Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hangover Cookies

Today is a great day. Why? Because I said so, that's why. And because today happens to be my Dad's birthday, and he's great. Here, everyone join with me: "Happy Birthday PinstrosiDad!" Thanks. My Dad see's himself as Mater. You know...Mater:
No one can drive backwards as good as Dad...seriously, he's awesome. He taught me and I'm decent, but nowhere near as good as he is.  He even had a truck named "Dadgum" (he named the truck that as soon as Cars previews started airing, before we even knew Mater's name). A while back I found the perfect cake to make for Dad:
Tow Mater
So...that's my project for today. I contemplated waiting to post today to see how it turns out, but I decided to do my regular post this morning and then I'll do a mini update post when I get the cake done. I've never even attempted anything like this...it could be interesting. So check back later for the results. 

Today's Pinstrosity is also a Birthday treat, only this time Jessica was making stained glass sugar cookies for her mother-in-law. 
The Original Pin
I'd seen those before and at first thought, "OOoohhh! How pretty!". Then the thought struck me...that's a sucker in the middle of a cookie. How does that work when it comes time to eat it? Jessica ran into that bump in the road with her cookies, but she had a few more bumps along the way. 

"This story begins with a birthday party. For my mother-in-law, in fact. I desperately want to impress the family since my last baking experiment (delicious meringues) didn't go over so well."

"I thought, 'Wow! That looks awesome and so easy!' Make sugar cookies. Cut out middle. Insert Jolly Rancher. Bake. Magic!"

"Luckily, I started baking  a week before I needed them to test out the recipe. I also worked in tiny batches for the first round."

"And seriously...I'm so glad I did." 

"Everything started out great! The Good Housekeeping recipe for sugar cookies is delicious, and since I am definitely not a baker (this is important), I thought it would be foolproof." 

"As you can see in the first three pictures, the idea is simple. And when I checked on the cookies with 8 minutes remaining in the oven, they looked just like the picture. I couldn't believe my luck! Pinterest hadn't led me astray like it has so many others." 

The Pinstrosity

"So overjoyed was I with my success that I checked on the cookies with 6 minutes remaining. And....well...that's when things started to head South for the winter." 

"How odd, I thought, that they were bubbling. But, eh, sugar bubbles when it gets hot. I'm sure it'll settle down and end up just as pretty as when they started." 

"But something that they didn't teach me in college, or in the original pin, is that the colors don't stay nice and separate like in that picture." 

"Oh, no. They blend. And mix. And while the blue/green Jolly Rancher combo looked pretty...the rest looked kind of like vomit. Bubbly...chunky vomit." 

"I think I'll call them hangover cookies."

"But it doesn't end there! Nope. I figured that they still probably tasted good, and with the next batch I would use just one Jolly rancher (to keep them from bubbling over the sides of my cookies) and I wouldn't mix colors. No problem, still a cool cookie." 

"Right, but then they cooled. And suddenly, that delicious, sugar candy center turned into brittle glass. Like...break your teeth glass. And the problem is that if you bite anywhere close to the candy center, the glass cracks and suddenly you're covered in sticky, sugary crumbs. Then it's stuck to your teeth and you feel like a moron for grinding your teeth to get rid of it."

"These are cute, sure....but definitely not something I would put in the category of easily edible. And not party food, either. I think I'll just stick to tinted egg washes from now on." 

"It did lead to some cool art, though! So at least there's that!"

"Thanks for giving me a place to vent my (hilarious) frustration."

It's always a bummer when your project doesn't turn out. It feels like a disaster though when you're trying to impress someone and it goes south. Don't worry Jessica, I'm sure your Mother-in-Law loves you regardless of how your stained glass cookies go over. 

So let's address the problems Jessica faced here. 

1. First, the mixing of colors and the bubbly goo. This I think can actually be solved by changing the same thing. Don't leave the candies in the oven as long. Do you remember the suckers I made last year? I found that you watch them, checking on them every minute or so (because when the candies start to melt, they melt fast!). You want to pull them out as soon as the candies are melted. This will give you the pretty glassy look. If you leave the melted candy in for longer, it will start to bubble and the colors will have time to mix as the mixture boils. You can always add the candies in partway through the baking so the cookie is cooked all the way and so the candies melt, but don't bubble.

2. Two hard candies was just too many, but with one you don't get the nice color combo. I'd stick the candies in a bag and hit it with a rolling pin to break them up some. Then you can get as many colors in there as you want. This way too you can get a more thin layer of candy which might help with the next problem. 

