These edible ornaments are a Christmas tradition in the Woolsey family. We first found the recipe in the National Geographic magazine, and right from the beginning, it was important to invite another family to join us.
Now that the kids have all gone, we invite parish families and friends to the annual event – along with whatever grandchildren are in town – and we have games and a sing-along for an evening of entertainment. All the kids go home with a bag full of their cookie creations – to hang on the tree or just to eat!
- 2 cups clear, hard candies, individually wrapped, an assortment of colours* 500 mL
- 1 cup margarine, softened 250 mL
- 1 cup brown sugar 250 mL
- 1/3 cup liquid honey 75 mL
- 1/4 cup water 60 mL
- 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda 2 mL
- 3 cups flour 750 mL
- aluminum foil
- To do ahead of time (1 to 4): Sort all your candies into groups of the same color. Unwrap them all. Have an adult grind them with a hand grinder (or smash them with a hammer) until they are almost powder. You may have to come up with your own method, but don’t ruin your Mom’s steel blades on her blender!!
- Combine the margarine, sugar and honey in a bowl. Stir in the water and mix until smooth.
- Combine the salt, baking soda and flour. Add them a little at a time to the sugar mixture. The dough will be thick and if you don’t have a mixer with a dough hook, you will have to knead it together with your hands. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour so that it is firm enough to handle.
- Cut or tear squares of aluminum foil, 6 x 8″ (15 x 20 em), or whatever size you can fit a cookie on. You will need at least 4-6 per person.
- Now you can start. Turn the oven on to 325°F (160°C).
- Give each person a lump of dough about the size of a kiwi. Pinch off a small ball of your dough and, on the table, roll it into long, thin strips. Use the strips to outline a shape on your aluminum foil (a tree, star, stocking, candy cane, angel, candle – be creative) Join the strips by pressing the ends together as needed. If you intend to hang your cookie ornament, you will need to put a loop at the top of your outline.
- As each outline is finished, place your aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. When the cookie sheet is full (about 6 cookies) place it in the oven and bake for 7 minutes.
- Remove the cookie sheet and place it on a protected surface where everyone can reach to fill in the spaces with crushed candy. Do not fill in the loop for hanging. Be careful as the cookie sheet is hot.
- Now you can make the colored windows in your cookies. Using a spoon, fill each of the outlined spaces with crushed candy. When everyone has done their cookies, place the cookie sheet in the oven again. Bake for 7 more minutes, until the candy has melted. It may even start to bubble, but that won’t hurt the cookies.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and this time, remove each of the pieces of foil to the counter to cool. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then remove them from the foil. (If they have to travel home in a bag or box, leave them on the foil until you get home.)
- Tie a string in the loops and hang them for all to admire!
One recipe is enough for 6 people. It is easily doubled for more.
* Lifesavers or lollipops are easier to crush, but don’t give as clear a color when melted.