These are a LOT easier to make than they look and great fun to do with children on a rainy afternoon or for charity bake sales. They can also be used at Christmas as tree decorations using some very narrow festive-coloured ribbon to hang them. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make them, just a set of biscuit cutters and a straw if you do want to hang them.
Any type of boiled sweets will work for the ‘stained glass’ but I would recommend the glacier fruits made by a well known company who share their brand name with those Vulpin animals who divide public opinion so much, they are more delicate in colour than other similar sweets which can be a bit garish (unless that’s the look you’re going for, of course).
Sunflower oil for greasing
175g plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
100g cold butter, cubed
50g caster or granulated sugar
1 tbsp milk
12 boiled sweets
Heat the oven to 180 centigrade/gas mark 4 and grease 2 large non-stick baking trays with the oil.
Put all the biscuit ingredients except the milk and the sweets in a blender and whizz them up to fine breadcrumb consistency.
Add the tbsp of milk and pulse until it all comes together. Knead lightly on a floured surface, wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour.
With your cutters, use the larger ones to cut out the biscuit then a smaller one to cut out a centre, leaving a a border of a 2 to 3 cms.
Once carefully transferred to the baking tray, if you do want to thread them afterwards make a hole at the top of each biscuits using a drinking straw.
Bake for 7 minutes, remove from the oven and quickly pop a glacier fruit into each one, then bake for a further 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool and harden completely, then thread with ribbon/string (or not) and get crunching. They’ll keep for a week or so in theory, but not if there’s children in the vicinity.