Stained Glass Butterfly Cookies
2¾ cups of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
16 hard candies, assorted colors (such as Jolly Ranchers or Life Savers), each color finely crushed
Butterfly-shaped cookie cutters (assorted sizes)
Small aspic or other tiny shaped cutters
Colored royal icing, for decorating, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Shape the dough into 4 disks; roll each between 2 sheets of wax paper to ⅛-inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes (or freeze for 15).
Dip butterfly-shaped cookie cutters into a shallow dish of flour, cut out cookies and place them on the prepared sheets. Refrigerate until firm. Using smaller cutters, cut out the center for the body and parts of the wings. Reroll, chill and cut the scraps. If desired, insert part of a toothpick in the top corner of each cookie (this will allow you to hang them). You may need to make this hole larger to accommodate a ribbon or leave one piece of the stained glass unfilled with candy.
Bake, rotating the positions of the pans halfway through, until the cookies are just set and beginning to turn light golden brown around the edges, 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the sheets.
Spoon crushed candy into the cutouts within each cookie until level with top of dough; brush off stray pieces. Bake until the candies have melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool on the sheets.
If desired, decorate the cookies with royal icing.
Makes about 6 dozen.
Woman's Day, May 2015