Saturday, December 15, 2012

Window Pane Christmas Cookies...

{Photo Source:  Kraft}
The kids will literally sit on the floor with the oven light on and watch these cookies bake as the candies melt. Let the magic begin as dough is transformed into cookies with colored window panes! The kids are gonna love it!

Here's the ingredient list:
18 red and green clear hard candies
2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
Sifted powdered sugar 

Cookie cutters of the kids' choice Note: You'll need a large cookie cutter and a matching smaller cookie cutter for some cool Christmas trees, bells, stars... let them use their imagination.

Line cookies sheets with foil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Have the kids put the red and green candies in separate small "heavy" plastic zippy bags. Crush candies, leaving them coarse. Place each color in a small bowl.

Now let's mix up the cookie dough...

Let the kids measure the ingredients using several measuring cups (just like on the cooking shows)! And, please stop the mixer and let them dump ingredients into the mixing bowl. DO NOT keep the mixer running while those little fingers are near, please. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds (an adult helper is needed here, please). Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat mixture until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally (if the kids want to scrape, please stop the mixer). 

Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in fourths. 

Now the kids can jump in... the kids will love trying to roll out the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll a portion of the dough 1/4-inch thick. Using 2-1/2- to 3-inch cutters in desired shape, cut out dough. Place cutouts about 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Using smaller, 1/2- to 3/4-inch hors  cutters, cut out two, three, or four shapes from each larger cutout. Note:  The key here is to not let the kids cut out too many shapes so the dough won't hold together... I know, details!

Fill cutout openings with crushed candy. Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned (have the kids watch carefully so they don't burn). Cool completely on foil. When completely cool to the touch carefully peel foil away from cookies. 

The kids will like this part... using a small brush, dust the edges of cooled cookies with powdered sugar. Makes about 4 dozen. These make great gifts and the kids will be SO proud of them!
Merry, Merry!

'Tis the Season for Cooking with Kids,
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach

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