3. The crunchy, sticky sucker center. It's just hard to eat the cookie (and what's a cookie that can't be eaten?). If your candy layer is thin, it won't be so hard to chomp through it. But, it still will probably leave sticky sugary crumbs. 

Those are my thoughts on these pretty cookies at least. Any Stained Glass Cookie experts out there have any extra tips they'd like to add? 

I hope y'all have a great day today! Stay tuned for the Mater cupcakes...this could be interesting. 


  1. I agree with everything you said. I have done Stained glass on my gingrebread houses in the past.

    Crush the candy. Add it to the cut out just before it is done. You can get more control over it this way.

    Also it will still most likely (bleed) thru on the bottom. And you can't over fill it.

  2. When I was in middle school (long before pintrest or my family owning a computer) I thought I was brilliant because I decided I was going to make sugar cookies with skittles in them that were the fruity equivalent to chocolate chip cookies. It turned out much like this except I didn't wait long enough for mine to cool and my first encounter with the 'glass' was while it was still molten and hidden deep in my cookie.

  3. We made these in Girl Scouts when I was younger, and I still make them with my nephew. Crush the candies before using them to get a thin layer of stained glass, it's MUCH easier to eat and you won't break a tooth! lol Also use small cookie cutters, like the mini ones they make for decorative pie crusts, they come in all shapes, like mini hearts. Then make several cuts all over the cookie with the cutter, think polka dots, use a single color to fill in each hole. You can still get a rainbow effect by using several colors in each cookie, but they won't mix, because each color has there own hole to melt. Doing it this way, there are few crumbs when eating them, because you don't have a sheet of glass candy to bite into.

  4. I tried these once and pretty much had similar results. Used smashed suckers instead of jolly ranchers. The candy bubbled and turned off-colour, and although it didn't look burned, the candy tasted like slightly burnt sugar.

    Tried again by baking the cookie first and letting the candy melt at a lower temperature... cookies browned too much.

    Tried yet again with partially-baked cookies. Filled with candy and baked at a low temperature... it finally worked but eating a cookie with a candy centre isn't super fun. You're not really sure if you should suck on the middle or crunch it. It was just kind of awkward in the end. I'll stick to linzer cookies from now on. Jam is much more forgiving.

  5. We did these with lifesavers to make stained glass cookies for christmas every year. We always pounded them into powder and layed an even, very thin layer in the middle of the cookie so the "glass" was super super thin (and therefore didn't break your teeth). Also, let them cool completely before removing them from the pan, and then slide them sideways to free them rather than lifting straight up. Hope that helps.

  6. So, I made these with the thought I could post my disaster here. I ended up being wrong. They turned out! Here's what worked for me: Greased the heck out of my cookie sheet, smashed jolly ranchers and only put a little in the center. After they cooled for about a minute, I slid the spatula under the cookie and lifted slowly. They weren't that good to eat, since the candy is so hard. But, I ended up making 60 of them for my boys classes and they loved them. So, I "nailed it"!

  7. I've made a version of these, my frustration was that sugar cookie dough would not stay in nice crisp lines for the shape I was trying to get. The solution? Pie crust- it stays where you put it and looked very pretty for what I wanted, candy in at the last minute after it's baked. I wouldn't crunch the candy but the kids I made it for ate the cookie around it and then licked the center like a lollypop until gone and were happy! also mixing the colors (if you think about what colors will mix well) and swirling them together a bit at the end (with a toothpick) made beautiful color combinations and patterns.

  8. I make these every year for Christmas. I agree with everyone else - cook for a short time, don't use too much candy, and they are kind of difficult to eat.

  9. I agree with Alanna, I made them for christmas this past year too. Short time, small amounts of finely smashed candy works best. Also if you want the lines of the cookies to stay more crisp and clean after you have cut them stick the pan in the freezer, not for a long time, just long enough to get the dough really cold again. It keeps them from spreading in the hot oven.

    And lastly, they arent easy to eat. And if you store them long in a sealed container the residual moisture in the cookie makes the candy gross. I probably wont make them again, they were really pretty but not all that tasty or easy to eat.

  10. Wonder how these would turn out by using sucker sticks... since the opinion is that they are hard to eat? It's mostly about making the kids smile anyway.

  11. This brought back some wonderful memories. I used to make stained glass cookies with my family every Christmas. We used crushed hard candies (lifesavers, etc), and would spoon a think layer within the sugar cookie borders. Thank you for the reminder! God Bless!


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