christmas stained-glass shortbreads

christmas-stained-glass-shortbread
Oh Christmas Tree how lovely are your shortbreads!

Yes it’s our 9th Christmas recipe for 2015 and I thought you may appreciate a little baking activity to enjoy with your little ones over the weekend – Christmas stained-glass shortbread. They will love smashing the boiled sweets up to create the glass for these wonderful little biscuits, (and maybe popping one in their mouths for a “taste-test” or energy boost whilst they do the hard manual labour of crushing!)

Your children can choose their favourite Christmassy shapes and then for the little cut outs use what ever tiny cutters you have – I happened to have little stars and stocking shapes so used them.

christmas-stained-glass-shortbread
in the dark

You can go far bigger and bolder than we did by using larger cut out shapes in the centre of your cookie shapes, just make sure you get a good lot of sweetie-dust in the cutouts as it melts and then shrinks as it cools. I would love to see any of your creations.

We have made these and given them as little gifts the next day in sealed bags, but generally they get scoffed pretty quickly by the children of the neighbour hood who like the sugary windows in the biscuits! I have added a photo of them in the dark so you can kind of see their effect  when light shines through them. If you have a crowd of children coming over they work wonderfully on hung on the tree as the kids love helping themselves.

christmas stained-glass shortbread

  • Yield:

    20 (depending on size)
  • Cooking Method:

    baking
  • Prep Time:

    50 mins
  • Cook Time:

    8-12 mins
christmas stained-glass shortbread

These christmas stained-glass shortbread biscuits are surprisingly easy to make and very Christmassy (as we head towards the special day). They are a fun, creative activity for you to enjoy with your children. You can adapt them to hang on your Christmas tree, by  leaving the top cut out empty so you can thread ribbon through it once the biscuit has baked. They look super cute with fairy lights shining through the little coloured windows you create. They also work as a lovely home-made christmas pressie for your children to make and give to friends and teachers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 C sunflower spread
  • ½ C caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2C gluten-free plain flour* (I use Doves)
  • ¼ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Cream together the spread & sugar, then add the vanilla extract, followed by the flour and salt. Do NOT overheat it – once it’s mixed and about to come together, dump onto cling film & use the cling film to push it together into a ball. Tighten the cling film to seal  the dough in and pop in the fridge for an hour to chill.

    christmas-stained-glass-shortbread
    crush those sweeties

  2. In individual sandwich bags crush boiled sweets (one sweet of one colour per bag) Make sure they are ground very fine - to dust! After an hour you can retrieve the mix from the fridge, prep two baking trays with baking paper. Flour another sheet of baking paper to work on (this dough is very fragile and baking paper is a good way of lifting the dough onto your rolling pin for turning it over)

  3. Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch deep then cut out your christmassy shapes – trees, stars…whichever shapes you fancy & place biscuit shapes onto baking tray. Cut out your windows in the shapes (we did stockings & star cut outs). If you want to hang on a tree make a hole in the top of the shape to hang thread through.

    christmas-stained-glass-shortbread
    cutouts filled with sweetie dust

  4. Fill the cutouts you have created in your shortbreads with different colours of sweet-dust, make sure that there are no holes or gaps. When the tray is full pop into the fridge to cool again for an hour and preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).

  5. After their hour in the fridge cooling, the biscuits can go in the oven - they take a different length of time dependant on their size; 8-12 mins. The basic rule is cook ’til they start to go golden on edges. Leave them to cool on the baking tray until your stained glass is set, then carefully lift onto a cooling rack to cool.

Notes:

*if you don't need to use gluten-free flour; use normal plain flour as it works slightly better! 

14 Comments

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