Then, using mini-cookie cutters, mini fondant cutters or the end of a metal pastry piping tip (or a thimble or small bottle cap) cut out a cut-away or several small cutaways from each cookie. (The cookies are easier to eat if the cut-aways are not too large, though if you plan to use them mainly as light-catcher decorations, a large expanse of “glass” is very pretty.) Next, bake the cookies as you normally would following the recipe directions. If you plan to hang up the cookies, be sure to make a stringing hole in each before you bake. (Put a piece of toothpick in the holes so they don’t close up during baking; carefully slip them out before the cookies cool completely.)
Once the cookies are completely baked, lay them, slightly separated, on a foil-lined baking sheet; do not omit the foil or the cookies will stick to the pan. Fill the cut-aways in the cookies with crushed clear hard candies, such as lollipops, Lifesavers, or Jolly Ranchers.
The best way to prepare the candies is to put them in a tightly closed double layer of plastic bags and crack them into fine pieces using a mallet, heavy rolling pin, or heavy metal spoon. You need to spoon in enough candy to fill the cut-aways, but don’t pile in too much or it will overflow. If necessary, use a small, clean artist’s paint brush to brush away any candy bits that drop onto the cookie surface.
Put the cookies back into the oven just long enough for the candy to melt but not boil over, about a minute or two–keep checking, as the time will vary depending on the brand of candy used. Let the cookies stand on the baking sheet until completely cool again. Be sure not to touch the “stained glass” parts during cooling as they will be extremely hot and can cause bad burns. After the cookies are cooled, they peel right off the foil.
It’s fine to serve them as is, but I like to add coating of powdered sugar icing, preferably in a contrasting color, so the jewel in the cookie center will stand out. If desired, immediately sprinkle the tops with some colored sprinkles (or leftover crushed candy shards) for a simple, but pretty finish like that on the cookie in the middle at the top. Or, if you wish to add piping, it can accent the center “jewel” beautifully as well.
These make lovely gifts or attractive edible ornaments. I package them individually in little celephane bags and tie them with a colorful ribbon.
The cookies below are prepared by a decorating technique called marbling. Learn how to do it following the pics here .