Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Cookie Swap

Have you ever done a Christmas Cookie Swap? They are really fun - you get a nice big group together and everyone bakes a bunch of cookies and swaps them. Say you have 10 friends who want to participate. Everyone bakes 11 dozen cookies - which, when you think about it isn't that big a deal. You all converge on one house with you 10 dozen plus 1 extra dozen to share. You usually get a nice variety of cookies; you'll have enough for your Christmas season AND you'll have spent a nice afternoon with friends hearing all of the stories behind their fun Christmas recipe!

Here's a great recipe for you to try - they're pretty and not the BASIC chocolate chip or snickerdoodle.

Stained Glass Cookies

* This recipe is a lot of fun to make with the kids and the cookies look great once they’re baked. You can use them to decorate the tree or just display them in a nice bowl or of course just eat them!

3 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (melted)
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup water
Bright colored hard candies
Cookie cutters

Mix the butter, sugar and honey in a large bowl and add water, mix until smooth. Combine the salt, baking soda and sifted flour in a large bowl. Add butter mixture to flour mixture and knead the dough a little with your hands. Wrap up roll in cling film and place in freezer for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling unwrap a selection of round hard candies and set aside.

Once the dough is ready roll it on a lightly floured surface and cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Using the tip of a knife cut out a circle in the center of the cookie to approximately fit the hard candy. If you’re cookie is meant to be an ornament make a hole at the top using a straw.

Bake at 350F for approximately 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly golden, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place the hard candy in the center of cookie and bake for another minute or so (just until the candy slightly starts to bubble). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before displaying or eating.

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