I’ve always thought that ‘stained glass’ window biscuits with their jewelled sugary centres are the most beautiful cookie around, and without doubt perfect for Christmas. Traditionally made to adorn Christmas trees, where the fairy lights can glitter through the colourful centres, they’re also delightful as an extra special Christmas treat to eat. I don’t think they’d work nearly as well at other times of year and so this recipe is another that has been on the back burner ever since I didn’t get to write it up last Christmas!
No cookie can be more festive than gingerbread, it’s certainly what Father Christmas expects when he comes to our house, so that’s what I’ve chosen to surround the bejewelled centres. It may look tricky, but the stained glass effect is simply made from popping a boiled sweet into the hole in this biscuit before baking which melts to fill the gap and then hardens once the cookies are cooling. Do be very careful to either bake them directly onto a greased baking sheet or use non-stick paper. With one batch I made the mistake of using regular baking paper and the results weren’t pretty or easy to prise off at the end!
I’ve made a batch of jewel filled Christmas trees and also these super cute reindeers. Maybe you’ve seen this hack on Pinterest too? The idea is to use a gingerbread man cookie cutter, then turn it upside down to provide a shape that can be piped to look like a reindeer. The most perfect cute Christmas cookie.
Stained Glass Gingerbread Cookies
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, can be soya-free, sesame free, vegetarian and vegan)
Makes 12-15 small cookies, 6-8 large
50g/ 1/4 cup dairy-free margarine
20g/ 2 tbsps cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
75g/ 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
2 tbsps golden syrup
20ml/ 1.5 tbsps dairy-free milk
170g/ 1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 boiled sweet for each cookie
chocolate chips for the eyes
- Cream together the dairy-free margarine, dairy-free cream cheese, sugar, syrup and dairy-free milk
- Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger
- Knead into a soft dough
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Stamp out a hole from each cookie.
- Place on a greased or lined (with non-stick baking paper) baking sheet and place a boiled sweet into each hole.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 190 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 5 (10 minutes for soft, 12 for crisp)
- Cool on the sheet a little before transferring to a wire rack
- To make the reindeers, turn the gingerbread men on their heads and pipe on antlers and ears with icing, add chocolate chips for eyes.