Makes 2-4 dozen cookies, depending on size of cookie cutters
Prep time: 25 minutes plus 1 hour
Cook time: 9-10 minutes
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
30-40 hard candies (such as Life Savers® or Jolly Ranchers®) in several flavors/colors, crushed
Small plastic bags and mallet or thick jar
Nonstick vegetable spray
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper sprayed with a light coat of vegetable spray.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Mix in molasses and vanilla extract. Add egg and beat until light and smooth.
4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder; fold into the butter mixture a little at a time until combined.
5. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 2 days.
6. Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Use a mallet or thick jar to crush candies.
7. Place one disk of dough between two large sheets of waxed paper and roll to ¼-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and place about 1 inch apart.
8. Using a smaller cookie cutter, canapé cutter or knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies, reserving these center bits to add into extra dough or bake into mini cookies.
9. Use a small spoon to fill the hollowed-out portion with crushed candies. Note: Any candy pieces on the dough will color the cookie.
10. Use the skewer and make a hole at the top of the cookie.
11. Bake 9-10 minutes until candy is melted and cookie is beginning to brown. Place baking sheets on wire racks to cool completely.
12. Thread cookies with string or ribbon to hang. Store in a tightly covered container.
This is in the current issue of Yum Food & Fun for Kids, which is on sale now!
Photography by Leslie Chew
Styled by Erika Kotite, Toquemag.com