In this week’s Junkyard Tales story "Traditions", Ben Thompson, clever cat, wakes to the sound of tiny mice hunting for glass stars. Hiding colorful glass stars for the mice to find is one of many fun Junkyard holiday traditions.
While the image of a tiny mouse delighting in a pretty bauble is magical, the sight of small human hands clinging to these cookie “glass stars” is perhaps even more so.
They’re made with regular sugar cookie dough—there’s a recipe below, but feel free to substitute your own, or even store bought. To make the “glass” you crush hard candies, like Lifesavers, and spoon them into the middle about halfway through baking. The only thing to remember is to keep your center cut-outs in simple shapes, as it’s hard to get the candy to flow into more complicated designs.
These are delicious to eat, but would also be lovely hung in a window to catch the winter light!
Glass Star Cookies
(makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup milk
1 T vanilla
1 T orange or lemon extract
About 40 Lifesavers or other hard candy
In a large bowl, sift together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg, milk, and extracts. Then, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour before continuing.
In the meantime, crush the hard candy. Using a separate bag for each color (or not, if you want multi-color stars!), put the candy in a plastic bag and gently bang on it with a rolling pin or large can. Set aside.
When the dough is chilled, pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. Roll the dough out on a floured countertop. Then, begin cutting out your shapes. Cut out the big, outer shape first, then use a smaller cookie cutter to make the “window” in the center.
Place the cookies on a bake sheet, and into the oven for about 6 minutes. Then, working quickly, pull the cookies out of the oven, and spoon the crushed candy into the center of each one. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for about another 6 minutes, or until you can see just the tiniest hint of brown on the edges.
Let the cookies cool a few minutes before moving them so that the candy centers have a chance to set. Then, enjoy them for both dessert and decoration!
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.