Having a house full of boys, sometimes it is hard to know what will please them for Valentine's day. Many things they feel are too girly. These cookies, however, appeal to boys as well as girls. These are a version of the stained-glass cookies I made here. I have also seen them versions of them several places on the blogosphere (Suzie J and Family Fun to name a few.)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (If I am using cherry candies, almond extract instead compliments it well.)
About 50 assorted clear colored hard candies such as Lifesavers or
Two heart-shaped cookie cutters. One big, and one small.
Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs; beat until smooth, 1 minute.
Meanwhile, unwrap the candies, and place candies in a plastic bag, and begin hammering it with a mallet.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove cookie dough from refrigerator, and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. This is a bit of a sticky dough so use plenty of flour to keep the dough from sticking. It does make rolling it out repeatedly easier.
Place baking sheet in oven, and cook for about 8-10 minutes. The trick is not to let the cookies brown, as the stained glass windows will turn out bubbly and not clear. I know it is hard to fight that instinct.
Check your cookies half-way through. If a few cookies do not have enough candy to reach the edges of the cookies, just add a few more pieces of candy to the centers, and they melted very fast with the rest of the candy.
Now, here is the fun part. The part that appeals to boys. Make a message. Any kind of message. But write it with a light-blue fine point marker. Then, using orange, red, and pink markers write all over the message and the rest of the paper. Make doodle shapes, scribbles, or words. Make sure you doodle right over your secret message because when you take one of your red centered heart cookies, they will become a decoder cookie and will reveal your secret message and everything else will disappear!
How cool is that?