Martha’s Pane-in-the-Glass Cookie!- Stained Glass Cookies! -160 eggs, 125 cups of sugar, 122 sticks of Butter, and 153 3/4 cups of flour used so far- 85 recipes to go!

December 23, 2010

Martha's Stained Glass Cookies

André's Stained Glass Cookies

For those of us that are old enough to remember, aesthetics took a brief detour in the late sixties and early seventies. Day-glow and Optical Art were in. Large garish shapes, patterns and colors influenced every aspect of design and just about everything was groovy from the beaded curtains, macramé planters all the way to the polyester leisure suits and hook-latch rug wall hangings. It is out of this aesthetic preference for color and geometry and modern DIY in its infancy, the stained glass cookie made its debut.

A simple sugar cookie cutout is transformed into a piece of optical art with the jazzy addition of crushed hard candies that, once baked, melt into a simple sugary sheet of opaque color. Martha recommends using broken pieces of Jolly Ranchers for this. I purchased the tropical blend because I thought the colors were pretty and there weren’t any blue candies. I don’t care for foods that are blue. I think if a food is blue (other than cheese, of course) it’s God’s way of saying, “Don’t eat that.”  This is also why I’m opposed to weight-lifting. I think if something is heavy it’s God’s way of saying, “Don’t pick it up.” But I digress.

I made a batch of Stained glass cookies from Martha’s book. In the book she refers to them as Stained Glass Trees. I didn’t really want to make trees. I wanted to make a design that would look provocative spread out on a plate and would be reminiscent of the cookie’s origin in the 60s and 70s, so I chose a simple geometric shape.

Martha recommended using a knife to chop the Jolly Ranchers. This almost resulted in a call to the emergency room. It is very hard to control a sharp knife as it slides across the surface of a slick, hard candy. Instead, I chose to put them in a baggie and beat the hell out of them with a rolling pin.

I think the name, Jolly Rancher has to be one of the most homo-erotic names in the candy world. If Broadway were to ever make a musical version of Brokeback Mountain, and unfortunately odds are they would,  I think The Jolly Ranchers would be an awesome title. As tasteless as that sounds, it would still be tastier than these cookies. Martha’s holiday recipe required a lot of elbow grease with very little payoff. People just didn’t like them. They thought they were pretty but a sugar cookie and a hard candy with artificial papaya flavoring just don’t mix. In addition to the “ick”-factor, biting into these “glass” panels proved to be dangerous.

Once the glass-like layer was broken you were confronted with one sharp and dangerous edge on the cookie. Sharp enough to cut lips, gums and tongue.

I had baked a weapon-grade cookie and not even a Weapon of Mass Deliciousness!

So, if you want to impress and possibly injure someone special this holiday season, I suggest using your kitchen as a time machine to go back thirty-five years and bake a retro-cookie that’ll produce “Ooooo”s, “Ahhhh”s, and possibly a few “Owwwww”s.

Honestly, red is Christmas color, after all.

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