Pretty sugar cookies with a clear, candy "glass" center make for lovely, eatable ornaments on the tree, but look out for the PITA rating!

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Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Stained Glass Cookies (Prep. time: about 1-2 hours, including resting time for the dough.  Makes 4 dozen cookies, depending on size) "PITA" (pain-in-the-attitude) Factor: 8 out of 10*

2 sticks room temperature butter

1 C. granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. each ginger & nutmeg

a pinch of salt

3 C. flour

clear, colorful hard candies (Jolly Rancher), sorted by color & smashed

powdered sugar for rolling.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Stir in the vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  Add the eggs, one at a time and stir until incorporated.  Slowly stir in the flour, scraping the sides of the bowls as needed.  Once the dough comes together, turn out onto plastic wrap or wax paper, cover and flatten to about 1 inch thick.  Refrigerate at least an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Divide the chilled dough into thirds.  Dust the table and roller with a little powdered sugar and roll the dough into about 1 quarter inch thickness.  Cut cookie shapes and with a much smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut holes in the center of the cookies.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Carefully sprinkle the crushed candies into the hole to the level of the cookie.  A funnel may make it a little easier.  If desired, put a hole in the top of the cookie with a skewer to allow for ribbon to be able to hang the finished cookies as ornaments.

Bake for about 10 minutes until the candy is melted and the cookies are brown.

Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheets on top of a rack or you will lose the melted candy center when you try to remove the cookies with a spatula.

*Note: While they are pretty, I found making these a pain in the posterior and just didn’t have the patience to do a whole batch. I just switched to using the rest of the dough for regular sugar cookies.

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