Friday, 13 December 2013

Cinnamon Spiced Stained Glass Window Biscuits

I vaguely remember making these biscuits before, many years ago, but I can't remember what they tasted like. It was about time I tried them again because I love the idea of them hanging on the tree catching the light. What I didn't anticipate was the sheet brute force needed to break the boiled sweets up. I thought it would simply involve a swift whack with a rolling pin but after several increasingly ferocious attempts they just wouldn't break. So I used my mini blender to reduce the sweets to a fine crumb. It made a hell of a racket but it did a great job.
You will need (for around 24 biscuits):
180g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
110g butter
50g caster sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
Boiled sweets, different colours and flavours
Greaseproof paper
Ribbon, string or other hanging devices
Preheat an oven to 180C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Rub together the flour, cinnamon and butter until you have a breadcrumb texture. Stir through the sugar and then bring the mixture together with drops of milk until it forms a ball.
Knead the mix lightly then chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface until about the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut the dough into whatever shapes you fancy, cutting another hole or shape inside each one.
Make a hole in the top of each biscuit for the ribbon to go through.
Lift each biscuit onto the prepared baking trays.

Crush the boiled sweets (see note above). You can crush the colours and flavours individually or mix them all up so you get a mish mash of colours in each one. I needed about 12 sweets to fill these biscuits but it will depend on your sweets and the size of the holes.
Fill the holes in the dough with the crushed sweets so that it is level with the top of the dough.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and the sweets have melted. Leave the middles to harden before removing from the baking sheet and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Once cool, thread each biscuit with ribbon.
After filling the holes in the biscuits to the top with the bits of sweet I was concerned they might bubble over. In fact the sweets melted into almost nothingness leaving a very delicate thin shard of sugar in each biscuit. I wasn't expecting them to rise at all so the little bit they did grow was a surprise. Threading the ribbon, string or whatever else you have around through the biscuit hole is made much easier if you utilise a toothpick. I lost count but I must have got 24 biscuits out of this mix at least; enough for eating as you decorate. One for me, one for the tree.

9 comments:

  1. We used to make these when our kids were little - we used a gingerbread recipe. Hope your mini-blender survided OK!

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  2. I remember we made these in school when I was in Kindergarten and I was amazed. I should totally make them again...they're so pretty :)

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  3. I love the center piece. Totally support the beauty these cookies create on the tree.

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  4. Bellìsimas galletas es un lujo como te ha quedado un especial de Navidad,abrazos.

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  5. the center piece really looks like the light shining thru it!

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  6. I bet these look fantastic hanging on the tree. I've seen something similar before, but have never quite had the confidence to try it for myself.

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  7. i like this idea so much, caroline, and not just because cinnamon is involved. :)

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  8. Impressive work, Caroline! These biscuits look really pretty.

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