The weather has definitely turned towards Autumn, the mornings are cold and misty. At least…
Stained glass window biscuits make the perfect Christmas treat. Melted boiled sweets form the window panes which light comes twinkling though.
When I was about ten or eleven a group of us would go for sleepovers with a friend from school. This was fairly unusual in Britain in the seventies. Her parents were American and it was much more usual there. There was no such thing as DVDs, video games in those days. Children’s television was only on a couple of hours a day. We had to entertain ourselves.
My friend’s mum always had activities for us to do. One thing I remember is making strained glass window biscuits. It was a mystical process involving making a window using biscuit dough and filling in the gaps with boiled sweets. After baking we were able to take home a lovely brightly coloured biscuit. It was always great fun designing the shape of the biscuits.
Making stained glass window biscuits
Sadly I never kept a copy of the recipe. This weekend I thought I would try and recreate the process with my son. I was hoping he would have as much fun making them as I did.
For the biscuit dough I tried a gingerbread recipe. This creates a soft golden colour biscuit which was similar to the biscuits I remember. The dough is easy to make, just rub the butter into the flour with the ginger and bicarbonate of soda. Once it looks like breadcrumbs add the rest of the ingredients and knead into a dough. Roll out onto a floured board.
When making the biscuits with my friend we would piece strips of dough together to make exotic window patterns. This time I cut the dough into shape with cutters. This makes them look nice and neat. You need to cut a hole in the centre of the biscuit to fill with crushed boiled sweets. You can crush them in a food processor or put them into a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin. Bashing is great fun but watch you don’t make a hole in the bag. Bake for fifteen minutes then leave to cool. It is a good idea to put some baking parchment on the baking tray so they don’t stick.
Stained Glass Window Biscuits Recipe
Stained glass window biscuits
- 12 oz 350 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 3½ oz 100g butter
- 6 oz 175g soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- Packet of brightly coloured boiled sweets
- Preheat oven to 18OC 350 F Gas mark 4
- Rub the butter into the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ginger until it is like fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar into the mixture.
- Add the syrup and the egg into the mixture and stir together. Knead into a dough
- Roll out and use cutters to create shapes or style using a knife. You could use two cutters one smaller than the other to create biscuits with holes in.
- Crush the boiled sweets. I found it easiest to use a food processor and fill bows with crushed sweets of the same colour. Use these to fill the gaps in the biscuits.
- Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 - 15 minutes. I used greaseproof paper on the tray to stop them sticking.
When they are cool you can move them from the tray. The final result does look like a stained glass window and we had great fun making them. Have you ever made stained glass window biscuits? Let me know below.
Why not pin for later?