cookies but with my unreliable memory!

So this time I didn’t doubt myself, I went and got hard candies. This was surprisingly difficult. I went to the Bulk Barn, sure┬áthat I would find lots of hard candy choices, but most of them had some kind of chewy or chocolate centre. The ones I settled on were Lifesavers. They were all individually wrapped, which made it easier to crush them with the hammer, and finally my dream of making those stained glass cookies was reality.

Sugar on its own melts at a higher temperature than the candies, and it doesn’t work for the short amount of time that the cookies are in the oven. So if you decide to make cookies with candies, make sure you actually use hard candies, and not sugar. Happy Easter!